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Current Catalogue:

         Rebonding of the Body,
Mulvihill, Deanna,

    ISBN 0-9680242-0-3
$40.00 US

         MMM...(Mulvihill's Monday musings)
Mulvihill, D L

    ISBN 0-9680242-1-1
Special $25.00

Women, Trauma and Alcohol Dependency

Connections and Disconnections in Alcohol Treatment for Women

    Mulvihill, D., Ford Gilboe, M., Csiernik, R.
    ISBN 978-3-8383-2912-3
C$117.00  Special C$95.00



   Activities in lifestyle improvement,
    fitness, art and health issues

mmm"(Mulvihill's Monday musings)
Book Review

mmmRemarkably talented Canadian born Dr. Deanna L. Mulvihill seemed an unlikely person to be writing poetry and inspirational reflections to those working around her. It came as some surprise to them that she had collected and published her artistic and poetic reflections over the past twenty years in mmm(Mulvihill’s Monday musings). On the job, she’s business oriented and her sensitivity is expressed in her care and concern for the Saudi nurses who she has dedicated her life to training and developing over the past eight years. mmm is her first creative publication of both written and artistic expression.  In Ottawa, she had been recognized for her abstract and non-objective large murals which she created with the encouragement of Leigh Parrish and later the renowned Canadian artist James Boyd.

mmm is a journey of self-discovery that began in the late seventies when her son gave her a decorative journal as a Mother's Day gift.  Mulvihill had been writing journal entries on loose-leaf paper up to this point.  The beautiful new journal served as catalyst to encourage her to take her work seriously, as it was no longer just notations on scrap paper.  Once she accepted that her work was worthy of recording in such an elegant journal, she gave herself permission to really write with the intensity and self-assurance that was required.  The act of allowing yourself and valuing yourself enough to create is a major accomplishment for so many of us.  Mulvihill took on the challenge and dared to express her personal thoughts and feelings in writing for the first time in her life.  The results are quite remarkable.

Raised in a family where both her mom and dad were dedicated to serving the community, Mulvihill learned from childhood that serving and developing communities was of great importance.  Artistic expression was not encouraged in her family and was to some degree discouraged as somewhat inappropriate use of valuable time.  Mulvihill stifled her creative spirit for years and didn’t allow herself to paint until after she was married and bore three children of her own.  As a wife and a mother she gained confidence in herself and allowed herself to paint and be creative for the first time in her life.  She had so many feelings and ideas inside herself that drove her to paint.  Once she picked up her paintbrush and let go she effortlessly produced her original works.  It was all inside her for so long, it must have just gushed out once she trusted and believed in and loved herself enough to give herself the chance.

Demanding perfection from yourself is often a hindrance in getting started - it certainly was to Mulvihill.  In her opening poem “Less Than” she reminds us that being overly self-critical is often a barrier to expressing creativity.  She says, “I have stared at this page for hours,…Afraid to begin, Lest my efforts be less than,…Less than perfect.”  These phrases clearly convey the poet’s inner fears of producing imperfect work, yet isn’t it true that only God is perfect?  Once she accepted the challenge and had faith in herself she allowed herself to take her ideas and create.  She goes on to say that 'now I know the fear, ' Never again will the fear, Be as great, or as strong.'  Mulvihill learned to live with the fear and once she did, the power of fear in her life was diminished by putting “faith as its companion.'  So much of her creativity was locked inside herself that it took a great leap of  faith  to unlock the door of her own creativity. Teaming her fear up with faith is how she tackled and overcame her own inhibitions. Perhaps you can do the same?

In addition to the inspirational poems, her collection also includes a mixed collection of personal reflections based on her travels throughout Canada from Ottawa to British Columbia where she was influenced by First Nation (Canadian Native Indian) spiritualism.  “Sun Bear” is a tribute to the renowned leader of one of the major tribes in the Northwest.  As a European Canadian white person, she shares in the collective guilt being historically responsible for “The white man’s ways” which have been “harmful” to the earth, the Indians, and even the white men themselves according to Sun Bear and his followers.  She acknowledges the “truth” in his words, yet is uncertain about how to change.  She asks, “What shall I change? What can I change.”    She resolves her dilemma by deciding to give her ‘love’ to ‘Earth Mother.”  Love is her answer.

Later on in her life she journeyed to Saudi Arabia to develop the nursing program in King Khalid University Hospital.  Many of her collections reflect her experience in the Kingdom. The inspiration for “When Time Melts” was a picture of Salvador Dali’s famous painting of the melting clock displayed in one of the offices at the hospital.  From the image of the melting clock, Mulvihill ponders over the concept of being as she states, “Yet here are you and I.”  Being “here” or anywhere in particular when you are an expatriate is a very intriguing concept.   Many of us live in the past or live for the future when we will hopefully return to our own countries which is not always a healthy psychological or spiritual state to be in.  So here again is an opportunity, not missed by Mulvihill, to heal the spirit of the expatriate soul searching for a sense of place.

As a healer by profession and a spiritual person based on her own faith in God, she hopes to inspire you to start your own journal musings. Creating the actual words and images in mmm have been healing to Mulvihill and she even experienced some healing in re-reading the reflections some years later.  Illustrated with her own watercolour and acrylic images of the Arabian and Canadian landscape, as well as, birds, flowers and other abstract psychological impressions, mmm is most definitely collectible.

-- Susan Chenard

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