Brian Doyle might just be the most passionate storyteller in America. In this eclectic and compelling collection of stories Doyle writes about his discovery of the incarnated Spirit of God every time he turns around, often in the most unlikely of people, places, and things. In 37 short snapshots, he captures the spiritual essence of everyday life from the perspective of a committed Catholic who loves his faith, his family, his community, and his church, even with all their warts and failings. (Hence the beautiful Argentine tree frog that graces the cover.)
Be prepared to take a beautiful, breathtaking, tear-jerking ride on some of the most accomplished, outside-the-box writing you’ve ever read.
Attentiveness is the beginning of all prayer, says the great poet Mary Oliver, and everything that lives is holy, says the confusing poet Billy Blake, and all the way to heaven is heaven, says the tart Saint Catherine of Siena, and let grief be a falling leaf, says the testy poet Van Morrison, and grace under duress is the great story of us, says the undersigned muddleness, and how we reach for one another and listen to one another’s music and share stories like the most amazing and nutritious food—that’s what we are all here for. Me personally I think stories are the coolest wildest prayers there are. It’s no accident that the skinny Jewish guy who wandered around Judea some centuries ago was a terrific storyteller, his tales mysterious and shimmering, wriggling their way through the millennia even unto our day, and now into the ears and hearts of our children and our children’s children; stories matter, stories live forever, stories are how we shuffle quickest toward the Mercy greater than the ocean and denser than the stars in the sky. Stories maybe save lives. They sure saved mine.
— Brian Doyle, from the Foreword