Fifth World Art by Robert Neff

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Preface: How the Concept Came to "Life"

A Poetry Book - Reconnecting with Life by Robert Neff

Review by Published Poet, Cindy Rickey


Finished reading your book last night and enjoyed it very much. There was a great sense of honesty and openness. I especially liked the last chapter, Compassion and Empathy. It is where you really shine. Good job, Rob!

A distant phone call from my widowed mother in 2002 literally changed my world. In her calmest motherly voice, she declared simply: "I have breast cancer."

As I absorbed those four words, there was no question where I needed to be. Caught in the recession with no obligations to a full-time position, I immediately packed up and drove straight through from Dallas to my hometown in Ohio. My priorities shifted without a second thought; my only purpose was to be there for my mom.

My life in Ohio was vastly different from the one I had become accustomed to in Texas. After 20 years of building my own story, with a career that consumed me, there I was back at home serving as a "helper" for my sick mother.

When not caring for mom, I stayed busy doing small repairs and making updates around the house. I also enjoyed getting out and revisiting the places I knew so well as a kid.

Then one day, out of the blue, I was inspired to write. I began using my spare time, my rambling thoughts, a pen and paper to explore my life, my direction, how people treat one another and romance. It was just the therapy I needed.

Once my mother was healthy again, I returned to Dallas energized to move forward with the next phase on my life—and determined that writing would be a big part of it.

I continued to write and edit over the next few years, eventually realizing I had one book with five themes: private reflections, personal observations, social commentary, romantic interludes, and compassion and empathy. These themes are the five chapters of Reconnecting with Life.


View the other chapters

Chapter 1 – Private Reflections

Chapter 2 – Personal Observations

Chapter 3 – Social Commentary

Chapter 4 – Romantic Interludes

Chapter 5 – Compassion and Empathy

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Reconnecting With Life by Robert Neff

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