A Field Guide to Now: Notes on Mindfulness and Life in the Present Tense

Overview

A Field Guide To Now is a reference manual for creating an extraordinary life out of ordinary moments. This collection of illustrated essays and field notes explores the tenuous line between survival and thriving; between wanderlust and making a home; between being and becoming; and about how these things inevitably converge in the scarce, haphazard, simple moments of right now. It is both an invitation to create whatever opportunity your heart yearns for, and proof that it is possible. Reinvent the way you ...
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Overview

A Field Guide To Now is a reference manual for creating an extraordinary life out of ordinary moments. This collection of illustrated essays and field notes explores the tenuous line between survival and thriving; between wanderlust and making a home; between being and becoming; and about how these things inevitably converge in the scarce, haphazard, simple moments of right now. It is both an invitation to create whatever opportunity your heart yearns for, and proof that it is possible. Reinvent the way you engage with the moment and explore the texture of your present tense. Imagine if you could look for the present moment in a field guide, the way you might look up the name of a tree you see outside your window?For as long as you can remember, the tree has just been a tree. But when you look it up, it becomes something more—a sassafras maybe, or a tulip maple—and suddenly you can feel the way your attention toward it shifts. You recognize the way its pollen gathers fine and yellow in the weft of your bedroom screen in May, or the way its shade freckles the dying grass at the end of summer. In the act of naming it, in discovering its traits and marks, the tree becomes something more to you.What if you could do this for all the moments that fill your life? That is what this book is about. Begin. Take note. Be right here.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An ode to the pleasures and sweet bondage of motherhood, a gift basket of drawings, musings, definitions and advice from the grassy hillside of a New England farmhouse. A labor of love, in love's coat of many colors; an offering to the God of the search for a valuable life."– Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness "Christina Rosalie's thoughtful book, A Field Guide to Now, is a personal and conversational guide to faith and timing." – Sabrina Ward Harrison, author of Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself"In A Field Guide to Now Christina Rosalie brings life into perfectly crisp focus by distilling it, with letters and paint, down to its most basic and beautiful elements. While falling in love with her world, you'll remember what you love about your own life, and you'll finish the book inspired to make the most of every moment." – Katherine Malmo, author of Who in This Room: The Realities of Cancer, Fish, and Demolition. "No one talks about the moments in between," and yet Christina Rosalie does. Reminiscent of Annie Dillard, Rosalie shows us how the unexpected details of daily life – a weasel destroying the hen house, a praying mantis climbing the pepper mill – allow us to understand that "the present tense is at once much bigger and messier and also smaller and more precise" than we can imagine. Interrupted sleep, fledgling dreams, clambering children, and several cups of coffee later, we learn, as she has, that, "It's easy to look at what's achievable in a day and come up short. But it's just as easy to underestimate what you can accomplish in a year." Beautifully written and illustrated, A Field Guide to Now is just that, a guide to living in the present – one I plan to carry with me and return to often.– Laisha Rosnau, poet and author of Lousy Explorers, Notes on Leaving, and The Sudden Weight of Snow
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762778560
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 298,273
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Rosalie has been writing under the mentorship of Pam Houston since 2008. Her essays and short stories have won awards and been featured in print and online. Her blog, My Topography: The Shape Of Daily Life (http://mytopography.com) was the Best of Blogs "Best Creative Blog" winner in 2005, with a loyal and expanding audience of between 10,000 and 15,000 hits per day. A Field Guide To Now was successfully funded with more than $10,000 as a project on Kickstarter, and has a supportive following of backers who are awaiting their rewards in the form of chapter sneak peaks and postcards. Release of these will be timed to leverage the launch of the book. She is savvy to and active in the wide community of social media, where she has been interviewed about this book project by Susannah Conway, Beth Nichols, Liz Lamoreux, and Rachelle Mee-Chapman. The project has also been featured on Crescendoh, Wishstudio, Gypsy Girls Guide, and Boho Girl. She is developing a Field Guide To Now e-course and workshop (to be taught online and at Squam Arts Workshops in New Hampshire after the book's release), as well as an interactive Field Guide To Now website featuring a creative interview series and weekly reader contributions. She lives with her family in Vermont.
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Read an Excerpt

An Invitation Survival and thriving: these are the poles between which the moments of our lives are strung. The balance is tenuous and the outcome for each of us is different. Yet we mostly start with the same raw stuff: skin, a mother, food, shelter, breath, and each moment as it unfolds, one after the next, right now. From these moments all the intricacies of our lives are made. And no matter who you are, your day—like mine—is occupied with the small repetitive tasks of living, and these are the moments that shape us, even as we're dreaming of other things.This book is an invitation. You'll see. You'll find yourself here at the page, and then gone in an instant on your own adventure of identifying the moments that are unfolding in your own ordinary, remarkable life. Give yourself this: leap with arms flung wide toward the heart of today. This is your only day.Jump in.
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Table of Contents

Introduction vi

At the Outset: Action x

In the Dark Approach 6

Waking Up: Attention 14

In Between: Becoming 20

Close Like This: Bravery 30

Departure and Arrival: Conception 40

Nothing Lasts: Depth 48

Fight or Flight: Dialogue 54

In the Thick of Things: Discovery 62

Growing Pains: Fervor 70

Moving to Be Still: Habit 80

The Moment at Hand: Hunger 86

Lines and Sparks: Hurdle 94

Give-and-Take: Intersection 104

Off Track: Journey 112

At Home in the Moment: Listing 120

For the Time Being: Measure 130

Certain Uncertainty: Opportunity 142

Evidence: Prayer 150

Encountering Possibility: Prototype 156

Deciding: Timing 166

Taking Flight: Tyro 172

Acknowledgments 180

About the Author 181

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