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To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border [Paperback]

By Esther De Waal (Author)
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Item description for To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border by Esther De Waal...

Overview
"A threshold is a sacred thing," goes the traditional saying of ancient wisdom. In some corners of the earth, in some traditional cultures, and in monastic life, this is still remembered. But in our fast-paced modern world, this wisdom is often lost on us. It is important for us to remember the significance of the threshold. While it is certainly true that thresholds mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another, they also act as borders-the places in between, the points of transition. These can be physical, such as the geographical borders of a country; others, such as the spiritual border between the inner and outer world-between ourselves and others-are intangible. In To Pause at the Threshold, Esther de Waal looks at what it is like to live in actual "border country," the Welsh countryside with its "slower rhythms" and "earth-linked textures," and explores the importance of opening up and being receptive to one's surroundings, whatever they may be.

Publishers Description
"A threshold is a sacred thing," goes the traditional saying of ancient wisdom. In some corners of the earth, in some traditional cultures, and in monastic life, this is still remembered. But in our fast-paced modern world, this wisdom is often lost on us. It is important for us to remember the significance of the threshold. While it is certainly true that thresholds mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another, they also act as borders-the places in between, the points of transition. These can be physical, such as the geographical borders of a country; others, such as the spiritual border between the inner and outer world-between ourselves and others-are intangible. In To Pause at the Threshold, Esther de Waal looks at what it is like to live in actual "border country," the Welsh countryside with its "slower rhythms" and "earth-linked textures," and explores the importance of opening up and being receptive to one's surroundings, whatever they may be.

Citations And Professional Reviews
To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border by Esther De Waal has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 06/14/2004


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Morehouse Publishing
Pages   102
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.84" Width: 5.1" Height: 0.28"
Weight:   0.28 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 9, 2004
Publisher   Morehouse Publishing
ISBN  0819219894  
ISBN13  9780819219893  


Availability  0 units.


More About Esther De Waal


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Esther de Waal lives in a small cottage on the Welsh/English border. After studying and teaching history at Cambridge University, she married, had four sons, and moved to Canterbury, where she lived in a house that had been part of the medieval monastic community. She leads retreats, lectures, and travels widely. Her major interests are the fields of the Benedictine and Celtic traditions.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( D ) > De Waal, Esther
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality


Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Devotional



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Reviews - What do customers think about To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border?

Entering into a life in the Spirit...  Jun 3, 2007
In our 21st century world, this meditation on the ordinary becomes a poetic statement about finding one's way, and is so needed. A work that broadens ones vista, the subtitle of the book, "Reflections on Living on the Border," contains new visions of life from ancient wisdom. A small book, the author Esther de Waal explains how and what to do with the new found in places like, "So when I went walking along the stretch of Off's Dyke that ran only a few miles away, I came to know afresh the world that had earlier delighted my father." This book tells the way to live in the world. It speaks of living with the inner world of the heart and mind, as well. For me, these are important.

"All our lives are inevitably made of a succession of borders and thresholds, which open up into the new and promise excitement or fear. The traveler encountering unknown places has all the exhilaration, the thrill of another country." For some time, I have sought to find newness of seeing things and knowing things, and also in regard to people in my life. This book helps to change the reader in ways that open the eyes to new ways of living and seeing. It is a work of vision and ongoing renewal. Again, in a book, she accomplishes with clarity and easy style lessons of the meaningful in life, and finding meaning.

She writes about pausing in the book. Titled "To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border," published by Morehouse Publishing, she writes about living a spiritual life, of living life within the Anglican Communion. The book is both dear, as in personal and telling, and objective as in telling and demonstrating. "Above all I want to explore the role of thresholds, of the crossing-over places, not only geographical ones but also metaphorical thresholds," she writes in her introduction. This book is for the spiritually inclined, for the religious individual, and for the seeker of new life in living.

Our world is uncertain. Her instructions on living a better life go like this: "The first step in listening, learning, and changing is to see that different is not dangerous; the second is to be happy and willing to live with uncertainty the third is to rejoice in ambiguity and to embrace it." Originally published under an imprint of St. Mary's Works called The Canterbury Press Norwich, this formerly English book will find many readers in the United States. She says so many things that speak to the Anglican religious way of living, and so many things that speak to a society that is diverse as America. She finds the central places of the spirit in her writing. Two other books are noted here as worthwhile: "Living with Contradictions: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality" and, "Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict." One quickly gets an idea of the thrust of her work from the titles.

Laying a way to enjoy and reflect on the ordinary in life, she draws large inferences in this book: "...we find ourselves touched by something primal, that repetition of birth and death, dying and new life, experienced again and again, year in and year out, repeated throughout our lives." These are some patterns of the day, like the simple task of bowing ones head down during the day in the bright light, "...giving glory to the great God of life for the magnificence of the sun and for the goodness of its light to the children and men and to the animals of the world."

Here is another nugget from a book that flows and contains nuggets of establishing oneself in a place. Esther de Waal quotes from many sources. Here she quotes John Howard Griffin's diary: "August 6, 1969. 5:45 a.m. Before dawn. With the beginnings of the predawn-light some of the birds come to life--not with singing yet, but with a kind of murmuring. I carried my coffee out on the concrete porch and drank it walking back and forth. The air is cool, almost cold, and fresh. Light came slowly. I watched the trees assume black shapes through the fog. I thought of Tom who saw the sounds, smelled the same predawn freshness, allowed the same silences to do their work in him."

For people who like a good read, the 102-page book categorized as spirituality is intelligent and inviting. There is importance in opening up and being inviting to one's surroundings, as the book blurb states. I agree, this is a book that sees "A threshold as a sacred thing..." Her book is like the porter in St. Benedict's rule who waits at the gate, the work "...shows us a conversation between the holy and the everyday..." Esther de Waal points the way to enjoyment.

--Peter Menkin, Pentecost 2007




 
Another firmly grounded set of meditations from de Waal  Aug 7, 2005
Deceptively slim, this book of meditations from de Waal's reading and personal experience asks for careful reading and cogitation. I found myself reading it aloud, softly and slowly, in order to take in the deep meaning. This is truly matter for Lectio Divina. A quotation: " If the borders are not frontiers, and if the thresholds are continually crossed and recrossed, then we open up to the new." Readers of de Waal will find familiar sources-- St Benedict, Celtic writings-- as well as fruits of de Waal's wide current reading. This book should become a spiritual classic.
 
To Pause at the Threshold  Jan 28, 2005
Esther de Waal never lets us down! In To Pause at the Threshold she explores how even the busiest life can be lived mindfully and prayerfully. She attunes us to what the Celtic Christians called "thin" moments, those times when what is before gives way to the new, when God is experienced as most palpably present. Life is immeasurably blessed, she assures us, when we receive the next moment, the next event, the next person with reverence and expectation. This fine little book is a lovely companion for the one who lives life on pilgrimage.
 

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