Some thoughts after releasing a book

Some thoughts after releasing a book

It is almost two months since my new book Beauty in the Ashes: Learning to Lament was released. I have tried to start this blog post a number of times since then, but the emotions have been so large, and the words have been so elusive that it would not settle into anything cohesive.

Like Mary I have had to treasure up all these things and ponder them in my heart, until I was able to put words to them. So here is a random collection of thoughts after my book launch.

On release

Release is an interesting word, and so appropriate for this journey of taking words, giving them form, and letting them go into the world. Up until launch date I had control. I chose the words. I placed them carefully. I worked through the edits and design process, with others yes, but ultimately the final decision was mine.

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Beauty in the Ashes

Beauty in the Ashes

I have spent this weekend with an amazing group of women on a writing retreat. We all arrived at the tiny monastery town with our journals and our laptops, our fears and our expectations. We spent the weekend writing, chatting, and walking around the beautiful peace-filled grounds of New Norcia. And then on the last night we sat around in a circle and shared our writing. A beautiful gathering of women with stories in their hands, offering their fragile hearts and words to one another.

It was beautiful and it was profound.

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In the midst

In the midst

The trees are dark
and closing in

You don’t know how
you found yourself
here
but you did

You are tired
you stumble
and overcome
by exhaustion
slump to the ground

The reality of life
is overwhelming
there is no clear
path ahead
just this place
in these woods
in the gloom

May you know
that it is okay
to find yourself
here
on the forest floor

May you not reject
your emotions
the pain
the anger
the sorrow
but pull them over you
like a soft blanket

May you know how
very strong
you are
just by getting up
each day

And when you
look up
may you see
a soft light
penetrating
the shadow