Very seldom do I read a book twice. ENTERING THE STONE is one of those books. Barbara Hurd's reflections seep under your skin and take you places you've never been. It is frightening and revealing and profound. Hurd has discovered that in our deepest journeys a secret space may emerge, a white dog, the shape of emptiness, a spacious room.
A group of women, who happen to all be naturalists, and I read this as a selection for our book club. It was a good choice. Some women didn't enjoy it that much, said it had too much touchy feely stuff and not enough about caves. Some of the women loved it, they commented that Barbara Hurd's insight into her own psychology contributed to making the book very readable. They could connect with the author. So if you want a book strictly about caves ad caving, this is not for you. However, if you want an enjoyable, readable, foray into the "basics" of caves, you will enjoy this. Honestly, it's a book by a woman, for women.
It is a strange blessing that I ran across an excerpt of this book online and sought it out. The local library had a copy. I wondered about the experience of a novice spelunking. What I found was one woman's meditation on sorrow and loss and fear and awareness, and how reason and passion, how space and solid, how dark and light criss-cross and make the liminal experiences telling.
Please don't fault her beforehand if I sound too intellectual about it, too. It's a beautifully written exploration of the meaning of life, but it's sometimes very down-to-earth, too.