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Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-57131-283-9
Pages: 320
Publish Date: January 2006
Genre: Nonfiction

The Love of Impermanent Things

A Threshold Ecology

BY Mary Rose O'Reilley

At midlife, Mary Rose O’Reilley writes, we are called to an “archaeology of memory”—turning over a potsherd here, a fragment there—to assemble something whole out of the messiness of experience. She traces the middle-class Irish American life that shaped her, with its mix of antic humor, terror, and mysticism—one grandmother committed to a hospital for the insane, the other enforcing corsets on the age of short-shorts. Later, she confesses a history of bolting, wondering how many other women have jumped out of cars rather than continue to argue with their spouses.

O’Reilley’s purpose is to find the vocabulary for a different kind of story, in which the narrative of daily life opens to admit the holy and its corollary, the comic. We have, she writes, a chance to recover our daring in midlife. Nobody is paying attention, anyway. Why not head for the artistic edge and find your true calling?

“Read this book and you will see shards of your own life come into focus through O’Reilley’s observations and confessions. She will help you see your own spirituality as a creative force that melds contemplation, action, prophetic outrage, and intuitive energy.”

Spirituality & Practice



The Love of Impermanent Things

At midlife, Mary Rose O'Reilley writes, we are called to an “archaeology of memory”—turning over a potsherd here, a fragment there—to assemble something whole out of the messin
Read more ›


The Barn at the End of the World

Deciding that her life was insufficiently grounded in real-world experience, Mary Rose O'Reilley, a Quaker reared as a Catholic, embarked on a year of tending sheep.
Read more ›

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Mary Rose O'Reilley

Professor, musician, and writer, Mary Rose O'Reilley has published many books of nonfiction informed by her own unique spirituality that explore the world we live in.

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