Does our past define our future? Do our choices make a difference? Can a good life be built out of the darkness? These questions are explored in the memoir ‘Divine Turbulence’ by Gary Lee Price with Bridget Cook-Burch. Gary Lee Price retraces his extraordinary life, revealing how he navigated turbulent, dark waters of his time. With help from New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Bridget Cook-Burch and Inspired Legacy Publishing, Gary Lee Price the Master Sculptor empowers us with new perspectives. The well-written book opens our eyes to possibilities as the story unfolds. Gary Lee Price shares his learned wisdom in this soul-awakening memoir. We were lucky enough to touch base with Gary and Bridget to ask some burning questions.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I had a mother who’d been a teacher and I found out later in life that she was only allowed to bring home a certain number of books from the library. She would check out 20 books or so, but she would leave say three here and four over there at this friend’s house, and she would only come home with the number of books her mother had specified. When she found me to be a voracious reader, she let me check out as many books as I wanted. I read out the elementary school, the bookmobile, and the public library in our small town very quickly. I loved reading.
I started very young, and I read from all genres. It had a profound effect on me because the world opened to what I never would have had in my small town. It was an incredible education for me. Just the power of words and the power of story really played a remarkable role in the rest of my life. When I was a young mom, I started working from home doing what I loved most, writing. Within a few short years, it really blossomed into a full-fledged career.
As a publisher in your opinion what is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I would have to say when a professional in the industry has an agenda for someone’s book instead of letting that book have its own beautiful energy and ending up where it really deserves to be.
Whether it’s traditional publishing, self-publishing, or indie publishing, it has a beautifully perfect home, and professionals should not have an agenda for where something should go for someone else. They should be helping the author come to the smartest and best conclusion by educating them and letting them make their own decision as to which path, they should travel for their own needs.
What makes this book special to Bridget?
Not easy to answer in just a few sentences! But I will say that for me, this was a legacy project. ‘Divine Turbulence’ absolutely encompasses many of the issues that we’re seeing in our country today, which include so many people with complex trauma. This story shows the ability for someone to rise out of such horrific trauma and become a contribution to the entire society.
It signifies to each one of us that we do not have to remain a victim of our circumstances and that we really do have choices and power to rise. That to me is the most powerful and profound principle that this book and Gary’s story teaches.
Gary Lee Price
This is a personal story of your own struggles and triumphs over adversity. What do you hope people take away with them when they finish your book?
That’s a great question and I would say there are a few main points that I hope can increase awareness towards bullying and abuse of children–and for that matter bullying and abuse of anyone.
First, so often these things happen right under our noses, but because we’re not fully conscious or aware of what’s going on, others get away with these horrible things. I know in my own family; I went back to my stepparents as an adult and other relative later. I asked them simply, “Didn’t you realize that something horrible was going on? Here’s what they said, “Well, we knew something was going on, but we didn’t know exactly what it was. A whole bunch of pain and suffering could have been prevented had people decided to check some things out and perhaps even intervened!
I would hope to help people realize that we are literally all in this game together–we’re in the same big canoe, going down the same great big, giant river. We get to be here and be conscious of others and lend a hand to others when it’s needed. This idea of lifting one another up has inspired me since I was little–it got me through dark times and truly culminated in my career in “Lifting the Human Spirit Through Sculpture”, which was my calling and passion. I would hope others can utilize their calling and passion, and lift where they are. If everyone in this great nation of ours had the opportunity to be taught to lift one another, it would be a completely different and better place.
And I hope to raise strong awareness about this incredible idea of Dr. Viktor Frankl’s – that of having a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast to bookend the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast–a project that I’ve been commissioned to bring to pass.
As a world-renowned sculptor, artist, and bestselling author you are what a lot aspire to become. From the pages written to your artistic works, what advice do you have for those who look to you for inspiration?
I would say two things: the first would be to listen to your heart of hearts. So often we just sail through life on whims of what others think or suggestions of what might be best for us, rather than us making those decisions and listening to our higher selves. If we can listen to our heart and realize what truly moves us, we can make decisions that will give us lifelong satisfaction, joy, and happiness!
I would also say that a very, very important part of the formula is persistence. I think so often we go for the quick fix, instead of being able to stick to something until we’ve given it our very, very sincerest effort to make it materialize and actualize that heartfelt decision. So often we shortchange ourselves by shiny objects, instead of sticking to our heartfelt desires and decisions.
Talk to us about the connection between your story and the connection that you had with your mother and how it helped shape your life?
My mother and I were extremely close and tight because of our common beliefs about the good of art and because my mom was married to a very jealous man who guarded her relationships. Consequently, my mom and I spent a lot of time together and a lot of that time together was spent doing fun art projects. I believe the most powerful part of the time my mom and I had together, was the fact that she was giving me tools to deal with the horrific tragedy of being there when she was killed by my stepfather.
Having the ability to express myself through art was invaluable when just a few days after the tragedy, I found myself flown to America from Germany, and dropped into the first grade at AJ Winter Elementary School in Montpelier, Idaho. My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson, immediately recognized my art skills and built me up in front of the entire class, praising my paintings and drawings when the whole rest of my world was shattered. She knew exactly what had happened to her little first grade student just a few days prior in Germany. I often think, what if Mrs. Anderson had done just the opposite with my ability to do art? What if she had denigrate those skills considering needing to be better at scholastics? I would not be the same person I am today.