In her previous books, Oriah Mountain Dreamer has challenged readers to live with passion and honesty, to embrace the true, fallible, human self. What We Ache For is a moving and eloquent call to delve deeply into our creative selves, to do our creative work, and offer it to the world.
The creative process is essential to human nature. It is as essential as spirituality and sexuality, and in fact all three are deeply intertwined. What We Ache For is a practical book allowing readers to embrace the urgency and necessity of their creativity, whatever their medium -- writing, painting, sculpture, dance, music, or film. As Oriah says, "Doing creative work allows us to follow the thread of what we ache for into a deeper life, offering us a way to cultivate a life of making love to the world."
Following Oriah through this journey in such chapters as "The Seduction of the Artist," "Learning to See," and "Risk and Sacrifice," What We Ache For challenges and inspires readers to fully embrace their artistic selves as a way of forging a path of spiritual unfolding.
"I am drawn to write not because I think the creative process will bring me happiness, but because when I write I am happy." So admits Oriah Mountain Dreamer, writer, artist, workshop and retreat leader. Sharing more than a handful of deeply personal experiences, she demonstrates the intrinsic connection between creativity, spirituality and sexuality, which she defines as "an awareness of and appreciation for our physical life and a material reality alive with sensual detail." While most of her examples discuss the process of writing, she carefully includes all forms of creativity from dance to music to physical art. A ready-made audience familiar with her bestselling titles (The Invitation, The Dance and The Call) will welcome her latest offering. New readers, artists or not, will find a variety of treasures within this volume: the suggested contemplations, warm-up or writing exercises or even just her personal struggles as a creator. Many may breathe a sigh of relief when given permission to end a thought mid-sentence if it's going nowhere; may not realize that they're stifling creativity if they're trying to create in the same place they pay their bills; may not admit that creative people must cultivate "necessary silence." Those looking to refresh their spirit, revive their creativity or merely get to know themselves better should spend some time with this book.