Savor An Adventure In Optimism!

"Even when headlines clamor, or life deals tough challenges, we can find numberless reasons to feel grateful and hopeful." 

Excerpts from Glad to Be Human by award-winning author Irene O'Garden

“Glad to be human in the twenty first century, where people spend lives designing, dancing, building, writing, studying their minutest fascinations, people dedicating lives to food or fashion or philosophy, creating and creating, absorbed in their work for love of it, as now they marry for love. People hungering to understand each other and their families, reading, talking, tending the earth and their dreams, and the playing of games and of sport.”

Glad to be human for cooking and slicing life, looking for meaning and searching and finding the missing word, the lost sock, the thrilly scary moment reaching around in your purse and not finding your wallet, rummaging, rummaging, knowing it’s there, finding it under your fingers with pleasure, and finding with pleasure at last that the meaning of life’s like a cell on the field of your vision, you know it is there, but each time you look it springs out of your sight, but looking at anything else, it springs back into place and you’re looking right through it. Glad to be human, abundantly answered.”

From the Author

Isn’t reading wondrous? Words appear before us and, like the faces of dear old friends, we can’t help recognizing them. So it is with feeling glad to be human. We all recognize that wordless joyous whoosh.  

I wrote this book to remind myself— and you— how often that shapeshifting grace arises. It spirals in simple moments as we repot our plants, tackle creative projects, or tenderly hang an heirloom ornament. It suffuses us when we witness or perform acts of beauty in the face of our common sorrows. 

It’s my hope that this book inspires you to recognize what makes you glad to be human,  weaving and sharing your own brocade of joy. 

What makes you glad to be human? Will you share?

Praise For Glad to be Human

"Glad to Be Human takes a defibrillator to your creative center!

It’s a field guide to embracing the creativity and spontaneity that bring joy to the business of being human. With an artist’s eye and a poet’s soul, Irene O’Garden shines her light on the bliss that surrounds us. Each of her essays turns the eye toward love and possibility. I am changed by these now-dog eared pages, and I will return to them again and again for inspiration.
Annabel Monaghan
Author of "The Digit" series, columnist for The Week and The Huffington Post

"Get ready to devour the offerings at this table set by word weaver and poet Irene O'Garden.

Sure, a feast for those who love metaphors, but a banquet, too, for those who prefer the real deal: Life is here for the taking. Love is here for the taking. So take it! This stunning collection of curiosities and illuminations (which I share with my writing students, who marvel at O’Garden’s attention to the tiny and ordinary charms in our midst) shows why being human warrants gladness, and with nods to the big and small (A saddleback caterpillar? The Leaning Tower of Pisa?) readers discover the brightest gift of all: gratitude.
Kathy Curto
Faculty, Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute and Montclair State University; Author of "Not for Nothing: Glimpses in a Jersey Girlhood"

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About Irene O' Garden

IRENE O’GARDEN has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers, children’s books as well as literary magazines and anthologies.

Her most recent book, Risking the Rapids: How My Wilderness Adventure Healed My Childhood, was published by Mango in 2019. The memoir opens with the shocking death of her problematic older brother in 2014.

Irene’s writing is anthologized with Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem and others in The Greatness Of Girls (Andrews McMeel) Included is an excerpt from her memoir Fat Girl, which describes how she came to peace with food and body after a decades-long struggle. Harper San Francisco published it in hardcover with her drawings.

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