01 June 2016
I wanted to share a beautifully illustrated children's book with you. Maria Popova writes: "I have shared a good portion of my life with a dog afflicted by what animal behaviorists call 'storm anxiety' — a phobia of thunder so acute that it renders him a terrified, trembling ghost of himself, heartbreaking to witness and nearly impossible to comfort. This despairing helplessness to help led to the purchase of the gimmicky-sounding but surprisingly effective ThunderShirt — a contraption that achieves, cognitively speaking, the opposite of what a canine raincoat does and calms the shaking pup down by simulating the sensation of being tightly held.
One of the lovelinesses of dogs is that they have a great deal in common with children — a vast capacity for playfulness and a largehearted, jubilant curiosity about the world, but also some intense, primal fears of phenomena like storms and the dark. And one of the lovelinesses of children is that they remind us of the most elemental parts of ourselves — parts that only get covered up by our grownup masks and coping strategies, but never quite leave us. That classic childhood fear of the dark, for instance, becomes the less obvious but equally paralyzing adult fear of the unexplainable.
In The Storm, Japanese children’s book author and artist Akiko Miyakoshi presents a subtle and sensitive fable of fear, the frustration of uncontrollable events, and the redemptive power of surrendering to the ebb and flow of life. The story unfolds from the point of view of an androgynous child who has been anticipating a trip to the beach, but learns that a formidable storm is on the way...." [Source]
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