Our Shared Breath

by Carolyn Chilton Casas



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139 pages, February 2021
Published by Penciled In
Designed by Benjamin Daniel Lawless

A poetry collection exploring themes of daily life — family, connection with nature, evolving beliefs, impermanence, energy healing, and reflections on the 2020 pandemic.

Carolyn’s poetry expresses her belief that awareness and gratitude are at the heart of healing. In this first collection of poetry, she writes about the alchemy of being alive. We all encounter joyful and difficult times, but by looking for a silver lining in a hardship, we are able to reshape the story we tell about these experiences. She believes… “each time we respond to an encounter it is from a choice of fear or love,” and she urges you to “…remember the remarkable being and body of light that you are.” Carolyn’s younger years were spent in a rural setting on a dairy farm in a Minnesota. She speaks to that idyllic childhood — “I come from a farmhouse stoop at dusk, cocooned in the comfort of grasshopper symphonies…” Other poems point to experiences of being a mother or are narratives on places traveled with her family. For her, nature and her relationship with it, is sacred — the plants, trees, deer, rabbits, squirrels, whales, elephant seals, the much-loved ocean, and hills where she lives. She even writes about an obnoxious cricket.

This collection takes an honest look at losses endured. In her meditation practice, as she explores how to live with impermanence, poetry is a natural extension. In contemplation of her energy healing practice, she begins a poem, “Bring me your sadness, your worry, your pain,” and in another she refers to this energy as “…liquid warmth of compassion coursing from heart through hands.” In the last section of the book, Carolyn reflects on what a possible gift of the 2020 pandemic year might be — “a clearer sight is within our view, more easily pictured since an act of nature quieted the outer noise.”

“Although these poems are very personal they are also universal, filled with insight and wisdom.” — From Quill & Parchment’s review of Our Shared Breath, April 2022.