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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In the midst

In the midst

The trees are dark
and closing in

You don’t know how
you found yourself
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
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
the shadow



It is raining, and cold, and my house is desperately in need of some love and attention. I feel stuck, looking at all that could be done and should be done, and let’s be honest, the stuff that should have been done yesterday. And I just can’t summon up the energy. I manage (somehow) to manufacture small bursts of energy and start tackling a task. But before too long, I have been interrupted, or the energy dissipates, and then I find there are a bunch of half-finished tasks all over the house. Finally I beat myself up about it, because I am strong on good intentions but not on follow through.

Truth is I am grieving. The loss of a much beloved grandfather. And it is okay to feel stuck in this place of grief. It is okay that the house is a mess, and the kids have had rice for dinner a few too many times this week. It is okay to pause and acknowledge the loss and pain. It is okay to just let some things go for a while. It is okay to acknowledge that something precious has been taken and I am sad, and right now I find it a little hard to focus on housework. It is okay to be stuck for a while.