Friday, November 22, 2013

The Soulful Traveler by Rene Jax

This little work, so much more than a book about travel, reflects and reveals many deep personal insights about the Rene Jax's psyche. There are physical places described, of course, some far off and some nearer by. Some are magnificent and others vile and dangerous, but all are seen and depicted in the author's gentle, vivid and eloquent style. The Soulful Traveler is a journey of self, presented as a parallel process in the author's reflections about the countries and places she has visited. Throughout her journeys, she peers deeply into her own soul to make sense of what she observes in the context of who she is and who she has become.

On trips taken for business or with no purpose other than to explore, there is a deep and poetic nostalgia evident for old experiences and for relationships lost, and an enduring sadness and longing for a love that can no longer be and for a child that was never born. Along the way, the author observes humanity and inhumanity, inequities among nations and people and the further oppression of the already downtrodden. But there is also joy, insight, satisfaction and acknowledgement, buttressed by the author's own struggle for gender congruence. Lest one think this short work is depressing, it is not. It stands as a realistic lament that although life has moved on and taken the bloom, dreams and hopes of youth, it still holds the hopeful promise of many good journeys to come.

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