From the Author

The Short History of this Book's Creation

I have always been interested in spirituality, environmental issues, visual art, and poetry.  I published my first book of poems, But Tonight, in 2007 with Mosaic Press.

In December 2019, I met Greg Kennedy, SJ, a Jesuit priest from Guelph, Ontario, for whom “prayer often takes the form of poetry” and for whom “care of creation is central to vocation.”

I ordered Greg's 2020 book, Reupholstered Psalms, Ancient Songs Sung New. Immediately, I saw that responding to the Psalms could offer a way to voice concerns about environmental and social issues in our own time. I also intuited that the Psalms could be in dialogue with the deep sense of mystery in other wisdom traditions, including modern science and abstract art.

Excited by a new surge of creative inspiration, I stayed up late each night, reading one psalm in the Bible, writing my own response, then reading Greg's poem for the same psalm. In no time at all, I had a draft manuscript for Dances with David, Volume 1

Next, I looked at thousands of art images to select the 50 that are in the book. I give thanks to all the people across the globe who directly and indirectly helped me to gain access to high-quality images of such beautiful art.

Alison Stone is the sensitive copy editor who helped me fine-tune each page, and Rebecca Brebner, of Bee's Wing Studio, is the talent behind the book designs. She patiently and carefully helped me create Dances with David in various formats so you can choose your medium and price.

Omoseke Fowode, of the Digital Main Street ShopHERE program, created this website, contributed a piece of her own artwork to the print book, and helped me to launch. 

Many others helped me along the way, from my friend Shauna McLean, who read each poem as it was written, to Cary Penrose, an eCommerce Support Manager with Lulu Xpress, to Sharla Farrell, also of the ShopHERE program, who helped me with new social media skills to let people know about Dances with David.

As you can see, "it takes a village" to make a book as well as to raise a child!

Dances with David is dedicated to all people — past, present and future — who feel a higher (or inner) calling to work for social and ecological justice.

I hope this book will strengthen the hearts of those already committed to this work, and also draw more people to “serve the Earth of which you are a part, and rejoice.”

I also hope it will offer you comfort, inspiration, and delight.

CJ Martin, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, 2021
PS: See Sustainability in Self-Publishing to learn about why I chose self-publishing.