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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mindfully Unraveling: Body Awareness as I Slip Away--a review

Rhonda Patzia

Sadly, Rhonda Patzia, author of Mindfully Unraveling: Body Awareness as I Slip Away, died the day her books became available. 

This fact makes the reading of the book more poignant, but does not take away from the brave, surreal, frank, open, sexual, aware narrative that she weaves as she tells her story. 

Born in February,1969, she speaks of growing up expecting equality with boys, ignoring the words, "Girls don't do that." She identified with the men in her family, knowing that somehow women were considered "the weaker sex." That understanding carried into her womanhood an alienation from her own body.

When she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)  in 1996 Rhonda became more aware of her own body that was failing her in an unpredictable manner.  A photographer, she was legally blind for two years.  When her sight partially recovered, she returned to her photography, earning a master's degree at Goddard College in Vermont. The central part of her book is photographs she took of over twenty women who were in her graduate cohort. The photographic exhibit was her master's thesis, and the frank and revealing pictures were also a major reason that she wrote this book.

Told in journal snippets, dream reports, free-writing and reflections, Rhonda's story is frank and open. I recommend that you buy and read this book.

Her book is available from The Write Place  and also from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Proceeds will go to a college fund for her son, Marco.

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