Lifescapes, which is inspired by the author’s personal experience of a failed marriage, is a work of fiction and a collection of poems that portray the different stages of a marriage that ends up being broken and leading to an inspiring transformation. The book starts with an online encounter between two strangers, after which they get to know each other better and wonder about a future together. However, their relationship takes a downturn after a horrific accident occurs, and a global pandemic brings new problems to worry about: invisible germs. How does our protagonist survive the heartbreaking circumstances and changes she experiences while in a crumbling marriage after a promising start?
I liked how Lifescapes explores some of my favorite themes and concepts because practicing and adopting these concepts helped me recover from a hurtful breakup I experienced: meditation, being present in the moment, healing, mental health, personal growth, and intrinsic goals. It was a joy to picture the vividly described objects, like “velvet swivel chairs”, as they immersed me fully in the book. Lee Woodman also explores other thoughtful and relatable themes, including geopolitics, the social effects of Covid-19, financial problems, dating, health issues, and more.
Most of the poems are just a few pages long. Some are no longer than a page. Though short, the poems give you a lot to think about as they include a wide range of subjects and different stages and scenes of a marriage that lasts for, at least, 19 years. There are no pictures, but the stories, which are broken into different poems, are easy to picture with highly descriptive words.
A favorite poem of mine from the book explores the concept of buying a sunset, a memory, and other intrinsic and non-materialistic values I feel I should remember to pay more attention to. Lee Woodman has a way with words as some experiences are described so well that they evoked some strong emotions connected to my lost relationships. A good example: “We have cut each other in half, severed a common core, extinguished strong flames with downpours of tears.” The narrative poems are quite relatable, especially because they reminded me of a painful relationship from the past.
As seen in Lifescapes, relationships and marriages can become unexciting and dull if the individuals involved do not endeavor to reignite the passion. Readers would be encouraged to take a bold step to begin a new journey, find joy in being present, and discover happiness personally instead of making it someone else’s responsibility. Each poem in Lifescapes is greatly concentrated with several profound and artfully described thoughts, which I spent a good time reflecting on and bookmarking. What a memorable experience!
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