Deeply honest and deeply personal, Downey's observations are laced with quirky insights and self-deprecating humor. She draws inspiration from the flu, the garden, bad knees and bad TV. She explores larger themes of loss and estrangement, while retaining a youthful outlook on the vagaries of life and aging. Readers will journey from the mundane to the metaphysical. Here’s an author who lets us in on her fear of cows. We follow her quest to learn compassion. We share her desire for peace.
As she does in her spiritual memoir, Stumbling Toward the Buddha, Downey attempts to understand relationships. In Forgive Me, she reflects on the meaning of an insincere apology. (“Sorry you're inflexible. Sorry you're mad. Sorry you don't understand my position.”) In 2015 Dawn-Mobile, she compares her body to a used car. (“I can ill afford the maintenance: gym memberships, yoga classes, chiropractors, therapists. And still, it backfires.”) In Samsara, she aims her wit at envy. (“When an upscale lifestyle magazine featured my chic pal’s Los Angeles home, it turned into a sixteen-page full-color spread of my jealousy. The green-eyed monster drooled all over her Ming porcelain.”) And in Cemetery Song, she has a conversation with her mother, who died in her fifties. “You seldom laughed, and now I understand, now that I'm older than you ever got to be. Do you like my hair?”)
Dawn Downey’s narratives describe the ties that bind us, even if we have not met.
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About the Author
Dawn Downey, an essayist, finds inspiration in everyday situations. Topics under her scrutiny range from her pursuit of the perfect purse to her search for the meaning of life. Toss in jealousy, prejudice, guilt, and inadequacy for good measure. Thanks to a spiritual path that winds through the teachings of the Buddha and around to non-duality, she now enjoys a kinder, gentler relationship with her eccentricities. Secretly, she’d rather be a rock star, but since she can’t sing, settles for reading her stories wherever there’s a microphone and an audience. From the first day azaleas bloom until the night black-eyed susans give in to a hard freeze, find her on the patio, tending a container garden. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, Ben Worth. He spoils her rotten. She reciprocates. Downey’s essays have been published by River Blood and Corn, The Christian Science Monitor, Shambhala Sun, Skirt! Magazine, Kansas City Voices, and The Best Times. Her work is anthologized in Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love: The 110,000 Missourians with Alzheimer’s; My Dad is My Hero: Tributes to the Men Who Gave Us Life, Love, and Driving Lessons; and Pooled Ink: Celebrating the 2012 NCW Contest Winners. Her writing has earned awards from the Missouri Writers Guild, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Northern Colorado Writers, and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. For a monthly essay in your email, subscribe to her newsletter at DawnDowney.com