We've all traveled Hartwell Road but most of us have not explored it as deeply and thoughtfully as Reg Darling. Hartwell Road is an internal place, a touchstone that centers and nourishes us - a place that contains our experience and provides a route to our own true nature. Darling's journey wends though a terrain rich in folk wisdom and communion with the real world (minus all the consumerist crap); it meanders through the philosophy of art and the sublime act of creation; it traverses the wonders of sexual passion and the ultimate solace of true love; it cuts back into a maze of drug-induced insights and the pristine clearing of deep spiritual conviction; it climbs through the bonds we build with the people around us and the inevitable physical end of those connections; and it plows headlong into the necessity of political activism and the bravery of standing against popular notions about what it means to "be free."
This book will likely induce tears as it transports you through reflections on the connections and losses in your own life - a process at once painful and glorious. This is a book that will speak directly to the non-conforming spirits of the baby-boom generation - especially as we navigate the mounting upheavals and uncertainties of the 21st Century and come to grips with our own impending mortality.
While Hartwell Road sometimes seems exotic and foreign, we round the bend and realize it is the same road that we too have been walking, only seen from a slightly different and meticulously well-rendered point of view.
Dan R. Talley is an arts administrator, curator, and critic who has been involved in the making, exhibiting, and analysis of contemporary art for over 30 years. He is a practicing vegetarian and a long-time animal rights advocate who, nonetheless, finds Darling's sensitive and deeply felt philosophy about the order of nature strangely compatible with his own.