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Healer … shaman … some kind of solitary … caretaker of the silence – these are just some of the self-descriptions that Geoffrey Barton tries out in these spare and spacious writings. Like every good contemplative, he knows that all descriptions have their limits and, in the end, have to be abandoned in the face of an inexpressible reality that both challenges and lovingly sustains us.
The brief, thoughtful and lyrical pieces collected here give glimpses into the unfinished journey of a former Anglican priest who, in his ninth decade, finds himself irresistibly led to go beyond all the forms, beliefs and practices that had previously shaped his sense of identity. He shares a moving account of how this process of apparent loss and impoverishment offers unlooked-for, indescribable riches.
The one constant throughout is the deepening into silence, the self-emptying practice of meditation, the surrender to utter simplicity. Geoffrey Barton’s “little book” bears witness to the inspiring truth that this kind of caretaking is –in his words – “an honourable occupation”.
Specifications: 148x105mm, 48pp