God or no God; life still has meaning

The Gardens of Ailana” will be controversial and many will hate it.
But in reading it some have already come to new terms with their lives and a God they see as either non-existent or cruel.
In this story, adults crippled by memories from childhood; two them suffered at the hands of evil and twisted men from southern fundamentalist churches; have to come clear with every ugliness within them before they can find any meaning and purpose for their lives. In the process they learn that if there is a Heaven at all, it would not be what their churches had told them to believe, and that forgiveness may not always be the healthiest option.
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The deeper truth

The afterlife is not what you’ve been led to believe.
Neither is life.
Find the deeper Truth and heal.
– “The Gardens of Ailana” handbook for healers & mystics

Private memories

He lifted his chin into an intimate smile he kept for himself and his memories. “Ah, but spook bread is the very best kind.” He turned and walked on.

I lingered a bit, then followed.

Nature burbled and rustled all around us. My friend kicked rocks along his own inner streams as he wandered the world of his very private smile, shaking his head sometimes and chuckling. He wore an old woven blanket someone had made into a vest. As he stepped with great care among shadows, trying not to disturb, not to snap a branch or rouse a settled creature, he petted that vest and found that someone.

Mushrooms poked through everywhere, breaking down matter that had outlived its time, seeding spores of brightness through the lost and decaying. They drew in around us and reached off in all directions. Gaudy, gay or dull; dappled or solid, they gathered together and scattered; exquisite vistas of life growing from death, and death nurturing life. Lichen clawed out from vibrant trees and rotting stumps.

“Ahhh … Bread. Fresh-baking. How wonderful.” Waters stepped over a fallen trunk of slick green velvet, his walking stick poking a thorny vine up out of his face. “We made some marvelous breads together, Sanchee and I, according to the old ways. Bread you could cut your teeth on. Now there was bread! My wife worked wonders at our old stone hearth.”

“I’m so jealous,” I told him, making no move to catch up as he stood, studying his own chapter of Nature. “All that love, the sharing. The little home chores…”

Bonding together through the intimate drudgery of life, having problems and working them out, irritations that become seeds of growth and new understanding. But then I guess that great feast of long-lasting union would have been lost on someone like me. I wouldn’t even have paused at the table. “Just passing through,” I’d say, “Sorry; can’t stay.”

But here was a man who had dug into love. He’d labored in the field with it, shared sickness and health, spoken and lived it. Now he had joys to look back on while I could only sit on a rock and take notes. I wanted so badly to ask him more, search out details, share my friend’s greatest triumphs, joys, and deepest sorrows, all the little stuff, too; but I’m not one to pry. And Waters was a very guarded soul.

I couldn’t respect the man without honoring that.

– From “The Mourning After”

Truly great writers: real and imagined

It seems to be mainly the mediocre and amateurish writers who defend their work, and tell you how great they are. If you’re not enjoying their excerpts then there is something wrong with you, not their writing.
The truly great writers have no time for this.
They are focused on trying to get better.

– Edward Fahey

We are all lost spirits.

“It was a dense, moldering night, smelling of damp old basements and times best left unstirred. All those long dark hours, grief-strewn winds wailed through the trees. Calling like tender misplaced memories. Moaning, “Vrrommm … Mrroammm …” Not just lamenting, but beckoning. I took it in as someone crying out for me to “Comme … hommme…”
But I had no home. Homes were filled with loss and I’d had enough of that. I’d squandered my childhood locked up inside, catching glimpses of life and the world only through windows and books, as my parents had waited for my heart to finish me off. Then death had taken them first. I’d spent my few adult years running away from any threat of settling down, refusing to take in any more grief, but felt it following as I’d fled.
I’d gone out into the world, intricately lacing distractions and busywork around the long-gnawing emptiness, only to find I’d merely embellished rather than hidden it. I’d buried death under deep mounds of chitchat, but still heard it rustling in there.
This troubled old cabin with its veiled history had called to me from so far away. But even here I was infested with the roving misery of spirits who could never touch their loved ones again.
Especially here. I couldn’t heal their wounds, couldn’t even pat them reassuringly; but I would not be just one more who’d turned away.
It all felt so hauntingly personal. We were all lost spirits, neighbors in need, afraid to knock, lingering just along the fuzzy edges of each other’s most intimate buried memories.
On through those long hours, my heart shredded by the winds, I stayed up; unpacking, writing by moody, tossing candlelight, or stalling out to listen in on the sorrow. Letting it soak through me, draw me into its churning, writhing bosom.
Darkness crept through. Shadows pried at doors, teased dull edges of recollections that never quite took hold. Memories that would have shriveled under the blinding sun of daylight. And reason.” – Excerpt from “The Mourning After”.

Absorbing fiction we grow from as we read.

I have known my work is “Literary Fiction” in that every word counts, and the characters are rich, multi-layered, complex. It is “Magic Realism” in that it reads as though this is just an everyday story while making laying-on-of-hands, reincarnation and such clearly part of that reality, and relevant to our strained and challenging modern lives. But now with the sub-genre “Visionary Fiction” I get the rest of it. Ancient principles and teachings shared without preaching. Powerful emphasis on the limitless potential each has for growth and transformation. These are the bases for every one of my novels. It is all there now. Thank you so much for this new discovery, Ellis Nelson.

Reaching the hopeless through our own doubt.

My love/guide told me today that if I hadn’t had all those years of suffering and crippling doubt I couldn’t have written the books that I do, and could’t have reached the people I reach. I write books of hope for the hopeless; stories of deep meaning for the lost and out of touch. I couldn’t have come to them in compassion and empathy if I hadn’t myself felt disconnected, and like God and all meaning had turned from me.