Changing Light is a radiant collection of soul writings on the cycle of night and day. It gathers together sunset prayers, lullabies, creation stories, sun stories, and poems about evening, sleep, awakening, and day from many cultures across time. Among the writers represented are James Agee, Annie Dillard, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Rilke, Rumi, Sappho, Whitman, and Yeats. Changing Light is a book both for people who love poetry and those who have been scared way from it.
In the introduction Gendler writes, "In our quest for easy answers, in a culture of marketing where light is lite, and luminescence is a shampoo, most people don't listen to poetry. In our time we commonly view poetry as a rarified form that doesn't have much to do with our lives. Many of us stay away, afraid it will either be too abstract and inaccessible or sentimental and precious.
"Yet, poetry may be the most precise language we have for talking about the world. Poets who give language to states where the soul meets the world; the inner and outer intersect are charged and changed by the energy at the edge."
Gendler's art works, including collages, batiks, and mixed media pieces, accompany the text and add another layer of meaning and experience to these carefully chosen reflections on time and light.
"Changing Light makes two moves that are of absolute importance; it gives us an effective way to imagine daily life poetically, and it helps us be mindful of the cosmic rhythms and lighting that shape our lives--an ancient tradition that we've lost. The introduction sets a perfect tone, and the selections represent a broad range of time, place, and sensitivity. I recommend spending at least a year with this little book, using it as a resource for meditations."
- Thomas Moore, author, Care of the Soul
"How I treasure this splendid collection of writings! Ruth Gendler must be one of those ancient mystical needleworkers, so skillfully has she selected these shimmering poems and luminous threads of prayers and songs and artwork and spun them for us into a precious cloth. I carry this with me when I travel, wrapping myself in it whenever I am distracted or tired, whenever I need to remember my interconnectedness in the weave of life."