Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wrestling With Angels

Amsterdam, New Year's Day

Okay, the secret is out,

but only because I let it slip.

I have received from, the Artist's copy of my latest book, Wrestling With Angels. I put a leash on Neo and headed down the path to the crossroads tucked in the overgrowth at the western edge of the developer's property. I peeled the sheath of cellophane from the package like placenta from a baby's face. I rejoiced in the essence of seeing it for the very first time. In that glorious moment, seven years or so in coming, I realised a vision and held it in my hands. After holding it close for several days, I heard a call to release it carefully to those precious ones who have been there from before the beginning.

and I've shared it with a select few of you.

Let me thank you all for your validation and affirmation.

The positive responses of friends and critics who have studied it, and snatched a few paragraphs to ponder, have been overwhelming. You have managed to recognize, to grasp the spirit immediately, and it resonates.

I began this project several years ago when my wife and I were separated for nine months.

We had a child together and it was early still in our marriage, and it was troubled and complicated. Leaving my baby son behind, I retreated like Ezekiel running from Jezebel, to Red State America, and a basement apartment in Chandler, Oklahoma, to lick my wounds, to heal and to begin the shaky steps back towards God's redemption.

The question for me at the time, as I began writing, was "How did I manage to get to this place, at this point in my charmed life?..." A life shaped by my choices, my fears, my doubts and delusions. A life created by romantic notions and quests towards the sacred and profane. Life driven by a will to happiness and sadness and adventure beyond the Jesus loving, African-American, middle class reality that was my personal foundation.

I revisited periods of my past and moments of choice in Thailand, The Netherlands, North Africa, LaJolla, California, and these Oklahoma badlands. I wrote of vain recollections, vivid memories and recognitions of the treasures lived back there. I wrote of my resentments and hurts; of my regrets and hopes for she and I, and for him.
By the time I finished the rough draft, we were reconciled and I moved on to making that work. The writings sat fermenting in the hard-drive of the old Mac G-5 that sat collecting dust in my studio.

...until the day I rediscovered the manuscript with the eyes of objectivity. It read as a story worth sharing, and so I do.

Preview Wrestling With Angels at Click the bookstore link, search 'Skip Hill', and order your copy of this limited edition work of Art.

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