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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Raja Williams’ Imprints In The Sand: Raja’s Insights is a collection of poems that explore thoughts and insights about life and our experiences as human beings. There are ninety-two pages of fairly short but inspirational and thought-provoking poems, written in a thoroughly readable, contemplative, and intuitive tone and style, that carry the reader into the depths of what it means to be alive, experience, survive, find real meaning, and live purposefully.
There is an overall theme about being present in the now in order to be fully alive, and not to get caught up in the stories and thoughts in our minds. Discovering who we really are through stillness and connecting with Mother Earth will lead us to rediscovering our connection with life and others. “Cruise Control” looks at the way we lose ourselves on the treadmill of work and being busy, and asks are we really alive at those moments? “Losing Hope” reminds us that, whatever we experience, there is always hope, and occasionally hope is all we find. “Self Image” is a powerful poem about self-loathing and the sadness that can lead to anorexia – the result of “a judgmental society” that causes people to no longer see who they really are.
Raja Williams has a gift for describing the pain and confusion people experience when not attuned to themselves and not possessing self-knowledge or real understanding. I particularly loved “Some Day” – a poem about enlightenment, awakening, and finding yourself: an astonishing moment when “We will greet each other And our hearts will know Our journey has just begun…” I love the wisdom in her words too. For example, the way life will turn us upside down from time to time in order to remind us how to live the right way up.
Beautiful, authentic, honest, and brave poems written from the heart by one who understands the emotions and experiences of disappointment, fear, hope, love and connection, growth and enlightenment. Williams' words remind us to get out of our heads and live our real lives with compassion for ourselves and others with faith and understanding. My favorite overall is “Understanding Emptiness,” an insightful look at isolation and finding the courage to tear down the walls that cause emptiness in order to have a real relationship with life.
At the end of Imprints in the Sand, Raja Williams includes some thoughts on the writing of the book, including her young son’s contribution, and a Q and A session that we can hold with ourselves in order to reveal truths about ourselves. A highly recommended read for those who enjoy insightful, wise, and inspirational words about life and humanity.