Happy Anniversary Month to Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude!

MIAMI HERALD – one year ago!
October 26, 2014
Author interview: Kim Weiss on ‘Sunrise Sunset’

Local author’s book pairs inspirational quotes with gorgeous photos.
Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. Kim Weiss. Health Communications. $10.95 in paper.
Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. Kim Weiss. Health Communications. $10.95 in paper.

By Connie Ogle cogle@MiamiHerald.com

Gratitude is popular these days. Scroll through your Facebook feed, and chances are you’ll see some friend listing things for which they’re grateful (family, friends and chocolate tend to rank high on many lists).

“Gratitude is a hot topic,” says Kim Weiss, director of public relations for local publisher Health Communications, which specializes in self-help titles. “It’s been selling well in self-help for a while. … I think people need little reminders that kind of break them out of their busy day. Unless you’re already involved in some kind of practice that allows you to stop and smell the roses, not everybody does.”

Weiss admits that like most of us, she’s not always in a sunny mood (“I’m not exactly Pollyanna”). But she definitely has something to be grateful for these days: the publication of her book Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude (HCI, $10.95), which she’ll discuss Thursday at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

The book is a collection of her photos of sunrises and sunsets — all shot from her home in Boynton Beach; fortunately she can see east and west from her terrace. Each photo is paired with an inspirational quote.

Weiss first started taking pictures with her iPhone, then graduated to “a real camera,” she says.

Publishing a book with the company where she’s worked for 20 years has been a treat.

“I actually wrote a book that never came about, about relationships and finding love in midlife,” she says. “It just didn’t happen. But my theory is you push over here, and something pops up over there. I’m not a visual artist, and here I am doing this visual book. It’s all funny and ironic to me.”

Weiss has built a following on Facebook; others are starting to post their own sunrise and sunset photos on her page. Seeing the day begin or end isn’t something she takes for granted.

“Even if I’m in a crappy mood — which I am a lot — that moment when I go outside … how could you not be amazed?” she says. “I think, ‘How lucky am I to look at this?’”

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Remembering mom, Mother’s Day, and the sunrise and sunset of it all…

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me. Three years gone, it’s sill hard to believe that my mother is no longer with me. This year her day falls on May 10th. My eldest sister will have to share her birthday with all the moms of the world and I’ll be remembering mine from Paris. How she would have loved to vicariously visit the city of love with me. I would bring back photos on my iphone, sit close to her in her small kitchen, and take her on the trip I’m about to have. And, she’d meet my fiance, John. How unfair it is for her to miss these landmark events in my life. As my number one cheerleader, she embraced every adventure of mine that she wasn’t able to have herself. Sharing them with her was almost part of the experience for me.

But loved ones come and go, and as I age, they seem to go more frequently. Many are in picture frames than glance back at me from dressers and desks and all are in my heart. Mom and Dad. Grandma Esther and Grandpa Benny. When I meditate I feel their presence as part of the particles in the atmosphere that surround me. I sometimes revel in the idea that everything that ever was still is– taking varying forms at different junctures and remaining as an integral part of the cosmos. My cosmos, when I have these visualizations, feels warm and full, comforting and hopeful.

And, the book, my book. My mother’s refrigerator wouldn’t have been large enough to pin up all the clippings its garnered. They’d have to find space around the one Miami Herald clipping that she shared with me where we were photographed together for another book story. She looked happy and proud in her denim ensemble holding tight to her body her blue leather shoulder bag. She loved books, she would have loved my book, and all because of how she loved me.

I miss you mom. I would have taken you to a fancy brunch this Sunday maybe not in Paris but some place you’d like.  I would have put a special copy of my book in a basket with daisies and chocolates and written a message to you that would last a lifetime. So instead, here I write: Thank you, mom, for encouraging my creativity, supporting all my endeavors, and loving me unconditionally. I love you to the moon and back, Kim.

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