Welcome to Sharing Our Horizon, a selection of poems and photographs from the popular blog Whippet Wisdom that capture daily moments in the Scottish Highlands with our two adopted whippets, Eivor and Pearl.
Like most dogs, Eivor and Pearl love spending time in nature. They have taken us to places we had never visited before and the restorative energies of those quiet beaches, mountains and glens have played a big part in their rehabilitation.
The poems and images show the beauty in each moment and the potential for the healing that spending time in nature brings. The prologue and title poem 'Sharing our Horizon' invites us to pause and see the gifts in these moments. The opening poem 'Before the Daffodils' is a distilled version of conversations and observations in and around animal rehoming shelters. It reminds us that sometimes, dogs are surrendered when people realise that simply loving a dog is not enough. A dog also deserves regular exercise, regular stimulation, socialisation and play-time. A good home provides all of this, in addition to love, food and shelter.
The majority of poems are a modern take on the ancient Japanese poetry forms of haibun, haiku and tanka. Traditionally, these poems begin with quiet poetic observation and conclude with a moment of philosophical of spiritual insight. They are written in rhythm with the seasons and the fluctuations of the weather within those seasons.
Like the traditional haiku poets, I would describe haiku as a way of life, a way to look and marvel at nature and see the magic in the ordinary. To me, this is very much in the spirit of how Eivor and Pearl look at the joys of the everyday and the beauty nature offers. By capturing these moments in a few words others can experience a glimpse of what we see and connect it to their own experience.
For those who are interested in finding out more about the history of these Japanese poetry forms, the book offers a helpful section 'About the Poetry Forms' at the back of the book as well as a Bibliography for further reading.
The overall theme of the poems and images is how rewarding adopting a rescue dog can be, how they enjoy being part of a pack and how they thrive when allowed to spend time in natural settings. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands is visible in the images throughout.
Sixty per cent of net profits from the sale of this book will be shared with animal rehoming charities at the end of each financial year.
Publisher: Holistic Linguistics
Number of pages: 84
Weight: 143 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 6 mm
`I enjoy the poetry, prose and photographs to be found on Xenia's blog Whippet Wisdom, very much. Xenia has put together a wonderful selection of her work in her debut release, Sharing Our Horizon. If you're a dog and/or nature lover this could be a book for you or a lovely gift for someone you know, and at the same time you'd be helping rescue centres care for and rehome abandoned and abused animals, with 60% of the proceeds going to animal charities. Inside Sharing Our Horizon there are a collection of beautiful photographs and poems, stunning scenery and two gorgeous rescue whippets having fun and enjoying life in the Scottish Highlands. Beaches, glens, forests, sea views and mountains - this book has them all, the photographs complemented by wonderful tanka, haiku and haibun (and vice versa). Here's one of my favourite verses: `when days cool down/ sky unfolds her warmest/ blanket of colours' Calming and inspiring, it's the perfect book to dip into and appreciate anew each time.' (Cathy Ryan, UK); `A beautiful, soulful book. "Sharing Our Horizon" combines poetry, breath-taking scenery and two rescued whippets - Pearl and Eivor. Xenia Tran, the author, follows these dogs through the seasons, and the sparse, lovely poetry seems to illuminate their inner lives, the landscape, and ultimately, our inner lives.' (Laurie Graves, USA); 'Inspiring poetry with lovely photographs. Xenia's combination of photography and poetry makes you want to pick this book up again and again! Eivor, Pearl and Xenia share their experiences in the Highlands and make me want to go out there and wander the trails and let the gorgeous landscape inspire me!' (Frank Jansen, USA); 'Heartwarming and a Keeper. Each page brings new joy and comfort. Xenia Tran's words paint compelling visual and spiritual conjurings, while we watch her beautiful whippets enjoy the verdant Scottish Highlands. A dream, a vision, in print. You will read it over and over.' (Scott R O'Connor, USA)