I recently coauthored a book with 31 (if I counted correctly) other writers. We each wrote a chapter in a book called “Soul Bare“. The premise is to provide the reader with a collection of stories about the pain, failure, and disillusionment that accompanies being a growing human. I’m excited because it’s not often that people will share the pain that changed them.
I want to blog as I read these stories and introduce you to other writers who you may not know yet. I also want to talk about the different perspective of life that are determined guttural enough to be considered “soul baring”. We’re all so different. Pain and struggle are relative.
The first chapter, “More For You Than This”, is written by Shannan Martin. Shannan was a good place to start this book because her writing style lets you know that you’re in for a literary treat. I’m drawn to melancholy and her chapter fit that build. When she talks about her life, she does it by rippling her surroundings into something that can turn one-dimensional and curl up like a damp letter in sallow-skied humidity.
“…the edges of every sure thing warping around us until our world no longer stands erect” (page 16).
She writes about having an idea about what you want out of life and working to create it. The “more for you” is, as she discovered, shaped into a carving knife. She writes about her pain between the snapshots when some of the best things come through a canal that feels like loss, and grief is the native flower.
I like that she’s not trying to get you to like her or affirm her. She’s an introvert, secure in the life she’s created and that has created her. She’s had to put a “For Sale” sign on her dreams, watch a heart break so she could fill it, and feel the rumble of the tracks when all she wanted was the off-track quiet.
“Looking hard in the mirror, I hunt down my humanity and put it on trial” (page 19).
The difference between someone with faith and someone with none is the blanket of peace that’s big enough to keep you covered when life rolls over and switches positions on you. Shannan’s share is a quiet little glimpse of what it’s like to let go of what you have to make room for the “more” that’s coming.
If you have the book, read along with me and leave your thoughts alongside mine.
Shannan blogs here and is collecting pre-orders for her book, “Falling Free”, that appears to be the long version of the snapshot she gives us in Soul Bare.
I’ll post my thoughts about chapter two, “Dark Clouds and Abundant Grace” written by Trillia J. Newbell, next.