Heart Speak: A Visual Interpretation of Let Your Life Speak, By Sherrill A. Knezel
Heart Speak
  • Length: 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 × 7 in
  • Published: November 15, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: A0587
  • ISBN: 9781514005873

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In this visual interpretation of a classic work, Sherrill Knezel brings Parker J. Palmer's bestselling book Let Your Life Speak to life. With more than seventy heartfelt images to go along with excerpts from Palmer, Heart Speak pairs these images with brief personal reflections. Readers are invited to explore and embrace both their own limits and potential, as they listen to their inner voice, and courageously following its lead.

"I'm very excited about the way Sherrill has used her gifts of art and insight to interpret and express some of the key ideas in Let Your Life Speak," Palmer writes in the preface. "Clearly, images speak to a wider range of people than words alone, and are helpful even to 'word people' like me. Think of traffic signs that feature an upturned palm that clearly says 'Stop!,' or a snake-like line that says, 'Caution, sharp turns ahead!' Images incarnate words, making them not only more accessible but more actionable as well. Images instantly deliver a message: 'Here's something you need to know to negotiate the road you're on.'"

Whether the words of Let Your Life Speak are familiar signposts on the roads you have traveled or they are new to you, you will enjoy this opportunity for reflection and discernment in regard to your life, community, and calling.

"There's a reason the 'in case of emergency' instructions on airplanes are illustrations, not simply words—in crisis, the brain grasps images more readily than text. Parker Palmer's wisdom and practical philosophy have guided countless readers through challenges toward a more meaningful life. Sherrill Knezel gives additional depth and visual access to the power of Palmer's inspiring teachings. The paired wisdom of Parker Palmer and the clear, clean, whimsical instructions that Knezel provides for readers, even in the case of an emergency, offer a way to learn twice—by reading and seeing."

Mary Anne Em Radmacher, author of Courage Doesn't Always Roar

"Heart Speak is a beautiful participatory journey into the depth of self and the soul of society. Palmer's words combined with Knezel's illustrations carefully explore unconscious behaviors, patterns, relationships, and thoughts of everyday existence. This book provides a real road map for clinicians, help groups, parents, families, and friends to contemplate and engage in conversations that lead to movement, growth, and healing. But experience this book for yourself first. It's a true gift!"

Pardeep Singh Kaleka, author and trauma clinician

"Let this book be a gentle light in your day. Savor not only Palmer's magical words and Knezel's beautiful art, but use Knezel's useful prompts to immediately apply the thoughts to your own life."

Julie Causton, CEO of Inclusive Schooling

"Sherrill Knezel is an artist in every sense of the word: Her illustrations winsomely, effectively draw readers into the text. Her personal meditations are wise, vulnerable, and artfully expressed. Her incisive questions beg for deep reflection, contemplation, and response. Heart Speak is borne out of the fertile soil of Sherrill's spiritual life and her profound understanding of Parker J. Palmer's classic work Let Your Life Speak. She has spoken deeply to my own heart, and I believe she will do the same for you."

Jeff Crosby, author of The Language of the Soul

"Heart Speak is a stunning journey and invitation, full of compelling words, illustrations, and prompts by both Parker J. Palmer and Sherrill Knezel. Heart Speak is full of beauty and truth, and it will no doubt reassure and encourage readers to trust the wisdom that rests within their own hearts. This book is a steady presence on my nightstand, one whose pages I return to over and over again when I need a reminder or reassurance that, most likely, I am on the right path. I can open up to any page and find exactly what I need in the words and images I discover."

Monisha Vasa, psychiatrist and author of Salve: Words for the Journey

"I am charmed, delighted, and deeply touched by Sherrill Knezel's Heart Speak. The illustrations offer a new and creative dimension to quotes I've treasured for many years. Sherrill's commentary and reflective questions are wonderfully human, tender, thought provoking, and wise. I recommend this book to those who love the work of Parker J. Palmer, but also to anyone who is on the important and curious journey of becoming more fully themself."

Carrie Newcomer, songwriter and author of The Beautiful Not Yet

"Sherrill Knezel's new book is visual and verbal encouragement delivered straight to the heart. This collection of thoughts is necessary for our souls at just the right time."

Mike Rohde, author of The Sketchnote Handbook

"Sherrill Knezel can transform complicated and complex ideas into deceptively simple–appearing diagrams. But do not be fooled; neither the ideas nor the drawings are simple. This new volume combines her artistic and discerning ability with powerful quotes from Parker J. Palmer. This remarkable blend of talents will reach the heart of verbal and nonverbal learners alike, making these quotes and inspirations accessible to all, so that everyone has an opportunity to understand Palmer's important concepts and apply them. I highly recommend Heart Speak as an important tool for self-exploration, self-awareness, and self-care."

Martina Green McGowan, MD, author of i am the rage

"When we founded Fall Creek Abbey in 2012, we expectantly placed a copy of Let Your Life Speak in each guest room. Without fail, those on retreat would flip through a few pages and be drawn into this small volume, which gently led them into the depths of their own souls. Now we are excited to add this companion resource, Heart Speak, as a wise and whimsical guide into the rich invitations found in Palmer's original book. As spiritual directors, we know the value of well-designed, curious questions as well as the gift of visual imagery. Sherrill Knezel's book is a creative doorway into deeper nourishment in fresh, original ways."

David and Beth Booram, directors of Fall Creek Abbey and authors of When Faith Becomes Sight


Preface by Parker J. Palmer
An Invitation

1. Listening to Life
2. Now I Become Myself
3. When Way Closes
4. All the Way Down
5. Leading from Within
6. There Is a Season



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Author Sherrill Knezel

Sherrill Knezel is a graphic recorder, an illustrator, and an art educator who works, teaches, and lives in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. She has been an educator for twenty-nine years, specializing in visual literacy. She is the founder of Meaningful Marks LLC, a graphic recording/illustration firm that focuses on using the power of visuals to support nonprofits, educators, and corporate sector clients, and is a contributing author to two books: Stories in EDU and Social Action Stories.