Natalie Goldberg weaves a mosaic of zen and writing, stories, and vivid side trips in a Must-Read Book. Review by Mary E. Latela, June 11, 2017
Natalie Goldberg exists between two rocky places – writing and zen, and she
manages to find opportunities to practice both. She writes, and writes, and writes,
as many of us do. And she is a daughter of zen, and meets all kinds of people in her
travels, some helpful, others annoying; She takes chances in her life because it’s
clear that she loves her teachers, her friends, and the land. I would love to be a
passenger on one of those pilgrimages where the directions are vague, the signposts
are rare, and instead of reaching a hilltop you dip – all of a sudden – into a deep
chasm, coming out of the other side with a lake before you. She went looking for
Bob Dylan, and met his teacher – a brilliant and lovable icon.
Like many of us who have reached age 60 or more, she encounters many losses, the
death of friends and neighbors, three or four at a time, and finds herself caught in
the land of the living, knowing that she too will die someday. I stay at home,
wondering if my mental wanderings are adequate, but Natalie Goldberg manages to
lift the everyday into golden petals from on high. The tender places where she
describes wonderful enlightenment moments are elegant, and most appreciated.
This is a treasure! I will read it again and again!