An abiding spirit can’t easily be described. It could be anything –– a dream, a memory, a story. It may be either imaginary or real. It may inspire, or simply offer solace from the ills of the world. As various as they are, abiding spirits all have something in common: they stay with you for a lifetime.

We don’t need to believe in imaginary beings to delight in them and imagine them for oneself, to be enriched by their presence.   One can accept the knowledge revealed by science and still cherish the old, enduring realms of imagination that also explore the mysteries of the unknown, the non-human and half-human,  made “ real  “ in mythology, literature and the visual arts. 

This book became an homage to some of my own “abiding spirits” by way of poems, narrative and images. It has been evolving over the past decade and longer, before any of it was put into words or illustrations. 

I have tried to let the writing and the images work together.  In creating the mixed media collages, I relied on the materials, and the ways in which I had used them in three previous books to guide me. 

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“Brother Swan,” Illustration from Abiding Spirits