The Splendor of Seeing and the Magic of Touch
Lately, I have been re-acquainting myself with the writings of Rich Alapack through his latest books -- Love's Pivotal Relationships, Sorrow's Profiles, and White Hot True Blue. These reminded me of the lucid beauty of Alapack's writing style and of the deep and penetrating insights that he shares with his reader. I recognize myself and others in the vignettes these books provide, and have been incorporating his texts into my recent graduate classes. Alapack's writings mark a return to the original form in which phenomenologists used to communicate with their readers: via straightforward reflection; drawing upon a lifetime of experience; speaking in simple, descriptive language; and capturing the essence of human experience by mastering the art of speaking truthfully and authentically. It takes a certain kind of free-courageousness to engage in such writing today, in an intellectual climate where demands for methodological rigor (in the form of operationalism run amok) have compromised manuscripts submitted for review, in favor of half-hearted statements of methodological orthodoxy followed by statements of "findings" that amount to little more than summaries of raw data. What Alapack has achieved in his recent writings, and especially in his latest venture, The Splendor of Seeing and the Magic of Touch, is a truth-speaking both from the author's heart and from his lifetime of authentic dialogue with the interlocutors he has found along his own life's journey. The gift that he gives to his reader is the gift of inviting us to join him on his own path to enlightenment. Scott D Churchill, PhD Professor and Graduate Program Director University of Dallas Editor-in-Chief, Th e Humanistic Psychologist "This book is heart-warming, joyful, and insightfully brilliant. This author's newest publication, once again, represents a heart-felt and dedicated effort to researching human phenomena from the laboratory of day-today life. In this lifelong work, the author shares many of his personal experiences, experiences of others, then invites us to share a developmental journey through monumental experiences in our childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. He delves into important developmental topics that are rarely, if ever, discussed in mainstream psychological writing. Dr. Alapack offers reflected insight into these experiences, in a playful yet profound manner, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of who we are, as perfectly imperfect people. Exploring the dynamics of peekaboo with a young-one, playing tag as a juvenile, sharing the exhilarating and/or bitter-sweet memories of the first kiss, barely coping with or perhaps flaunting a teenage hickey, will have you smiling with fondness, as you are reminded of your own experiences. These personal stories and parables are timeless and ageless. This text should be mandatory reading for both students and researchers in developmental psychology. Parents and Educators will find this book personally enriching, and will ultimately benefit from a more in- depth understanding of themselves and their children. I have seen Dr. Alapack's work grow and expand over the years, and this book is a shining example of an existential phenomenologist par excellence. His dedicated work has had a major and significant impact on my personal and professional life." Paul Watters, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.