I hadn’t checked the Amazon rankings for my first book, Iron Man Family Outing, in about six months and was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover that it’s still doing very well in terms of its placement on the various lists that track the popularity of poetry books at Amazon based on average reader reviews. Here are a few examples:
- Currently listed at number 14 in the Poetry books category.
- Currently listed at number 5 in the American poetry books category.
- Currently listed at number 6 in the Poetry books by individual poets category.
Again, these rankings are based on average reader reviews, not sales, but for a book with no publisher and no marketing that sat in my closet for fifteen years and hasn’t seen the inside of a bookstore in over twenty, it has a pretty high profile.
Having sat with the doominess of my previous post for the last several days, I’m happy to balance the scales a bit with some news of a lighter/brighter nature. Of course, light and heavy, light and dark, are not antagonistic as we often tend to think, but complementary. As lighting architect Rogier van der Heide has said, “There is no good lighting that is healthy and for our well-being without proper darkness.” We need a proper balance of both light and dark, both light and heavy, to develop and maintain a healthy psyche that perceives and relates to the world, and our experience in it, accurately.
Sitting in darkness, in heaviness, for the last few days has made me aware of light, and lightness, in my life that I’d been failing to notice previously, and that I probably would’ve continued to fail to notice otherwise. Having “the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear”, as so eloquently stated in the Tao Te Ching, can be a challenging task in a society that tends to be quick to dismiss and/or “fix” anyone who’s less than relentlessly positive at all times. But as psychotherapist Ken Page recently wrote, “The places where we feel most broken often don’t need to be fixed. What they need is to be heard.” Sometimes, I hear the voices that speak from those places best in the dark.