The Enchanted life
Reclaiming the magic and wisdom of the natural world
In ‘The Enchanted Life’, Sharon Blackie speaks to those who feel an emptiness at the heart of modern life – who long for a more authentic, harmonious and connected way of life.
From the Introduction –
I believe that enchantment is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated, a way of approaching the world which anyone can learn to adopt: the enchanted life is possible for everybody. In this book I’ll share with you my own experiences, and the experiences of several men and women from around the world, as they demonstrate how we can bring enchantment into every aspect of our daily lives. Because enchantment, by my definition, has nothing to do with fantasy, or escapism, or magical thinking: it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life.
The enchanted life presented here is one which is intuitive, which embraces wonder, and fully engages the creative imagination – but it is also deeply embodied, ecological, grounded in place and community. It flourishes on work that has heart and meaning; it respects the instinctive knowledge and playfulness of children. It understands the myths we live by; thrives on poetry, song and dance. It loves the folkloric, the handcrafted, the practice of traditional skills. It respects wild things, recognises the wisdom of the crow, seeks out the medicine of plants. It rummages and roots on the wild edges, but comes home to an enchanted home and garden. It is engaged with the small, the local, the ethical; enchanted living is slow living.
The Enchanted Life is published in the UK by September Publishing, and is available in North America from House of Anansi Press; it is also available in Dutch from AnkhHermes publishers, and in Latvian from Lietusdarz.
READ THE FIRST CHAPTER
‘Ultimately, to live an enchanted life is to pick up the pieces of our bruised and battered psyches, and to offer them the nourishment they long for. It is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary.
Above all, to live an enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again. This is an active choice, a leap of faith which is necessary not just for our own sakes, but for the sake of the wide, wild Earth in whose being and becoming we are so profoundly and beautifully entangled.’
Extract from ‘The enchanted life’
Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other
Lynn Thomson, author of Birding with Yeats
Emily Urquhart, author of Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes
Melissa Harrison, author of Clay and At Hawthorn Time
‘Beauty is a body bowed from the weight of a life fully lived.
Beauty is hair bleached in the light of a life fully loved.
Beauty is the angular, bony edges of a life fully risked.’
Extract from “The enchanted life”
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