Madhuri’s review of Nia Wyn’s book: “I recommend it with all my loudest shouts!”
Blue Sky July
by Nia Wyn
Seren, Poetry Wales Press, Bridgend, UK
A handsome young couple, healthy, well-to-do, from loving families, with thriving careers, are set to joyfully welcome their first child. But within hours of his birth they find out that he is blind, epileptic, and has severe cerebral palsy – the normal connection between his brain and his muscles is missing.
I’m going to call this book a spiritual memoir, because what is asked of the young mother – and what she rises to, to an incredible degree – is a test of her spirit that is simply unimaginable. The experts want her to resign herself to the complete incapacity of her child to even recognize his parents – but she will not reconcile herself to that, and will not abandon him to darkness. And although I have a bias against child-bearing – I know somebody has to do it, but I think it is done entirely too much and, often, too badly – I had to concede to this woman’s persistence, her love, her devotion, her brilliance.
And the writing is brilliant – she is a poet, and there are so many turns of phrase that wake you up, delight you, even as the story of anguish unfolds.
The degree to which she succeeds in her determined quest is heartwarming and astonishing – because, it turns out, there was an intelligent, loving child in there, hidden behind the muscular incapacity.
What is spirituality? Coming home to ourselves, into life – into integration and integrity and fullness of nature and being; awareness of the gift of life. It often happens through suffering – through both joy and pain – the tests and trials that life throws at us – but always it contains a coming home – into our body, acceptance of difficulty, and the flow of life – all at once.
This book is incredibly moving. I would never have thought I’d even want to read about such a subject, being a squeamish sort – but how wrong I was! I recommend it with all my loudest shouts! It has all the radiant virtues of poetic brevity, originality, courage and revelation.