Caring for Souls is a collection of poems, essays, art, recipes, and resources. We collected poems and essays from a select group of poets and writers. Each shared about their experiences with caregiving. Additionally, we have poems and essays about being the recipients of care.
Kay Payne, the cover artist also included 12 coloring pages. We have a section on Stress Management and Journaling, as well as some journal pages to get started. Bonuses include recipes from family files. This book is written in large print and a larger workbook size to allow for ease of reading as well as coloring and writing.
When I embarked on this project, it was going to be solo. For some time, I have been in various care roles, as a giver and receiver. One thing I learned is that there is nothing you can do without others. This is why I decided it would be more beneficial to open up this book to other writers.
It all began with an appeal or call to others where I ran a contest. The requirements were that each writer had to speak from their own experience, so no stories of fiction or telling somebody else's truths. There were several entries and I had no limits set as to how many I would choose. I simply went with the best of the entries which met the criteria. There are also some who have been invited because I saw something they shared and I wanted that in this book.
These writers have dug deep into their souls to express their honesty about these experiences. I found it important to keep tissues handy while reading these heartful words. Those who know me, know I do not cry easily. Nonetheless, I found myself to become frequently choked up. I say this to offer a trigger warning that there are many deeply emotional stories within these writings.
Beyond the writing, it is also important to explore our own stories. This opportunity is provided with the journal pages which are placed after the expressions. It has been found that when caregivers and receivers are in their spaces, creativity in various art forms can be beneficial. We have been fortunate to have the renderings of our cover artist Kay Payne also within the covers of this book. She has created several coloring pages which may be just what is needed for soothing. There are even some family recipes.
Resources for care are plentiful but can be time-consuming to locate and determine the feasibility. We have provided a simple, not likely exhaustive resource list as the last portion of this book. After this, there are additional pages to jot down other information as you find it helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to read these many thoughtful offerings and may your journey be one warmed in knowing that you are never alone.
Lisa Tomey-Zonneveld is a poet, writer, & artist from Raleigh North Carolina. She is the manager of Prolific Pulse Press LLC where she tries to get words to the world, one writer and poet at a time. She is the 2022 Poet Laureate as well as a Gold Ambassador for Garden of Neuro Institute. She is on the editing team for Fine Lines Literary Journal and a co-organizer for Living Poetry. Published works include Silver Linings, Heart Sounds, and numerous anthologies, including Heart Beats and Social Justice Inks. An honors graduate from Western Illinois University, Lisa has focused on Social Work as her vocation.