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Each page of this volume is a thematic unfolding of one Elder’s fascination with learning. By addressing the fragility and brevity of human lives, Fogarty deals with those who have confronted or wish to confront their mortality; especially the nation’s huge Boomer generation. The personal stories, e-mails, essays and poetry herein reach for a higher spiritual consciousness during a time whole populations are being reshaped and often distorted by impersonal electronic media and community disintegration.
“What do we value and how,” Fogarty asks, “do we find order in the chaos of today’s world to achieve the simplicity of wisdom and enlightenment?” Her writings suggest that the journey requires commitment, discipline, community and communication. The most difficult choice she made at 19 was to escape her small-town, Mid-western life in 1962, with her high school sweetheart. Ironically, she ran head on into a repressive male world.
Around 1995 she began to write of past experiences and in the early morning hours discovered poetic metaphors to express her wrath but also beauty and wisdom emanating through the lyrical language of Mother Nature. As a backpacker she understood the power of Mother Nature: how it never offers rewards or punishments only consequences to those who are not informed, alert or aware.
This sixth book is a culmination of her struggles and lessons learned that spoke of unfathomable splendors about our cosmic oneness.
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Mary Fogarty's personal motto, taken from Shakespeare, is "First of all to thine own self BE true." By bringing honesty to a new level as an activist, advocate, artist, poet, public speaker and teacher, she learned to surround herself with mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, rebels and outsiders who asked questions, bent the rules, took risks and wrote about justice, loyalty, freedom, violence, death, politics and social/spiritual issues.
As a resident and exchange student in the 1970s Ms. Fogarty lived in and toured Canada, Brazil, Poland, Finland, Australia and New Zealand. Exposure to a rich variety of cultures provided the settings for her creative work as a writer.
She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science Degree in Education but more than degrees she found it best not to let formal education get in the way of her learning. So as a single mom, stepmom, foster mom, grandmom she became a mentor, teacher, artist, activist and author. In works of two of her books, A Crone's Crossing (2001) and Vintage Woman (2003) she won several writing contests including First Place from Writers International Forum in 1998 and Second Honors in 1999.
Readers will discover a strong woman recreating herself among an unprecedented generation of American women who have had to recreate themselves with few readily apparent and accessible guiding stories, myths, and role models. This is an American book in that sense: before this generation of women, the lone figure, the wanderer, the orphan with no past, the powerful individual, had been, almost exclusively, a male figure. Like Walt Whitman, Fogarty is a pioneer: vigorous, innovative, inclusive, and a tireless self-promoter. She is a woman recreating herself from the nurturing, self-effacing mother and wife into an independent, artist and crone. Emily Dickinson, the mother of American poetry, wrote letters to a world that never wrote back. Fogarty writes letters to harvest a community of readers that help her understand who she is becoming. Like the typical American male hero/artist, Fogarty is a rebel, an outsider and at times a loner. She draws strength not only from her capabilities but also from a past that abides and must be rediscovered and raised from the dead. Always in process, she evolved into a stronger, more resilient individual without abandoning community or the power of motherhood. For such a crossing a woman cannot be demure.
Gregory L. Candela, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus --University of New Mexico
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Book Description Cygnet Press, 2011. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. first edition edition. 208 pages. 10.90x8.50x0.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0970037767