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Book Reviews
The Winds of Homecoming
By: Christopher Goodchild - Christian Alternative, $16.95

Description: Written in the true spirit of the wounded healer, The Winds of Homecoming draws from and is enriched by the poetry and writings of Rainer Maria Rilke.

These fifty short meditative reflections offer you hope and inspiration to embrace your loss and loneliness, transforming what is limiting and restrictive into something freeing and infinitely expansive.

Through his writing, Christopher Goodchild walks alongside us, not in his role as spiritual guide, but as a fellow-traveler, writing from a deeply human place of vulnerability.

He does not just tell us how to sit in the contemplative fire and be transformed, he shows us. He shows us by the life he has lived, and continues to live.

Christopher’s latest book, written with his characteristic lyricism and tender-hearted, compassionate observations on the human condition, is enhanced by four evocative woodcuts by Kent Ambler.

Allow the Winds of Homecoming to guide you home.

Verdict: Widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets, Rainer Maria Rilke was unique in his efforts to expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery and in an aesthetic philosophy that rejected Christian precepts and strove to reconcile beauty and suffering, life and death.

Rilke’s early verse, short stories, and plays are characterized by their romanticism. His early poems show the influence of the German folk song tradition and have been compared to the lyrical work of Heinrich Heine.

Walking alongside author Christopher Goodchild, his poetic musing never overtaking the purposeful, and intended, and cultured stride of their creator, The Winds of Homecoming: Transforming Loss and Loneliness into Solitude contains fifty short meditative reflections that offer the reader hope and inspiration to embrace their loss and loneliness, transforming what is limiting and restrictive into something freeing and infinitely expansive.

As we read along with Goodchild, it quickly becomes clear that whenever Rilke writes about God, he is not referring to the deity in the traditional sense, but rather uses the term to refer to the life force, or nature, or an all-embodying, pantheistic consciousness that is only slowly coming to realize its existence.

Indeed, in the last few years of his life, Rilke was inspired by such French poets as Paul Valery and Jean Cocteau and wrote most of his last verses in French.

Rilke suffered from illness his whole life and died of leukemia in 1926 while staying at the Valmont sanatorium near Lake Geneva. On his deathbed, he remained true to his anti-Christian beliefs and refused the company of a priest.

About the Author - Christopher Goodchild is a Quaker, Ignatian spiritual director, teacher of the Alexander Technique and author of A Painful Gift and Unclouded by Longing.

Based in London, he has a deep interest in eastern philosophy and the Christian contemplative tradition. He loves walking in both remote and urban areas and is known for writing from various locations in the wild. He is a keen supporter of Wealdstone, his childhood football team.

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