Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Found Art

Welcome to the blog tour for Leeana Tankersley's lovely and wonderful book Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places.

From the back cover:

Found Art is a memoir of the year author Leeana Tankersley lived in the Middle East with her Navy SEAL husband during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As her story unfolds, Leeana finds her life and her soul have been changed forever.

With an artist's eye, Tankersley uses each chapter to piece together moments and memories from her journey to create a work of unexpected beauty: a handwritten note from Kuwait, a braid of fringe from a Persian rug, an original poem, a bit of basting thread, a swatch of black silk from a borrowed abaya, a mesquite leaf, a Navy SEAL trident, a receipt from the Russian-Georgian restaurant on Louisiana Street.

Found art emerges, a literary collage created from salvaged stories of loss, hope, and belief.

Pattie's Thoughts:

Found Art is an amazing, deceptively small book—for inside its textured painted cover is a world: the world of a journey inside a woman’s soul. Leeana Tankersley tells about the first year of her marriage to her Navy SEAL husband, while they lived in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. The book shows several journeys: the journey she makes during the year in Bahrain, and the journey the following year back in California.

The overlying theme of “found art” is presented artistically in the eight items in her life collage. Representations of themes in her life, Leeana writes about the items themselves, as well as what they represent to her. In doing so, she shares her heart in an open and honest way, and she also invites her readers to do the same. There are even prompts at the back of the book for personal journaling or group discussion.

This book came to me at exactly the right time. It was a little “late” because it arrived in my mailbox towards the end of the blog tour timeline, but it was precisely the right time for me, Pattie, to read. I’ve made no secret to my friends, if not my blog readers, about my great reluctance to turn 40 this past November. I felt like I was at some sort of turning point in my life, even though we’ve been in the same place nearly four years and I’m comfortable here in the way one is comfortable being in a place for that long. The eternal twin questions of who am I and what am I doing bombard me as I continue to pray for God to show me what His design is for my life. Where that “sweet spot” is for me.

Found Art arrived just after we listed our home for sale (a new venture) and prepared for a weekend trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance Swan Lake. Granted, Canada is not Bahrain; yet any travel, even if it’s only a couple hundred miles north into another country, is still a journey. As I read the book a chapter or two at a time during this weekend, I found myself looking for things, noticing things, like the melting ice sculpture in the courtyard. Or the people in the street with various funky clothing or piercings. The taste of the French toast at Pancake House. Driving through fog. The overall beauty of the ballet. The joy on my daughters' faces as they experienced the live ballet accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony. Even my Tim Horton’s doughnut and coffee. All of these sensory experiences served to make a collage of our weekend.

My desire is to make the most of our opportunities as a military family. As the Air Force moves us onward and southward in the coming months, I will carry Found Art with me, its own work of art that spurs me and prods me to allow God to make my own life into art.

Leeana's blog is Gypsy Ink.

Special thanks to Zondervan
and Tina of the Blog Tour Spot for a review copy of this book.

1 comment:

leeana said...

Thank you for your comments on Found Art, Pattie. I'm so glad it came to you at the right time. I so relate to your big "twin questions" of identity, and how they seem to creep up when we're facing big transitions. I love how God gave you the comfort of his presence through the simple beauty of your trip to Canada.

And, of course, you know what they say . . . 40 is the new 30! :) I say, 40 is the new fabulous!