June 1, 2010

Dominique Browning and Slow Love

Dominique Browning has published a new book called, Slow Love. You may think it strange that I’d recommend a book I haven’t yet read, but I’m confident about the author. Her writing never fails to satisfy. www.dominiquebrowning.com.

I discovered Dominique Browning through the pages of House and Garden when she was the magazine’s editor. I confess to having a varied array of subscriptions, mostly the picture-book kind to which I retreat between spurts of writing. Some of them are fashion magazines even though I’d be a contender for the ”Queen of Sweatpants” crown if one existed. Some of them are about gardens where I enjoy photos of exotic flowers, the kind that wouldn’t last ten minutes in my snail-ridden patch.

Like every editor, Dominique wrote her monthly column as a preview to the issue’s contents. Most of the time, I skip these pages because they require reading and because I get the same information quicker from the table of contents. I don’t recall why my eye lingered over one of Dominique’s editorials, but one day it did and I was hooked. Each month she drew insights from the magazine’s theme and I enjoyed those insights. She wasn’t hawking her journal; she was sharing ideas and experiences that moved her. Sometimes I smiled at her revelations, and sometimes I suffered a bitter-sweet melancholy. At some point, the shadows in her writing grew dark. Dominique was talking about change, the pain of empty nesting, the pain of marriage gone awry…  Her musings proved to be prophetic. Soon after, the magazine died and for me, metaphorically, Dominique died too.

I missed her and the colorful pages she and her staff assembled every month. I’d lost a place of refuge. I felt I’d lost a friend. Now that’s saying something about a writer.

Happily, she’s reemerged and with a new book. It will be a while before I read it, not because I’m too busy, but because there are 35 holds for it at the library. By the time I’m notified that it’s available, the book will probably be in paperback. I can afford to buy it then and will be happy to. Dominique Browning has a unique vision. She can see tranquility in a coffee spoon.