In The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Francis Weller offers his readers a breath-taking and dramatic journey of inner discovery into personal pain resolution, planetary healing and Soul development. It is an essential publication - one that offers precious guidance and insight for those who are strong enough, as well as mature enough, to probe and challenge the darkness."
- Spirituality Today.
- Spirituality Today.
“Quite possibly the best guidebook ever crafted on the art of grieving, this volume is also a brilliant and poetic handbook for becoming fully human, more exquisitely alive, and more able to contribute to cultural change. The Wild Edge of Sorrow invites us into the very heart of sorrow, profound healing, and a deepened communion with each other and Earth.”
—Bill Plotkin, author of Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche
From the Amazon page, posted by North Atlantic Books: "Noted psychotherapist Francis Weller provides an essential guide for navigating the deep waters of sorrow and loss in this lyrical yet practical handbook for mastering the art of grieving. Describing how Western patterns of amnesia and anesthesia affect our capacity to cope with personal and collective sorrows, Weller reveals the new vitality we may encounter when we welcome, rather than fear, the pain of loss. Through moving personal stories, poetry, and insightful reflections he leads us into the central energy of sorrow, and to the profound healing and heightened communion with each other and our planet that reside alongside it.
The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of
others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame. This causes sorrow to linger unexpressed in our bodies, weighing us down and pulling us into the territory of depression and death. We have come to fear grief and feel too alone to face an encounter with the powerful energies of sorrow.
Those who work with people in grief, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, who mourn the ongoing destruction of our planet, or who suffer the accumulated traumas of a lifetime will appreciate the discussion of obstacles to successful grief work
such as privatized pain, lack of communal rituals, a pervasive feeling of fear, and a culturally restrictive range of emotion. Weller highlights the intimate bond between grief and gratitude, sorrow and intimacy. In addition to showing us that the greatest gifts are often hidden in the things we avoid, he offers powerful tools and rituals and a list of resources to help us transform grief into a force that allows us to live and love more fully."
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Praise for The Wild Edge of Sorrow
"The Wild Edge of Sorrow is extraordinary. I'm going to be giving it to a lot of people. So many of the themes explored are things I care deeply about. For example, the betrayal of our Great Expectation that life is supposed to be far more magical, authentic, intimate, and alive than what has been offered to us as normal. The ongoing pain of separation from community and nature that we all feel. And the pain of the earth. Reading Weller’s book, I've realized that we have a lot of unprocessed grief to share. This book will be a gift to many." - Charles Eisenstein, author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
"Francis Weller is the ultimate grief sage of our time. The Wild Edge of Sorrow marries uncommon compassion with clear-eyed discernment in its invitation to the reader to become a soul activist in a soul-devouring culture. It is a comprehensive manual for conscious grieving and opening to the unprecedented joy and passion that results from embracing our sorrow." - Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse and Collapsing Consciously.
"Thanks for your book. It's beautiful, clear and says this important thing with great directness and kindness. A fine work." -Tony Hoagland, author of What Narcissism Means to Me: Poems
"This book is a work of beauty: beauty in its language, its poetic sensibility, in its deep insights into the nature of loss and its effect on the human soul. Weller's book is, finally, a healing balm. It shows how our tears may be the redemptive waters we have needed for so long." -Roger Housden, author of Ten Poems to Say Goodbye
"This book rings a shivering bell of hope: that, when lifted by ritual and fellowship, the moist ground of grief actually contains a treasury of gifts that are our ancestral birthright. In other words. we start to become a real human being. We are no longer rigid islands of self sufficiency, but open to the soulful wonders that the animate world offers. Insightfully written, warm and with a wonderful poetic sensibility, the deep experience of Weller shines through. The work has honed something clear and valuable in his own character, and a delightful wisdom shines through every page of The Wild Edge of Sorrow." - Martin Shaw, author A Branch From The Lightning Tree.
The Wild Edge of Sorrow takes us into the sacred territory of grief and ritual. Francis sees the importance of ritual as a language that speaks to the deepest layers of being human. He brings a healer’s touch to a terrain often neglected and denied in Western Culture. As such, he guides us into the difficult geography of sorrow and helps us find our way back to our souls. He brings much needed medicine to a culture that relies upon distraction and anesthesia to cope with the daily losses that surround us. This is a bold book, one that does not turn away from the immense territory of loss and suffering. He has kept faith with his indigenous soul and this offering is greatly needed.” - Malidoma Somé, author The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community
“Amidst the plethora of books on the inner life, very rarely do I encounter one that opens my mind and heart to completely new possibilities essential to my deepest humanity. The Wild Edge of Sorrow, however, is brimming with sentences that take me beyond what I already know, much as a great poem can, to utterly new dimensions of what it means to be courageously alive to myself and the world around me. Weller works this magic not only through the wisdom he offers about how to honor our grief — at both personal and planetary levels — but also through the warmth and music of his language, which is in itself a healing medicine for the soul. This book is not only a map to navigate some of the most tender and difficult regions of the psyche, but a work of literary art.” - Kim Rosen, author Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words
“Francis Weller has courageously gifted us with a sensitive, imaginative, and much-needed enrichment of our Western understanding of grief along with a compact bundle of practical, potent, and ritual tools for falling apart and becoming whole again. Quite possibly the best guidebook ever crafted on the art of grieving, this small volume is also a brilliant and poetic handbook for becoming fully human, more exquisitely alive, and more able to contribute to cultural change. The Wild Edge of Sorrow invites us into the very heart of sorrow, profound healing, and a deepened communion with each other and Earth.” - Bill Plotkin, author Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche and Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
"Francis Weller’s new book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, is so deeply honest, insightful, and hopeful. His style of writing and speaking is poetic, and yet one feels as though they are in conversation with a neighbor. Should you purchase the book, read it with a pen by your side. You’ll want to underline and remember the rich prose on every page." -Marianna Cacciatore, Director, Bread for the Journey, author Being There for Someone in Grief
"Most of us instinctively turn from what makes us uncomfortable. Yet often the greatest gifts lie hidden in what we avoid. Certainly at this time we have much to grieve both as individuals and as a culture; but our collective amnesia about the traditional practices of grieving keep us from uncovering the buried treasures that could be our salvation. In fact, the accumulated weight of our ungrieved losses may be at the root of what is fragmenting our world."
Francis Weller's lyrical and moving book offers us a way to remember and embrace these practices and, by so doing, renew our lives and restore the soul of the world. The Wild Edge of Sorrow reads like poetry and is both a prayer and an invitation: a prayer of soul healing and an invitation to the mystery of becoming fully human. May it find its way to those who need it (most of us).” - Larry Robinson, poet, former mayor Sebastopol, CA.
“The Wild Edge of Sorrow is a powerful book, tender, vulnerable and beautifully written, with superb examples of the potency of ritual. I look forward to being able to share it with others.” - Geneen Marie Haugen, poet, writer, wilderness guide and teacher
"In this beautiful weave of sacred words and images, we are reminded that loss and love cannot be separated. Savor each page, and you'll find a source of soul nourishment that you can revisit again and again."
-Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance
From the Amazon page: "This is a book of aliveness and brilliance; a luminous synthesis of sacred, eloquent creativity; a unique collaboration between Rashani Réa and Francis Weller, two compassionate authorities known for their revolutionary work and healing presence. As we turn each page, we become increasingly aware of the inseparable union of unconditioned Awareness and our conditioned experiences—what Peter Fenner calls "The Co-emergent Wisdom of Just This." Rashani and Francis are skilled toolmakers who masterfully guide us through the raw vulnerability of grief to a place of reverence for the journey, offering a balm to the nomads of this harsh terrain. The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation infuses our lives with an immediate sense of perspective—deeper than, and beyond, conceptual understanding, inviting us to consider that suffering is an option, not an inevitable, ongoing condition! Rashani Réa's 108 stunning, full color collages are accompanied by six chapters of exquisite, soulful writing by Francis Weller. Each collage contains inspired words from more than fifty women and men, whose insights invite us to glimpse That which is unbreakable and whole—That which has been colored by experience (and grief) yet not harmed or changed by any degree of pain or suffering.
This book is a compass, a lamp, a valuable guide! It is a remarkable embodiment of the ancient Tibetan practice of Tonglen. Throughout these pages you will find a spaciousness for cultivating mercy and equanimity in the presence of grief and despair. Réa and Weller have breathed in personal and collective pain and are breathing out compassion, wisdom, wakefulness, and beauty. You can but hold this book and reach a peace you thought unattainable. But read it for perspective, and for the love of art and solace."
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Praise for The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation
"Read this book as a Bible, a prayer, a trembling and tender and profoundly resilient testimony. Approach it with the suffering shell of yourself, as a starving person, as a learner, a lover, and a friend. Read this book through your tears. I read it through mine; in this feast of beauty unearthed from wells of great suffering, Rashani Réa and Francis Weller offered me the nourishment of what my soul already knew, and knows, and keeps forgetting and remembering. Read this book to re-member yourself, to lose yourself, and to re-member yourself again. But above all, read it and keep it handy as a sort of pocket mirror when dread, drudgery, loss, sorrow, and rage blind you to what is available to you. Here. And now." –Sharon Heath, Jungian analyst, author of The History of My Body
"The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation is a piece of sacred, existential art: The art of incisive words that beckon us to deep contemplation and the art of symbols and images that invoke movement of the mind and heart. Page by page, this movement is a blessing to those courageous ones broken by loss who are willing to turn into that exigent space. It is a space that implores our exploration, yet it is a space our culture eagerly and explicitly discourages out of fear. What Weller and Réa do so exquisitely is support the reader, gently, while providing life-sustaining guidance into the darkest corners of loss wherein the magic of transfiguration, born of suffering, exists. Captivating and wise, this lodestar book is a gift for the existentialist’s heart, one that the reader will visit and revisit ad infinitum, as grief ebbs and flows. These readings will never wane in their impact. Rather, they will maturate and heighten our practice over time and upon meditation." - Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, author Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
"The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation is not so much a book that one reads as it is a deep dive into the mystery. The authors grant us – through stunning collages, sutras and more extended passages that reach down into the heart of our soul – entrance into what it means to be human: from the flickering, tender heart to the indestructible eternal soul. This is an exquisite offering, bursting with life, love and the sacred." - Jett Psaris PhD, author of Hidden Blessings: Midlife Crisis as a Spiritual Awakening
"When our hearts are shattered by loss, the last thing we need is an instruction manual on how to grieve. What we need is beauty. We need the living fire of authenticity to meet the flames of sorrow, and the tender elixir of the sacred to reflect the holiness of our naked encounter with the human condition. I will be sharing this book as an offering to every broken-hearted being in my life, and will reach for it when I face the inevitable losses that are to come." - Mirabai Starr, author of Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation