A journey of healing takes Clare Cooper Marcus on a 6-month long solitary retreat to the remote Scottish Island of Iona. Here she experiences a mirroring of her soul and reflects and reviews the life that brought her here to this magical place. Her compelling memoir Iona Dreaming is an inspirational account of personal survival and hope in which Clare shares her recovery from a life-threatening illness, which deepens into a contemplation of the events in her life and her physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
Clare Cooper Marcus brings both a personal and academic life-long interface with place, environment and people. Her five previous books about human response to architecture and environment were popular with the public and well-received by the press. Iona Dreaming will reach out to a broad audience: people entering retirement, dealing with serious illnesses, gardeners, lovers of nature, architects and landscape architects, people who are becoming more heath conscious, women who have shared the social and cultural shifts she lived through--especially those coming of age in the 60's--and all those who seek a more authentic life.
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As consultant and freelance writer in the field of people-environment relations and environmental psychology, retired University of California at Berkeley Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Clare Cooper Marcus has written several books on architecture and community. Professor Marcus has consulted for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington DC, San Francisco City Planning Deptartment, New Zealand Department of Public Works, the Canadian Housing Design Council, as well as private architecture and engineering firms.Review:
"Through Clare Cooper Marcus's poetic landscapes we are transported to Iona on a journey of transformation and healing. Mythology, dreams, the wisdom of rock, tree, and sea all weave a fabric of inspiration and guidance, where at the end we meet ourselves and become whole. Magical, poetic, and uplifting, this book will sneak into your dreams and beckon you to set out on your own path of inner exploration. Clare is a talented, intelligent, and lyrical writer." -Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, author of The Power of Memoir--How to Write Your Healing Story, and Don't Call Me Mother
"Do you wish for a special place that is a wise and loving friend that empowers you, heals your illness, soothes your worst fears and disappointments? A place that holds you in its embrace and makes you whole? Clare Cooper Marcus writes of her such place and in so doing instructs us to discover places where we can be fully alive. In turns literary and primal, Iona Dreaming will imbue you with sensuous reasoning and change you forever." -Randolph T. Hester, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley; author of Design for Ecological Democracy, and Cultivating Sacredness in the Everyday Landscape.
"Clare Marcus's prose lifts us beyond intimate contact with this magical island into the spaces in our own hearts that we have closed off. Her touch, her eye for light, her honest memories of old pain, her joy in birdsong and small woodland plants--these open us to the power of place and we are healed too." -Louise Dunlap, author of Undoing the Silence: Six Tools for Social Change Writing
"This is a travel book in the truest, deepest sense. In describing her sojourns on the luminous Scottish island of Iona, Clare Marcus also moves us to journey into our own inner world. There we discover, as she does, the importance of place: how we have been altered and enriched by the landscapes of our lives. Draws from archetypal psychology and her love for this living Earth, the author's personal story becomes the most trustworthy of guides." -Joanna Macy, author, World as Lover, World as Self
"This is an enchanting book about geographies of the heart, sacred landscapes of desire, longing and memory. Clare Cooper Marcus invites us to accompany her to many landscapes of her remarkable life's journey--from the childhood terrors of wartime England, to hippie California, and finally the rugged solitudes of the Scottish island of Iona. Clare's acute perceptions balance her warmth and compassion as she describes Nature's many healing qualities in facing life-threatening illness and the many challenges experienced in a life well lived." -Wendy Sarkissian PhD, author of Kitchen Table Sustainability
"Both personal and professional experience illuminate Clare Cooper Marcus's deep understanding of an important, over-looked truth: the quality of our lives depends on our relationships not only with people, but also with places. On her journey from her childhood's English countryside, to healing gardens in America, to the magical island of Iona, she shows us how to look past our own fragile boundaries to the great world outside, where we can find unsuspected strength, wisdom, and joy." -Winifred Gallagher, author of The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions and Actions, and Rapt: Attention and Focused Life
"In this hauntingly beautiful memoir, Clare Cooper Marcus traverses the liminal spaces of the landscape of Iona and the inner terrain of the soul with a sensual eloquence. Through this pioneer in the field of therapeutic landscapes, we encounter a personal story of transformation and healing that points beyond itself to the numinous power of place, unfolding through memory, insightful reflection, and a rich tapestry of dreams." -Susan Williams, Jungian Analyst, and Teaching faculty at C.G.Jung Institute, San Francisco
"Clare Cooper Marcus was the first person to alert me to the emotional meaning of our environment. In this moving memoir, she turns her writerly eye to the power of place in our spiritual, emotional and physical healing. Eloquent, evocative, and original." -MJ Ryan, author of Attitudes of Gratitude and This Year I Will...
"This is a fascinating book about an impressive woman who 'turns within' after retirement from a prestigious academic career and life threatening bouts with cancer to make peace with herself, nature and, yes, even God. Exquisitely written and self-revealing, Clare Cooper Marcus' chronicle of her journey to the Scottish Isle of Iona provides real insight into what 'inner life' means and what rewards await those who cultivate it." -Roger Doudna, PhD, Findhorn Foundation Fellowship Coordinator
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