The Last Walk - PDF
The Last Walk - PDF
The Last Walk - PDF
By Anna Johnstone
Colour photographs throughout.
Published by: Johnstone2 Photography (2018).
With great simplicity and depth, Anna gives us a nudge, taps us gently on the shoulder and guides us into new ways of engaging with the end of our lives and of those we love. She gives us permission to focus more on just being, rather than always doing. Dip into this wonderful book when you are feeling low, sad or lost. You are sure to find comfort and hope in Anna’s words.
The Last Walk has sumptuous, wide, two-page spreads. Perfect as a gift or for your own contemplation.
What a privilege it is to write this Foreword to Anna Johnstone’s The Last Walk. Long an appreciate reader of Anna’s writing and photography, I opened the book with eager anticipation and I have not been disappointed.
Within I found a willingness to engage courageously and creatively with the realities of ageing and dying. Anna writes movingly, wisely, and at times with such personal anguish that it is hard to read. Her poems explore the impact of the loss of close friends, the insidious concerns about diminishing strength, the personal grappling with reaching “three score years and ten” and the natural questioning of what lies ahead. Interspersed with such gritty subjects are poignant and insightful meditations on passages of Scripture, reinforcing the relevance of the living word to twenty-first century human beings.
Carefully chosen images support each poem or set of poems, offering that extra dimension through which readers can deepen their response to the text, open their hearts and minds to the touch of the Spirit and find a readiness to do their own robust exploration of what growing older might mean.
Anna looks at the uncomfortable truths of mortality not through rose-tinted glasses which might conveniently sidestep suffering and uncertainty, but through the lens of her long-established relationship with Jesus. To Jesus she brings every worrying thought, every niggle about the future and she finds in him gentleness, kindness, understanding, encouragement, unwavering acceptance, and never-ending love. Anna’s The Last Walk shares God’s revelation that the ordinary moments of each day are the raw material through which Love touches and teaches us, no matter our age or life-stage.
The Last Walk is important because it bears witness to a long life lived with a foundational trust in God’s faithful presence with us in whatever we face, reaching us through the Spirit of Jesus in the midst of the mess or the marvellous. With her characteristic originality, striking metaphors and subtlety of touch, Anna writes not only of sadness and loss but also shares with the reader stories of grace, moments of gentle humour and even opens the door to glimpse the wonders of eternity. She is convinced that we do not make The Last Walk alone.
Rev. Canon Sue Pickering
Author of Creative Ideas for Ministry with the Aged
Praise for The Last Walk
"Having just spent the past hour again luxuriating in the beauty of the words and images of your latest book Anna, I can truly say I believe it surpasses all that you have already written. This is a big statement to make as I have loved every one of your books. I count them as faithful friends that I can go to when necessary for inspiration, comfort, peace, assurance and for that necessary prodding and challenge I sometimes need to help sharpen my faith, reset my course and know that God is ever present in the big and small things of life.
In The Last Walk the simple but profound messages of God’s love, provision and faithfulness at the end of life, seep through every page and create very authentic images in my mind. In one of the reflections you say “the force of the words grabs me” and that is how I feel as I read each page and consider the beautiful accompanying images. Thank you for sharing this with me and allowing me the privilege of hearing your heart through these intimate reflections of God at work in the sunset days of our lives."
Dr Francine Bennett
Teacher Educator, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, Tauranga
"What strikes me earliest and most significantly about The Last Walk is that you describe a journey of remarkable changing perspectives and understandings both in your faith and trust in God’s love and grace, and also in the demolitions and growings in the realities of life, ageing and dyings.
I’m deeply sceptical of the type of journey that sees every corner turned as another step up and onwards as the vigour of life gives way to the pains and shocks of the realities of the fadings and dyings in human lives.
You face each discovery, each shock, each invitation to deepen and depend more on grace with courage, tears and humour. And it’s all illustrated so enticingly with apt words and images alongside the magnificent photographs from your and Kerry’s lenses.
I think your book will bless many readers and encourage them to face into the latter stages of life more realistically and with less fear and uncertainty.
Rev Andrew Dunn, Oasis Retreat Centre, Albany
Word Cloud Images
Click here for 25 word cloud images based on Anna’s poem about Psalm 71:16 in The Last Walk.
You are welcome to use the images in PowerPoints for worship etc. I have included in the PDF a link to a YouTube video on how to create word clouds.