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The Watch

“The Watch honors the passage from life to death by reaching into the nearest clock, grabbing hold of the pendulum, and stopping the movement of time. With agile prose and zero sentimentality, Sager shares valuable insights revealed to her as she walks with her father to the threshold of life. Inspired by the poignant disintegration of the watch her father wore in his final months, the author welcomes us into this difficult but intensely rich end of life journey with special attention to the mysteries of time… The Watch is deeply personal—but also universal—in its non-dogmatic commitment to bearing witness to what really matters in this life.”  Pre-publication Review – Kate Sheehan Roach

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By the Author

Sometimes the most ordinary of objects can open a door to life’s greatest mysteries. Perhaps the world is full of signs and intimations, so many that we miss them at every turn.  For me, the “spontaneous disassembling” of my watch, which my father wore for the last three months of his life, became the catalyst for an inquiry about time, about life and death, about ways of knowing, and the value of being open to the unknown.

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This story of my relationship to my father and his journey through illness and death, weaves together philosophy, poetry, and spiritual inquiry. Time is the landscape; contemplative practice and the examples of my father and teachers guide the way. The journey, not always linear, loops forward and back, a trek through the living terrain of experience: body, sense, and memory, emotion, imagination and intuitive knowing.

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I share experiences and insights from my own paths of practice—the Alexander Technique, Anthroposophy and Contemplative Inquiry, and the Discipline of Authentic Movement, illuminating the ways each of these practices can lead to new ways of perceiving, knowing, and being. Cultivating embodied presence, intuitive insight, and the capacity to bear witness can profoundly enhance our most essential relationships: parent and child, teacher and student, doctor and patient.

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Perhaps the book will be of interest to those dealing with the life-threatening illness of a relative or beloved friend or may serve to support individuals who, themselves, are facing mortality. I hope The Watch might inspire conversations between family members about the choices and the mystery surrounding life, death, and the unknown beyond death. Perhaps the book may also appeal to teachers and doctors, inspiring new perspectives on the impact of embodied self-awareness on the quality of interactions with students and patients.

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And for those already on paths of contemplative practice and spiritual inquiry, I hope The Watch is an affirmation of how transformative inner growth can occur when practice is brought to life in our day-to-day experiences and relationships.

 

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