Even the uninspired among us cannot help but be mesmerized by beautiful landscapes, find reassurance in calming landscapes, and be in awe of the force of nature in powerful landscapes. But how often do we stop to contemplate the existential relationship we have with these landscapes?
In the liminality of poignant landscapes—the space between the external landscapes that move us and the psychological landscapes that guide us—is a portal to life’s most profound questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Who do I want to be? And what world do I want to live in?
Using the “negative space” of language, I delicately weave together insights from my PhD research study on place-making and what it means to flourish as a landscape architect with personal ruminations on self-acceptance, belonging, and healing social trauma. Through these reflections, I invite you on a vulnerable yet courageous journey to look inside the poignant landscapes that shape our individual soul path as well as the ones we all share as humans here on Earth together.
Reflections on pain, beauty, belonging, and being human…
More than language, more than material, and ever ambiguous, landscapes span two, three, and four dimensions, morphing to become whatever impression the world needs to be for us to feel emplaced. With the power to move us to tears, calm our souls, and awaken our sense of wonder, poignant landscapes unconceal hidden gateways to our sense of ontological belonging.
In the journey back to the undivided self that knows no separation between nature and culture, landscapes also reveal the conflicts of our human-world relationship. In the disharmony of our internal and external natures, the legacy of placelessness persists in our physical and psychological landscapes and in the narratives we use to describe ourselves and the world.
In the wisdom of poignant landscapes is the permission to feel the pain of being human, to be loved exactly as we are without conditions, and to be inspired by the sacredness of life. This collection of short essays, poetry, and photographs mirrors the fluidity of landscapes by transcending the human binaries of intellectualism and emotionality, inner and outer world experiences, and individual and collective existence, to return to the gift of being in a powerful landscape—the knowing that true belonging does not exist outside of us, but instead, is found intuitively within.
Available with colour images as e-book and hardcover at select retailers, and black & white paperback exclusively at Amazon.*
COMING SOON: Hardcover copies can also be ordered from my shop for $41.99 CAD (plus shipping)
Locations of where photos in the book were taken:
- Cover: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
- Lennox Point Headland, Australia
- Bottom of Samaria Gorge, Greece
- Moss covered tree in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
- Tallow Beach (or another near Byron Bay), Australia
- Cross seen from King Pedro IV (Rossio) Square, Lisbon, Portugal
- Bougainvillea on a building in Athens, Greek
- Waterlilies in VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada
- Farmhouse in rural Spain
- Niagara Falls, Canada
- Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
- Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Greece
- Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada
- Broom Point in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada
- Rainbow from my balcony, Toronto, Canada
- Top of Samaria Gorge, Greece
- Mount Misen, Miyajima Island, Japan
- Park path in Burnaby, Canada
- Mushroom and ferns in Burnaby, Canada
- Graffiti on the Schiavo Bastion, Chania, Greece
- Wilket Creek Park, Toronto, Canada
- Love locks at Westminster Pier Park, Canada
- Cherry blossoms in High Park, Toronto, Canada
- Household miniature rose
- Glacier from cruise ship, Alaska, USA
- Sunset from cruise ship, Alaska, USA