NEW BOOK: Meeting in the Margins
Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People, was published in October of 2015, and is available for order now. It is a narrative of how, when I intentionally entered the margins of our culture, my physical senses were altered to become the agents of my heart. My heart learned to recognize what my senses had long been programmed to reject.
I have sought out people who live in the margins of our culture. Not worthy people or people who are prepared to change their lives, but people who allow me simply to be with them and perhaps to touch them. My ordinary eyes were transformed into “marginal eyes,” able to see in the cultural darkness. And so I was gifted with exquisite human teachings I would otherwise have missed.
This book encourages you to allow your perceptions to be changed. It offers you congenial support and practical tools for encountering the margins. It invites you to see marginalized people, the socially invisible, our banished kin.
Reviews of Meeting in the Margins
In her review of Meeting in the Margins for Story Circle Book Reviews, reviewer Lee Ambrose says:
“Her story will touch readers’ hearts in ways that go beyond most peoples’ comfort zones. Few have been where Trenshaw dares to go. And of those who have gone to the margins, few have articulated for the rest of us the profound effect of sharing space and touch can have on both the giver and the receiver of such a sharing.
Exploring touch as science, sacrament and presence, Trenshaw is quick to point out that compassionate presence and skills such as intention and attention are necessary elements in any beneficial encounter—not just on the streets but in all settings where we are in the presence of the marginalized.
Trenshaw asks two difficult questions: “Why go there?” and “Do you dare?” She painstakingly shares learned insights to help answer both of these essential questions. Long after I finished reading this profoundly moving book, I find myself returning to her insight and the question of “Do you dare?” Trenshaw coaxes us to consider leaving our comfort zones and postures of inactivity to reach out and share the gifts of time, self and touch … in a way that is reciprocal and potentially life changing.”
Read the entire review at http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/meetingmargins.shtml .
Praise for Meeting in the Margins
“Cynthia Trenshaw is a gifted writer, massage therapist and pilgrim who has chosen to journey with those who are the most vulnerable in our society. As a writer, she conveys in vivid and powerful prose the heart-wrenching details of life on the street. As a massage therapist, she feels into their stories and anoints their soul-wounds with compassion and courage. As a pilgrim, she searches for meaning, her own and ours with every encounter. This is a prayer book as well as a textbook for those who choose to journey to the margins of society and be transformed.”
—MARY ANN FINCH, founder/director of Care Through Touch Institute and author of Care Through Touch: Massage, the Art of Anointing
“Meeting in the Margins is a dangerous book. It will move you, shake you, change you, and leave you with a profound sense that you have been in the presence of the holy. Cynthia Trenshaw’s intention is to do just that. She is a brilliant writer. Simply by telling the truth in stories that she herself has lived, she takes us into touching distance of those whom Rabindrinath Tagore called ‘the poorest, the lowliest, and lost.’ Profoundly trained in massage, in chaplaincy, in theology, Trenshaw ultimately lays all that down in the simplicity of touch. Touch as sacrament, touch as presence. In hospice, by the bedside of an AIDS victim, and in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, she kneels (and so we kneel) and massages the feet, the body, the shoulders, the head of an “untouch- able” (who has become ourselves). Doing so, she finds herself touched. And so does the reader. Meeting in the Margins is a powerful tool—it lifts us into hope; it belongs in the hands of all of those who would heal the broken world.”
—PAT SCHNEIDER, author of How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice and Writing Alone and With Others
“A beautifully written, challenging, and thought-provoking book, one that truly leads us to insights and recognitions that make it possible to contemplate a world that works for all. I haven’t seen anything like it. Cynthia’s book contributes to helping us see the world at the margins with clarity.”
—MARGARET J. WHEATLEY, founder of the Berkana Institute and author of So Far From Home, Perseverance, Turning to One Another, and Leadership and the New Science
“Cynthia Trenshaw gifts us with an extraordinary window into the soul of the marginalized among us. In exquisite detail of both inner and outer moments of meeting on the streets, the reality of presence she evokes communicates through her stories; it sparks our own celebration of that precious sense of presence. Prepare to be deeply touched. Prepare to remember what is truly important in our lives. This book is itself a gift from soul to soul. Through her open-hearted memories, Trenshaw offers us all a most generous and luxurious soul massage!”
—RABBI TED FALCON, PHD author of A Journey of Awakening and co-author of Religion Gone Astray and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith
“Cynthia Trenshaw has nerves of steel and a heart of gold, and she does a superb job of taking readers along with her as she carefully tends to some of the most overlooked and down-trodden members of our society. She steadfastly shines the light of compassion upon the lives of individuals who have fallen by the wayside in our fast-paced mainstream culture, showing readers that underneath the often shabby appearance of each of these individuals lies something else quite unexpected: tenderness, humor, wisdom, even a certain kind of nobility. I recommend her book to all readers who are not afraid to step outside their usual comfort zone and have an eye- opening, heartwarming experience amidst misfits and castoffs.”
—BETSY MACGREGOR, MD, co-founder of the Enso House Residence for Care at the End of Life and author of In Awe of Being Human: A Doctor’s Stories from the Edge of Life