Opening Eyes (Part II)

Last month, we learned about Dana Whitaker’s journey to Morocco with Cross-Cultural Solutions (Read "Opening Eyes"). But what happened next? Dana decided to share a bit of that experience with others through exploring morocco; discovering ourselves—a book which combines photographs that delight the senses with questions to inspire creativity.

C: What inspired this book?
D: I didn’t know I was going to write a book; like the stages of pupa to butterfly, it emerged. After returning from Morocco, I printed 180 photos and placed them on the dining room table—completely covering it. I thought, ‘I wonder what these pictures are going to become?’ Then I started finding and recognizing patterns and connections between shapes, colors, and textures. A fleet of blue boats resting on tranquil water looked just like a blue and white zigzag pattern of tiles. A Berber rug salesman standing beside his richly-hued rug mirrored the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Once I began to see these connections, I couldn’t not see them. Still, I wondered what to do with what I was experiencing. Then the photos began to speak to me through questions: What do I see when I look deeply at my own reflection? What geography and climate am I drawn to? What helps calm or energize me? Then the idea of a self-reflection book arose around what we value, what we believe, and what is calling us to express our deeper selves, just like Morocco does.

C: So what is the book about?
D: It is designed to inspire people to live consciously. It is about the power of self-reflection and the connection we all have with one another and the world.

C: When you imagine people reading this, where do you see it?
D: I see it on coffee tables (perhaps the world’s smallest yet mighty coffee table book measuring 7”x7”), in coffee shops as people meditate on the photos and questions...I see people delving into it with friends. I can see businesses that want to be different using this at team meetings to tap into their creative sides. I see a family using the book—having a son or daughter pick one picture and/or question every week and sharing their thoughts at the dinner table. Educators can easily use this in their lessons. An art teacher could use the photos or questions to inspire student artwork; an English teacher could have students do writing responses. It’s a fun, engaging, and vulnerable way for people who dare to get to know themselves and others more deeply.

Here's a sneak preview of what is inside. You can learn more about Dana's book and purchase it directly on her website, Opening Eyes.

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