A Different World book reviews

Gratitude, Curiosity, Adventure

In Corinna Stoeffl’s new book, A Different World, we are presented with outstanding photographs of a quite unusual format.  These 29 mandala-like images are rendered using a multiple exposure function along with the photographer’s self-taught technique.  The particular landscape and location of these images, though indefinable much of the time, provide one of the first layers of information, which are infinite.  Unlike formal mandalas or labyrinths, however, the subconscious eye of the viewer/perceiver must find their own starting points and conclusions as they walk the wisdom way into their own knowing.

But there is more—the artist has complimented each image with short writings as she explores what for her can be “a different world”.   Stoeffl responds throughout the book to questions she has posed in the introduction, but is most sincere when she invites us to write our own musings in the ample open space of each page.  More than anything she wants us to consider deeply both our magnificence and our choices—choices that at first are made on a personal level but are soon understood to be bound inextricably with the good of the earth and all species living here.

Corinna Stoeffl has given much attention to this business of “questions”, the importance of knowing the right or useful questions and of allowing them to take us continually deeper into who we are and what choices we might make in each new moment. Lifting up the necessity to come more fully into accord with the laws and processes of nature, she speaks positively from an innate wisdom about a universe that is not only abundant in ever-pregnant-potential, but desires to give and renew this goodness.  It’s this inherent good that Stoeffl invites us to align with.  Whether exploring her words or her photographs, we are given much to ponder about this glorious adventure in which we find ourselves—and find ourselves again.

And we are challenged here to examine how science and a techno-consumer driven culture has presented humankind with an opportunity to transcend its shortcomings by moving beyond the answers, identities and object oriented thinking which  have outlived their usefulness.  In other words, Corinna Stoeffl’s “different world” starts from where we are without blame or shame, and encourages us to use reflection, reason and imagination to real-ize our highest vision for ourselves, for the earth, for all.

—Stewart S. Warren, author of 22 poetry collections including Awesome Poverty and the juice the moves.