An enchanting, allegorical tale with insights of enduring relevance, The Tapestry of Spirit presents an artfully layered story of an orphan boy following a dream - a dream of a meeting in the East with a mystical figure known as the Mage. A seemingly coincidental encounter the day after the dream introduces the boy to an old man, summoned by the power of the boy's dream, to serve as his guide and protector during the journey. Along the way, some of the boy's encounters include a wise, elderly Sage, a blind Seer, a captive boy Monk, a grieving Mother, and a dying Father. And through these encounters, the boy learns of the power of dreams, the value of trust and belief, the vision of the heart, and the capacity of every individual to help in the healing of the World. As the boy journeys to seek the Mage, he comes to understand that in doing so, he also seeks his Destiny Thread, and ultimately, how it returns to the universal wisdom that is the Tapestry of Spirit.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.53(d)|
About the Author
Erik Paul Rocklin was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1966, but has lived most of his life in Arizona. After graduating from Arizona State University, he embarked on a successful corporate career, after which he returned to a life-long interest of writing. Published in 2012, The Tapestry of Spirit is his debut novel, and is a gentle, allegorical tale layered with symbols and metaphors representing the human condition and the human journey, as seen through the eyes of an orphan boy. It has been described as a calming journey within a journey, parables within parables. The quiet tone of the novel is quite different from the turbulent experiences of Rocklin's own boyhood.
Through two divorced households during his upbringing, there were extremes of the spectrum in his early years, from a childhood that started in upper middle-class but ended on government assistance. But through these changes, there were always constants in his life - his mother, his older brother, and education. After graduating from high school near the top of his class and with letters in multiple sports, he attended community college for two years, studying pre-med, and earned an A.A.S degree with honors. But by the end of those two years, his perspective on becoming a physician had changed, and he opted to take a year off from school. It would be nine more years before he would eventually graduate with a B.S. degree in business from Arizona State University, as his life would hold several different paths in the interim, including a change in major, aviation officer candidate training for the military, and nearly a year-long recovery from a motorcycle accident. "Life isn't necessarily a straight line, nor should it be," he said in a recent interview, in reference to his own life's journey.
With his college degree, he remained in the Phoenix area and worked in a successful corporate career for a decade until deciding to return to an interest since his youth - writing. It was the unexpected death of his sole parental figure, his mother, that prompted a deeper introspective journey into the human condition and the human journey, and ultimately contributed heavily to his writing of The Tapestry of Spirit.
Good to Know
At 17 years of age, Rocklin spent the majority of his senior year in high school living by himself in the family home, balancing academics, athletics, and a part-time job.
While in college, he earned $30 a week by selling his blood plasma twice a week.
With ironically no interest in distance running, he has finished three marathons and one half-marathon.
Read an Excerpt
That night, the boy had a vivid dream, unlike any other in its clarity and crispness. But as clear as the images were in the dream, their meaning was not.
The dream began with the boy in the darkness just before the dawn, kneeling and facing East as the glow of the approaching Sun neared the horizon. Although cold throughout his body, the boy waited, patiently, as the Eastern sky continued to brighten.
A moment more and the first light of the Sun had appeared, its touch to the boy's skin immediately warming and comforting him. As he knelt, with more and more of the light and warmth from the rising Sun bathing him, he closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he found himself standing alone in the center of the city in the large, circular marketplace that he had been to many, many times before.
Normally a bustling gathering of merchants, travelers, and residents of the city, all busy around tents, tables, and stalls, the marketplace was now completely empty and silent, a state of which the boy had never seen. The Sun was directly overhead, and because of that, it cast no shadows.
There, standing in the center of the circular marketplace, the lone boy turned in a slow circle, surveying its edges as if scanning the degrees of a compass. With the Sun in a position directly overhead and casting no shadows, the boy did not know his direction, but he felt compelled in the dream to determine, for some reason, which direction was East, the direction in which he had knelt at the beginning of his dream.
The boy relied purely on his feelings to ascertain this, and when contentment, purity, and a sense of a return to the familiar were all strong within him, he believed himself to have found East. And in doing so, the boy again closed his eyes.
When he opened his eyes next, the boy was in a warm, dim place, somehow beneath the soil of the World, surrounded by walls that gently moved before his eyes. Again the boy attempted to discern which direction was East, but being below the soil of the World and again without the Sun above for reference, the boy could only slowly turn in place until he again had the feeling of the familiar, and when it was strong within him, believed again that he had found the East.
Directly in front of him was a portion of the moving wall, which, before his eyes, began to appear more and more solid, and as it solidified, a figure began to take shape within it. Blurry at first, it gradually began to resemble something...a young man...a young man in Mage's garb.
The boy awoke abruptly.
Although the whole of the dream was unlike any other that the boy had had, the appearance of the Mage was familiar to him, for as a boy, he had frequent dreams of the Mage; a figure that, to him, was always comforting while in his presence, and always left the boy with a sense of clarity, of possibility, and of hope upon his wakening.
This had always confused the boy, as generally, Mysticism and those who practiced it were scorned, and branded as blasphemous heretics, so that to even mention them, even in the context of a dream, was to bring to one great scrutiny, social discrimination, and even fear of death. But to the boy, the memories of the Mage in his dreams were always pure, and of hope for what could be.
For in his dreams of the Mage, the boy always had an unspoken sense that they understood each other, that there was a familiarity with the Mage that was uncommon to anything else, either in his dreams or while awake.
The boy's Mother, whom he would always tell of his dreams of the Mage, was always encouraging of them, and had great interest in the details within them. Yet she also made a secret pact with the boy, one in which neither of them would ever discuss his dreams of the Mage with others, for fear of what may befall the boy.
So it was the dream of the Mage the night prior that had returned several things to the boy when he woke; feelings of hope and serenity brought by the return of the Mage, and feelings of hope and serenity brought by the memories of his Mother.
And in reflection on his childhood spent with her, hopeful words, spoken by her several seasons before her passing, returned to the boy's thoughts, in which she told the boy that one day, he would realize the beautiful gifts that he could offer the World.
And with the return of these thoughts to his mind came other words to his ears, words that she had uttered with great pride on one occasion when she recognized that very soon, his path would lead him away, although not of his decision.
'To the World I give my son, and to my son I give the World,' she had said.
They were words that the boy understood, although he felt that they had additional meaning within them that he had yet to realize.
But it was after her unexpected passing that the boy nearly a man in stature, yet not one by agewas forced to live as a man in the World of men, and from that season since, the dreams of the Mage became less and less frequent, finally to test the boy's memory as to when he had dreamt of him last.
For the boy, he now was living in the World of men, and there could be no changing of the past.
And so, the boy spent that day as any other, with parts of the dream of the Mage returning to his thoughts on several occasions: the oddity of the empty circle of the marketplace, the pull from the East, and the appearance of the Mage in the moving walls beneath the soil of the World.
That night, the boy had the identical dream again, and upon awakening the following morning, he decided that the second occurrence of the same dream was something to be heeded, and that he would go to the marketplace that day.
And so, at mid-day, with the Sun in a position to cast no shadows, the boy went to the center of the marketplace. But unlike in his dream, it was now its usual bustling gathering of people engaged in the bartering of buying and selling.
The boy made his way to the center of the marketplace and stood, unsure of what he was to expect. He stood for an uneventful moment, and then decided to scan the edges of the marketplace as he had done in his dream, although he knew not what he might be looking for.
As he slowly surveyed the edges of the marketplace through the flow of people passing by, he caught a glimpse of a dark figure near the edge of one of the rows of merchant stalls. The figure was unmoving, facing the boy, and wore a dark robe, including a dark hood that completely hid the face within it.
Although the boy could not make out the features of the figure, he could feel a presence. It was a presence that was at once both familiar and cold, and for some reason, the boy felt compelled to leave the marketplace, yet he stood where he was, determined to understand if his dream was to lead to something.
As the boy studied the dark figure across the crowded distance, the boy was perplexed. There was no dark figure in his dream, so questions emerged within the boy. Was the figure important? Was it a part of his Destiny? Did the figure offer answers to the unspoken questions within the boy?
Given that the figure seemed to be mirroring him across the marketplace, the boy concluded that it must be meaningful, so he began to make his way toward it. But after a few steps through the flowing crowd, the boy looked up to find that the dark figure was gone. He stopped and scanned the nearby area, but the figure was now nowhere to be seen.
Confused, the boy decided to return to the center of the marketplace and scan its edges yet again, and as he did, he noticed another figure on the opposite edge of the great, crowded circle.
This figure was also motionless, as the dark figure had been, but clothed in average garb, and without a hood to conceal his features. Through the moving crowd of people, the boy could see that it was an old man not much taller than he, with grey hair and beard, and tanned skin. The old man was facing the boy, and when the boy's eyes made contact with his, the old man smiled. At this, the boy felt a different presence than that of the dark figure, this time experiencing a feeling that was at once both familiar and warm.
The boy then began his way toward the old man, looking up frequently to find that he still waited for him at the edge of the marketplace, and as the boy finally emerged from the flow of people, he stood in front of the old man, who was still smiling.
And as they stood, eye-to-eye since the boy was tall for his young age, the boy also wondered if this man was a hidden part of his dream. The same questions emerged within the boy as had when he considered the dark figure. Was the old man important? Was he a part of the boy's Destiny? Did he offer answers to the unspoken questions within the boy?
As curious and intrigued as the boy found himself to be about the old man, he struggled to find the words for even a basic greeting. After all, the old man may just be a friendly stranger, having nothing to do with the boy or his dreams or the unspoken questions within him. He may be a traveler passing through. He may be someone local to the area who had seen the boy before.
As the words to begin a conversation continued to elude the boy, and doubt that his actions were now simply of pure silliness, it was the old man who spoke, saying simply:
"I can help you to understand your dream," to which the boy continued to have no words.
What People are Saying About This
This book is a joy to read.
This universal story speaks to every person who sees their life as a journey, a journey of growth and eventual compassionate knowingness and peace. (Deborah Lloyd, Author of "Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons")
...a beautiful and rare story wrought with soul and deep wisdom...deeply moving...a deep and slow read that will appeal to those who are ready to open their hearts and receive the positive and spiritual lessons that the story teaches of oneness with the world.
...engrossing and well-written.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Tapestry of Spirit is a beautiful and rare story wrought with soul and deep wisdom. Erik Paul Rocklin introduces us to an unnamed young man who dreams of better understanding himself and his purpose in the world. A gentle guide, the Elder, take the boy on a journey East to meet a mystical Mage. Along the way, the Elder teaches the boy about the Tapestry of Spirit and how we each must follow our Destiny Thread to live truthfully in the world. Challenges along the way are each lessons that deepen the boy's understanding of the Tapestry of Spirit and his faith in his own path. Rocklin's story follows in the footsteps of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, painting a thin veneer of story over spiritual lessons that both the reader and the book's unnamed protagonist are prompted to learn together. Several wise characters appear along the way to provide deeper lessons when necessary, and the physical act of the boy's journey represents a personal and spiritual journey that the reader is invited to take. The Tapestry of Spirit was a deeply moving story that reached in and gently tugged on my soul, asking me to consider my own life's path. Those looking for action, hot romance, or the trappings of a traditional story arc will be disappointed. This book is a deep and slow read that will appeal to those who are ready to open their hearts and receive the positive and spiritual lessons that the story teaches of oneness with the world and our shared purpose to banish fear and greed and to try and connect with each other. The Tapestry of Spirit teaches that we are all threads in a shared tapestry. It could change our world if we all adopted this simple perspective and looked at those around us not as strangers but as fellow travelers all journeying toward our destiny
This is an allegorical story that is perfect for all lovers of authors like Paulo Coelho. It is a lovely tale of a boy on his way to finding who he really is and what really matters in life. I am not particularly a huge fan of allegorical tales, but I do have to say this one was one that did leave me thinking, which is exactly the point. The plot is a clever, winding thing that really takes off at once, sending us on a journey with the protagonist, the boy. He is an interesting character, someone who could be pretty much anyone (which is the point) and who struggles with his head as he travels with his guide, the Elder, to the East where he’s been promised he can meet the Mage. The conversations between the Elder and the boy are the crucial moments in this story. Each of them demands the reader’s attention. They make us think and question our own lives. There is a smoothness to the writing that makes the pages flow in a calming manner. The author keeps the pace even, almost setting a rhythm to the words that actually aids his story. The ending is a tad abrupt, but since it seems there’ll be a follow-up story, this is fine. If you enjoy Coelho’s book, particularly The Alchemist, then this one is one for you.
An Elder guides a boy to the east where he can meet the Mage. Along the way, their conversation revolves around critical encounters that makes the boy question life and the paths that all wanderers share. Better descriptions would add depth to the story.
Very interesting start of the book. Before I knew it couldn't put it down. Enjoyed every minute of reading this book. Would like to read another book from Erik.