There are some books that are so good, you almost want to keep their existence a secret-somewhat like finding a hidden treasure in a field, a needle in a haystack or a pearl of great price at a rummage sale. Julia Cameron's Transitions strikes me as one of those books.
Cameron is better known for her popular and sensitive book called The Artist's Way, which is a combination of creative and devotional insights and incentives for all who have the urge to paint, sculpt, build, compose and design from a faith-center. That book has been a much-thumbed companion for many artist friends of mine.
Transitions is perhaps a more intimate version of that better known work. In it, Cameron offers prayers and what she calls "declarations" for a changing world. These are presented in a form much like a daily devotional. There is a quotation from a source familiar or obscure, followed by reflections by Cameron herself.
Throughout the book, Cameron seeks to remind both herself and the reader that accepting change is the key to thriving through it. She is a tender and thoughtful traveler through the various life events that some would call surprise, others would term crisis, yet all will experience at one time or another.
For those who are convinced that change is always "bad", there are some outstanding sections on these aspects of change: abundance, clarity, compassion, courage, curiosity, expansion, happiness, love, protection, service, satisfaction and strength. What? You say that you had never considered these things as "change"? All the more reason to explore what Cameron has to say about them.
Then, there are sections having to do with relationships. I particularly like what Cameron has to say about genuine friendship. She begins by quoting our first President George Washington on that subject: "True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." Cameron goes on to encourage us to see those relationships we call friendships in the atmosphere of values that help us determine their verity: "Friendships require honesty and honesty requires courage. In all friendships there are moments when we must choose to be courageous. ...Honesty is healing and nutritious to my heart and its friendships." (pages 63-64). Cameron invites you to respond to your yearning for those genuine friendships, which surpass the superficial, the way a solid cherry table surpasses particleboard. You sense the kinds of support Cameron offers the adventurous traveler through life.
The reader may be surprised that Cameron quotes both well-known Christians and those of other faiths; moreover, that she brings gleams of light from cultures other than our own. The timid reader may keep such insights at arm's length. But to do so would miss the wonder and beauty to be had in these pages, as well as our Lord's pithy observation, "The Spirit blows where it will."
If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction