Mitchell author captures inspiration through his words, photographyA Mitchell man is sharing his personal journey of reflection on the challenges, hardships and triumphs that he said bond people to one another over time.
By: Jennifer Jungwirth, The Daily Republic
A Mitchell man is sharing his personal journey of reflection on the challenges, hardships and triumphs that he said bond people to one another over time. Dave Sietsema, Mitchell, wrote “Grace and Other Whispers of Hope” to offer readers guidance, inspiration and love. The book is filled with Sietsema’s own South Dakota photography. Sietsema is a former Daily Republic photographer.
Self-published through Synergy, in Plymouth, Minn., “Grace and Other Whispers of Hope” is filled with Bible verses and inspirational passages written by Sietsema. The book is available at the Reader’s Den in Mitchell.
“Despite what someone’s journey is that they have to go through in life, there’s a lot of sad, happy or anxious moments that in the end makes us all the same. That’s what bonds us all,” Sietsema said. “It’s really the fact that no matter who you are, what you do, what walk of life you’re from, your career or what church you go to, we all experience similar moments of happy or sad.
“If somebody, somewhere along that path is struggling, whether it’s that day or a longer term, I hope that in the pages there is some hope, some real feelings of ‘I’m not alone. There are others who have struggled and who are surviving.’ ”
Sietsema, who had gone through an unexpected transition in his life, used writing as a way to cope with the daily emotions that resulted from change.
“The more I wrote and the more it kept going, the pages started to fall together,” he said. “For me, it was a way to reflect and to put my thoughts and emotions down on paper.” Eventually, he ended up with a book, which he enhanced with his photography. Each page reflects how Sietsema felt on a particular day. He said the book began almost as a journal. “That was what I was feeling, so I’d write about it. Sometimes I’d write for several days in a row, sometimes just once a week,” Sietsema said.
The way in which the book fell together reflects on the overall project. It’s short in length; it is not meant to take days to read and understand. Each page is unique, with a different texture and image.
“I didn’t want it to be something you had to read cover to cover. I wanted it to be something someone can pick up from time to time and stop on an image that would strike them or a headline that would strike them,” Sietsema said.
He envisions his book as one that can sit on the night stand or coffee table, ready and waiting for a time it’s needed.
The passages were written in an eight-month time frame. And for Sietsema, the writing process was not self-deprecating or damaging, but a means of self-analysis.
“It really pauses time and makes me think about and declutter all the stuff,” he said. “It’s reflective, which ultimately, is how you get more clarity.”
Sietsema’s faith had been a guiding light throughout this life, and he said that he wanted to share that in his book.
“I could have turned to a whole bunch of stuff and was lucky to fall back on my faith to get me through those moments when I’d have a rough day,” he said.
Sietsema said he feels his book has offered the guidance and inspiration to readers he hoped for through the feedback he’s received from readers.
“Some have said, ‘It’s a great way to talk to my son or daughter,’ or, ‘my mom who is struggling with cancer. It has really opened up conversation about her fears or her hopes,’ ” Sietsema said. “I think I’m just hoping within the pages are moments for people to care about each other and love each other.”