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the healing we didn't see coming
Fall has finally arrived in the desert. And let’s be clear, by “FALL” I mean the temps are under 100, I can drink my coffee on the back patio without sweating, and I’m walking the dogs at night again without needing to jump in the pool afterward to cool off. It’s glorious.
In keeping with September’s space for what creativity is dripping down our chins and through our fingertips, we are still buzzing with gratitude following our SLOW BURN cover reveal. The overwhelmingly gorgeous response you gave to her cover art by Vika was no surprise. We knew you’d love the cover. We still can’t believe she gets to be this beautiful. What we are holding tight to is the way you have linked arms with us and trusted us and shared our soulwork in your own communities, in your own online spaces, with your own people. The way you shouted WITH YOU to us with every single like and comment and message and share and pre-order has been a current of healing we didn’t see coming.
I’m pruning aloe this morning, spreading out bundles of fleshy leaves and their papery roots to give them more room to take up more space and cover more ground and I’m thinking back to last winter when Sarah and I sat together and read through our entire manuscript out loud. Back and forth. Bone by bone. The way SLOW BURN is meant to be read. Like a deep humming conversation around a crackling fire. Stories sparking stories. Truth putting flint to stone and igniting more truth. We could see her narrative arc spread out clearly before us, the trajectory of our healing through the writing on the page. Ash cooled and smudged on our fingertips. And we could hear her howl healing us again through the read aloud every time our voices would tremble and the tears would fall, each time we’d laugh and cheer and exhale loud and long.
She told us what she wanted to be every step of the way through and we listened.
For all of us.
So many of our stories come to this fire with deep loss.
So many of our maps are threaded through and stitched together at ragged seams, burned around the edges, and embroidered in WITH YOU moments
delicate little markers of where we’ve lit candles and sat vigil and put ourselves in the way of beauty (thank you Cheryl Strayed’s mom) and watched her swirl on the breeze between us and scars where we’ve felt the flame.
We close our eyes and hear the echo, feeling the sound ricochet between canyons walls.
Dragging fingertips along the layers of sediment, following the kinetic vibrations in our cells.
We look to the skies for flares, to the horizon line for beacons lit a long way off.
This how we find each other out here.
Setting down what was never ours to carry and returning to ourselves.
We already know the way.
We cannot wait for SLOW BURN to be in your hands and for you to find yourself in her pages.
Thank you for loving her already.
“Grab a blanket and curl up around this fire with us. We made this book as a love letter to our own healing, knowing we are not alone. We have come from all directions to sit vigil with each other’s lived experiences. To tell ourselves the truth. To bear witness to the stories swirling in our spirits and onto these pages, holding gently your own stories that may begin to stir between them. Here we are in good company while the shadows grow long and the fire burns low, bolstering each other’s courage with just enough light to see by.”
-SLOW BURN: Reclaiming Yourself After Everything Burns to the Ground
Other creative currents this week…
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart referenced the selkies of Celtic mythology, the seal-women of the sea who shed their skins to dance under to moonlight on land, which I first learned of from Dr. Estes in WWRWTW. For so many years I found myself gravitating toward the wolf archetype, but lately the saltwater in my veins has been swirling and I’ve found myself swimming with the selkies in her chapter Homing: Returning to OneSelf. If you love WWRWTW, you will love diving into her audio offerings here. Her voice reading her words is the most powerful lullaby.
Sarah got me into sound baths and thinking about molecules organizing themselves in our bodies in response to sound and now I’ve been listening to a different one every night while I get ready for bed.
The group chat has been holding so much ground this week and this Grief Spell is a beautiful piece I will come back to again and again on behalf of my own grief cycles. “Remember you are water. Of course you leave salt trails.”
In Slow Burn I write a chapter from my early days of counseling where I started a practice of making a small purchase for myself every time I got paid. Not a need, but a want. Not for the family, for me. It started painfully with a single gold makeup brush for $2.99 at Target. Today I still practice allowing myself to want and finally ordered this baby I’ve had my eye on in honor of a little adventure/writing project I’m cooking up. I call it sleeping bag chic. It’s bound to become my whole personality. Can’t wait to show you pics.
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