The Shimmering Is All There Is: On Nature, God, Science, and More (Women in Texas History Series, sponsored by the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation) (Hardcover)

The Shimmering Is All There Is: On Nature, God, Science, and More (Women in Texas History Series, sponsored by the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation) Cover Image
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The Shimmering Is All There Is: On Nature, God, Science, and More is a collection of essays and poems by the late Heather Catto Kohout. A native of San Antonio, Heather was a disciplined and original thinker and writer. Her education, experience, and temperament—as a loving wife, mother, and daughter; a proud Texan; a teacher and scholar with graduate degrees in English literature and religion; and the founder of a residency program for environmental writers and artists at a ranch in the Texas Hill Country—permeate every word she wrote. She had a unique combination of empathetic imagination, profound spirituality, cosmic sensibility, and an ability to laugh—gently—at her fellow creatures and, especially, herself.

Heather Kohout’s essays and poems are thoughtful, profound, and generous, shifting constantly between the specific and the universal and carrying throughout a message of stewardship. She was an environmentalist at heart, but her writing explores so much more: nature, art, theology, science, food, and family. She wrote about Mexican teenagers who dress as angels in an attempt to halt drug-related violence; the perils of industrial agriculture; the pleasure of letting the chickens out of their coop in the morning; and the battle to save the Georgetown salamander. Always, she wrote about what it means to try to live an ethical life and to be fully human as a part of, not in opposition to, nature. These essays and poems exemplify the best of Texas womanhood: stubborn independence, fierce conviction, good humor, and instinctive generosity and kindness.

About the Author

A native of San Antonio, HEATHER CATTO KOHOUT (1959–2014) was a dedicated rower, a published poet, a freelance theology teacher, and the mother of three children. She cofounded Madroño Ranch: A Center for Writing, Art, and the Environment in Medina, Texas. MARTIN DONELL KOHOUT is the author of Hal Chase: The Defiant Life and Turbulent Times of Baseball’s Biggest Crook, cofounder of Madroño Ranch, and president of the Madroño Foundation. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Praise For…

"Reading The Shimmering Is All There Is is like having one of those rare, amazing conversations with your most thoughtful, most curious, and most clever friend—the kind that lingers in your thoughts all day long and that you find tucked in your heart forever. This book is a gift, in the most Heather Kohout meaning of the word."—Juli Berwald, author of Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone
— Juli Berwald

The Shimmering is All There Is by Heather Catto Kohout is a collection of thoughtful essays composed in spritely prose that dare to venture into the unexplored territories where philosophy, god, religion, guns, nature, ranching and Texas mingle. With humor and a profound generosity of spirit, she explores and confronts both the physical world and the human heart with exquisite observations and memorable juxtapositions. In her essays and poetry, she reveals not only her own Utopian yearnings, but illuminates the challenges and rewards of being an engaged and responsive citizen of the world.”—Margie Crisp, author of The Nueces River: Río Escondido
— Margie Crisp

“I urge you to read The Shimmering Is All There Is. Carry it along as a generous friend, insightful fellow-traveler, and reliable moral scout to trace our many connections with flora and fauna, family and friends, literature and scripture, society and culture at large. You will return from your walkabout with a new-found joy in the richness and diversity of life, and a debt of gratitude to Heather and Martin Kohout for being your guide and companion.”—David Todd, co-author of The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People
— David Todd

“This gifted writer and probing thinker never ceases to amaze by her curiosity, intelligence, and capacious reading—all of which enables her to share knowledge and wonder. Who knew that maybe ‘algae are, like us, just a little lower than the angels’ or that ‘certain grasses snap and crackle when the sun first hits them on cold mornings.’ In a poem she may refer to her ‘wobbly self,’ but there is no doubt that Heather Kohout is a steady soul with an unerring vision to deliver us to what we need to know for salvation of ourselves and the planet.”—Barbara Ras, author of The Blues of Heaven
— Barbara Ras
Product Details
ISBN: 9781623499501
ISBN-10: 162349950X
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Pages: 280
Language: English
Series: Women in Texas History Series, sponsored by the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation