In the fourth chapter of Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak entitled All the Way Down, Palmer is addressing and discussing clinical depression and the discoveries he made during this time. Disconnection and mystery are both explicitly covered to accurately explain the run and feeling of depression for the individuals that have never experienced the disorder. One of the main ideas that is addressed is that one of the only ways to get out of depression is to use knowledge of the heart and the choices that lead to wholeness are expressive of personal truth rather than calculated and intended to achieve a goal.
At the beginning and end of the chapter, Palmer includes two separate poems. These poems give the chapter an initial nuance of lost and chaos with an excerpt of The Inferno of Dante and ending on a note of sweet and new with Harrowing written by Palmer himself. Beginning with the first seven lines from The Inferno of Dante, in which Dante has found himself lost in a dark wood after straying off his path. Palmer connects this quotation by saying, “I found myself in the dark woods called clinical depression, a total eclipse of light and hope” (56). Having this be the first that is read shows the reader that this chapter isn’t going to be all sunshine and butterflies. Although, by the time the reader reaches the end of the chapter, and the closing poem, the mood has shifted. Preceding the closing poem, Palmer states, “I was finally able to say yes to life…I found a poem