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Messages to Me: Words Collected on the Road to Silence

ISBN: 0-9789468-0-4

By: Margaret Coyle
Review by: Moira Richards

January 2009

The front page of the Margaret Coyle’s website introduces the underlying philosophy of One Body and of this book, with these words,

“There are many parts but One body.

“One Body is a community of people using movement to practice awareness and cultivate peace of mind. With music and silence, movement and stillness, the practice at One Body is an exploration using conscious movement to quiet the mind and open the heart. Community is the environment, movement is the medium, Love is the means, and community is the end.” http://www.onebodyinc.com/

Coyle’s book comprises poems, jottings and photographs of her dances that give witness to what she has found to be the one truth:

There appears to be more than one way to the truth
and so there are for you in the times you believe it to be so.
Believing the Truth to be debatable
allows the delusions of the world you see
to disprove what is real
and supports a world of illusions. (“Small Fires” 33)

The whole of Messages to Me: Words Collected on the Road to Silence is the strong and insistent refrain of her testimony and manifestation of the need she feels to share what she knows. These are messages to herself but also, to her readers,

I want to carry a long and flowing poem that rings with the delight and
ease, the humour and intimacy, the beauty and simplicity of sharing this
Love. Like Mary, I am afraid, and willing at the same time, aware of all it
will bring down on my head in this world of bad dreams. At the same
time, I know I cannot say no to it and be happy. (“A Poem” 74)

Movement, dance is an essential part of Coyle’s expression. Poems, words on a page are not enough on their own to convey, portray Love. It is something that demands acknowledgement through one’s entire being…

All of this
dancing in my body
animating these arms
directing these legs
giving shape to this intention
in this moment
on this spot. (“Yes!” 60-61)

And as the author reaches and spins on the pages alongside her words, so she demonstrates her living with Love,

Wave after wave of love
and living
and loving
wash over you
turning you around and over in a sea of laughter
and touch
and grace
and generosity
and breath. (“Alive With Love” 55)

Margaret Coyle is a teacher too, and she has understanding for the learning process. The second half of the book comprises prose poem type pieces that share the life lessons she has learned and which offer encouragement to readers starting on their own paths.

Sometimes I move with the flow effortlessly, a wise and experienced
dancer, graceful, aware, and faithfully in tune. And sometimes I am two
left feet. I am, and I am all of it, and all of it is necessary as I move to stand
under, and understand what is… (“Two Left Feet” 115)

Messages to Me won gold in the 2008 Inspirational/Spiritual titles section of the IPPY Awards (Independent Publisher Book Awards). It is accompanied by a blog, a mailing list and a section on the website that includes schedules and sign-ups for Margaret Coyle’s One Body dance and movement classes should you be lucky enough to live in the area. There is also a link to a podcast interview with Coyle and a selection of the photographs in her book which I am not able to display here.


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