moments of seeing
Reflections from an Ordinary Life
coming November 2016
“Katrina Kenison beckons readers into her world and proves to be an insightful guide and companion through the vicissitudes of life.” ~ Chicago Tribune
“To really value life is to know: the best moments are often the ones we might miss altogether if we weren’t paying attention.”
In this long-awaited collection of essays from her popular blog, Katrina Kenison gives voice to the simple joys and private longings of women everywhere. Here are the deeply felt and beautifully articulated moments of life as it is really lived — the triumphs and tumult of parenting, the ups and downs of friendship, the challenges of marriage, the delicate balance between solitude and intimacy, the fleeting beauty of the seasons, the death of loved ones, the march of time.
It is a special privilege to enter the life of a writer as candid, as observant, and as quietly courageous as Katrina. “Wake up,” she gently reminds us. “Be grateful. Keep an eye out for wonder.”
So it is that we begin to discover the sacred in the everyday. We learn to embrace rather than deny the wealth of experience an ordinary life can hold. And we find in these pages the very companionship we seek for the bewildering, bewitching journey through midlife and beyond.
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An Apprenticeship in Contentment
“MAGICAL JOURNEY lives up to its ambitious title. Katrina shows us a path into the future that is generous, brave, and open-hearted. I’ve given MAGICAL JOURNEY to so many people and the response has been unanimous – love.” ~ Ann Patchett
“No longer indispensable, no longer assured of our old carefully crafted identities, no longer beautiful in the way we were at twenty or thirty or forty, we are hungry and searching nonetheless.”
With the candor and warmth that have endeared her to readers, Katrina reflects on the inevitable changes wrought by time: the death of a dear friend, children leaving home, recognition of her own physical vulnerability, and surprising shifts in her marriage. She finds solace in the notion that midlife is also a time of unprecedented opportunity for growth as old roles and responsibilities fall away, and unanticipated possibilities appear on the horizon.
More a spiritual journey than a physical one, this intimate memoir of loss, self-discovery, and growth will resonate deeply with any woman who has ever mourned the passage of time, questioned her own purpose, or wondered, “Do I have what it takes to create something new in my life?”
It was so beautifully written, I wore out a yellow marker highlighting my favorite lines.”–People
An intensely moving tribute to the importance of enjoying every moment of life. . . . Her journey will inspire tears and determination, and remind readers that anything, ‘done from the heart, changes the world in some small way for the better.’ ” —Publishers Weekly
“Warm and wise. . . . Soul searching reflections by a woman coming to terms with the three major challenges of midlife: change, loss, and death.” —Kirkus Reviews
the gift of an ordinary day
A Mother’s Memoir
“Watching my sons growing and changing so visibly, almost from one day to the next, I sensed something in me breaking loose and changing as well, something no less powerful for being invisible. It was almost as if, having strived for years for predictable comforts, urban conveniences, and security of our well-established routines, I was suddenly haunted by all the things I hadn’t done, the dreams that might never be realized, the sense that the tidy, civilized life we’d worked so hard to create didn’t quite fit the person I really was, or, rather, still thought I might be.”
Katrina Kenison illuminates many mothers’ most intimate fears and desires by so poignantly describing her own. Through the tumult of relocating from a Boston suburb to a small New England town, her sons’ adolescent years, the challenges of new schools, college admissions, and career changes, and creating a new home for her family, she finds that she treasures the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life the most — the very moments she once hardly noticed at all. Her moving story will help every woman make peace with life’s inevitable changes.
Eloquent… a reminder that life’s seemingly mundane moments are often where we find beauty, grace, and transformation.” -Family Circle
Wise… a pleasure to read.” – Kirkus Reviews
Affecting… Kenison pursues with graceful serenity a time of enormous upheaval and transformation in her family’s life.” -Publishers Weekly
mitten strings for god:
Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry
“When I stop speeding through life I find the joy in each day’s doings, in a life that cannot be bought, but only discovered, created, cherished, and lived. . . .I wrote this book because I needed it myself — and because I suspect that I’m not alone, that other mothers, too, yearn to offer their children an alternative to our culture’s noise, pressures, and materialism.”
In the tradition of Gift from the Sea and Women Who Do Too Much, this lyrical, heartfelt series of reflections has become a beloved mothering classic since it was first published in 2000. Featured on “Oprah,” translated into six languages, and with well over 200,000 copies sold, Mitten Strings for God is a trusted guide for all mothers with young children. Inspired by Katrina Kenison’s own search for a more satisfying balance in her life, this simple, intimate book reminds us what is possible when we slow down and become fully present in our lives. Suddenly there is room for joy and play and intimacy, space for wonder and reverie, time to awaken to the beauty of the world and rediscover the sacred in the ordinary. Coming home to ourselves, we are able to offer our children the one thing they need most of all: our own quiet presence.
Inspirational and life-affirming, it offers reminders of what is of lasting value, such as grace, love, tranquility.” -Dallas Morning News
Mothers everywhere need to read this book.” -San Antonio Express-News
A mother’s guidebook for the road less traveled… Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s classic Gift from the Sea, Ms. Kenison’s musings on family life, motherhood, and her own search for balance belong by the bedside, where they can be savored again and again.” -Christian Science Monitor
Twenty Stories of Contemporary Motherhood
“As anyone who has raised children will attest, motherhood is the world’s most intensive course in love. We may experience it, by turns, as a state of grace or oblivion, entrapment or exaltation, profound joy or numbing fatigue. Sometimes we pass through all those emotions in the course of a single day. And yet, the next morning we are ready to resume. We bear our children, love them and struggle with them, learn to accept them as they are, and ultimately, learn to let them go. In the process, we learn much about ourselves.” — from the Introduction
Mothers, twenty stories by writers who are mothers, evokes every stage of the journey, from pregnancy and birth on through the childhood years, adolescence, and adulthood. Together, these richly diverse stories depict the complexities of mothering in America today as women actually experience it. Whether you are a new mother, a seasoned mom, or a grandmother many times over, you will find yourself in this book.
Transfiguring life into art, Barbara Kingsolver, Laurie Colwin, Mary Gordon, Sue Miller and Perri Klass are among the 20 writers, mothers all, who contribute stories (all previously published)to this well-chosen anthology about bearing or raising children. Editors Kenison (series editor for The Best American Short Stories) and Hirsch (Songs from the Alley) have chosen stories that illustrate the complexities of mothering in America today.”–Publishers Weekly
meditations from the mat:
Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
with Rolf Gates
“Yoga is essentially a journey inward. Whether we squeeze into a class of seventy, practice alone in front of a video, or pair up with a partner at the beach, we all experience solitary periods in our practice. We are often far from the support of our teachers when we practice yoga, and further still from their guidance as we seek to truly live our yoga from one moment to the next. . . .As you read each day’s reflection, I invite you to take that moment to be still, to get your bearings, to plan your day’s journey.”
The 365 meditations included in this book offer a simple way to integrate the mindfulness we learn in yoga class into our own everyday lives. Teacher Rolf Gates and writer/student Katrina Kenison collaborate to bring the discipline of yoga into practical, accessible terms that can be put to daily use by students and practitioners at every level. Whether used in the morning to set a tone for the day, during yoga practice, or at the end of the day during evening reflection, Meditations from the Mat will support and deepen your yoga journey.
A must for yoga teachers and students alike, Meditations from the Mat brings yoga theory into our daily lives.” -Baron Baptiste, author of Journey Into Power
Highly recommended… an excellent gift to oneself. I keep one copy on my desk at work and one near my yoga mat.” -Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
The Best American Short Stories of the Century
edited by John Updike, co-editor Katrina Kenison
“I tried not to select stories because they illustrated a certain theme or portion of the national experience but because they struck me as lively, beautiful, believable, and, in the human news they brought, important.” from the Introduction, by John Updike
Since the series inception in 1915, the annual volumes of The Best American Short Stories have launched literary careers, showcased the most compelling stories of each year, and confirmed for all time the significance of the short story in our national literature. The Best American Short Stories of the Century brings together the best of the best — 56 extraordinary stories that represent a century’s worth of unsurpassed accomplishments in this quintessentially American literary genre.
Splendid. . .these stories surely represent the short story, not to mention America and the 20th century, at its best.” — Wall Street Journal
A spectacular tapestry of fictional achievement. . . .The result is a thrillingly energized argument for the enduring vitality of big ideas in small packages.” — Entertainment Weekly
Finding wonderful short stories that you don’t already know is one of this collection’s great pleasures . . .Updike has made some surprising, even striking, selections.” — New York Times Book Review