Rhythm of the Sea-- Short Stories by Shari Cohen
This book is about relationships. The stories are delightfully diverse,
but have a common thread in that each is set in a background related to
a body of water.
Water has an almost universal appeal. Most people are relaxed by the
sounds of waves, a brook, a gentle rain, the roar of a giant waterfall,
even the passing of a thunderstorm. These sounds, and the images that go
with them, have an almost magical calming effect, allowing our minds to
float free and feel a sense of harmony with nature and the world around
The rhythm of moving water creates a mood for contemplation allowing
us to put things together and understand ourselves better free of the distractions
of everyday life.
It's ironical that introspection is often the key to understanding
other people. We infer that others around us have the same feelings and
needs—know the same sorrows and pains—by observing their behavior and comparing
their feelings to our own. Only by understanding ourselves do we know what
other people are going through.
Reading is another way to discover meaning and relate to what other
people are thinking and feeling. Shari Cohen's short stories in Rhythm
of the Sea are that kind of reading.
Think of how these stories could relate to you:
This brief foreword only gives a hint of the breadth of the stories, but
every one of them relates to some common experience.
In The Gift, after years of wondering,
a 40-year old married woman returns to the Oregon Coast hoping to see her
first love again. What she experiences may be something that you have known.
In Rightful Journey, a father runs out to sea because he has difficulty
dealing with his son's disability, and learns a lesson from the seas.
In The Goodbye Place, a teen from a small midwest town yearns to
run away to the west coast to be a rock star. At his favorite pond area,
he has a vision which gives him new insight on his strengths.
In Lifeline, a young boy seeks respect from the bullies in a small
town, and finds a common bond with the worst of them all.
In Alien Heart, two come to earth from a distant galaxy as advance
spies to facilitate the plunder of Earth's water-rich resources, but the
mission takes an unexpected turn.
In Eyes of the Gull, an old widow living in a nursing home seeks
the soul of her husband.
Finally, in The Rhythm of Life, we realize that what we sometimes
see as duty can become a reward, as an old man who wanted to sail the waters
alone all his life recounts and realizes what it was that kept him home.
In reading Shari's stories, you will recognize yourself, and when you
do, you will have a new view of yourself and how you relate to other people.
You will be touched by Shari's stories about other living beings, and you
will think about how much we share.
One person's life may seem only a brief moment in the millions of years
of human history, but the ripples that we leave behind began with some
person far in the past and continue on into the future. We each affect
each other, like ripples in a pond or waves in an ocean. In this way, we
each affect eternity.
We are not alone.
An ocean runs through us all
and we live our lives together in the Rhythm of the Sea.
Robert J. Banis, PhD
St. Louis, Missouri
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