Front cover image for Phosphorescence : a memoir of finding joy when your world goes dark

Phosphorescence : a memoir of finding joy when your world goes dark

Julia Baird (Author)
"After surviving a difficult heartbreak and battle with cancer, Julia Baird began to explore how she and others persevere through the most challenging circumstances life throws at us. She asks: when our world goes dark, when we are overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, tragedy outside our control, how do we survive, stay alive and even bloom? She went in search of "the magic that will sustain us and fuel the light within - our own phosphorescence ". Phosphorescence can be found in nature - in glow worms, fireflies, flashlight fish, bioluminescent oceans; it is a phenomenon that allows creatures to give off light amidst darkness. Baird writes about the things that lit her way through the darkness: a connection to nature, friendships, her faith, experiencing awe, and other habits that changed her life. She also goes in search of how others nurture their inner light, interviewing the founder of the modern forest therapy movement in Tokyo, a jellyfish scientist in Tasmania, and a tattooed priest from Colorado, among others. Weaving together candid memoir with research and reflections on nature, Baird inspires readers to embrace new habits and adopt a phosphorescent outlook on life, to illuminate our days even in the darkest times"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2021
First U.S. edition View all formats and editions
Random House, New York, 2021
xxvii, 290 pages ; 22 cm
9780593236918, 0593236912
Prelude. A light within
Part I. Awe, wonder, and silence. In the company of the mysterious: on forest therapy
Lessons from a cuttlefish
"A better show outside"
The overview effect
Nature deficit disorder: on biophilia
Why we need silence
Part II. We are all wiggly. Why we need to tell our imperfect stories
The activist's attic
Honor the temporary
Accept imperfection
Let yourself go
Letter to a young woman
Part III. Walking each other home. The art of friendship: "I am here"
Freudenfreude: sharing the joy
She trashed her golden locks
Burning bright: candy royalle
Part IV. Invincible summer. Regarde: look, and savor
Thoughts for my son: the art of savoring
Ert, or a sense of purpose
Growing by the light of the moon
Lessons on hope from the Hanoi Hilton
Raiding the unspeakable
Embracing doubt
Coda. Floating in the bardo
"Originally published in Australia by Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, in 2020." -- Title page verso