Welcome to Love of Place. Most of my work celebrates our connection to the natural world.

My new eco science fiction Knocking on Heaven's Door is just released. A number of early reviewers have been enthusiastic, including the website Geeks of Doom, which makes me smile. Not many people know me as a geek of doom! But I am happy to embrace the complexity of my personality.

I'm also so pleased that Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World has been awarded the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, as well as the 2014 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction from Women Writing the West.

My historical fantasy Teresa of the New World won the 2015 Arizona Authors Association Award for best Children's Literature and was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.

These are nice landmarks in a writer's life. I would be writing regardless--but, still, whew. It's good to have some encouragement.

Feel free to contact me at http://www.sharmanaptrussell.com or through my author Facebook page, Sharman Apt Russell.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Introduction to Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist

In the second century A.D. the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius may have best defined pantheism when he wrote, “Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy.” My account uses many more words and covers a year in my life, roughly November, 2005 to November, 2006. It barrels through the history of pantheistic thought in the West, from the Greek philosophers of the sixth century B.C.E. to the internet sites 2500 years later. This overview is personal, not definitive. I am in love with Marcus Aurelius. I ignore Plotinus. I admire Virginia Woolf, whom many would not consider a pantheist at all. As for Eastern philosophies, they come late in my story, in the 1960s and 70s after their texts had entered American mainstream and my local bookstore.

In this account, science is a good friend--although not perfect; friends are not perfect. Quakerism is central to my experience, and I am grateful to belong to a Quaker Meeting which allows for pantheism as one of its beliefs. My title Standing in the Light comes from the Quaker phrase “to stand in the Light,” a concept with many meanings, encompassing political beliefs as well as spiritual. In my case, it is very much related to the bright New Mexican sky. In my case, pantheism is a word whose back I ride like a man on a horse trying to get somewhere. Or maybe a word more like a house, a place of shelter when it is cold and rainy, a house with big windows and a gorgeous view.

1 comment:

Susan J Tweit said...

Sharman, Congratulations on the publication of the paperback edition of Standing in the Light! I trust that means that the hardcover edition has sold out or come close to it. Yippee!

BTW, University of Texas Press let me know last week that they've shipped almost three-quarters of the first printing of Walking Nature Home--in the first two months since publication. Yikes. Thanks for hosting me here and helping get the word out.