Not since Harry Potter have I devoured a book over 400 pages so quickly and then cried knowing I’d have to wait an untold number of months (years?) to find out what happens next. Throughout this book, however, I found peace in knowing the very real and accomplished author is currently living a colorful, nourished, happy, loving life. Without this comfort, my heartache and rage for the pain she endured might’ve eaten me alive.

Cherilyn Christen Clough is the author of a brilliant blog; Little Red Survivor and her incredible, endearing, self-published memoir, Chasing Eden. If you’ve ever been tortured by the dark side of religion, a dysfunctional family or abject, rural poverty, you’ll find solace, wisdom and hope in her story. You’ll also find art, humor, compassion, tools for healing and clean, instructive writing.

I finished her book this morning and all I can say is, I can’t wait for the sequel! When it arrived two weeks ago, all the hairs on my arms stood up and cheered. I’ve been following her for about three years now and actually met my dear friend and current editor through her blog; one of the many gifts of writing communities. I got to witness her dream come to life but after reading her book, it feels like so much more: her flight to freedom.

Chasing Eden is the story of one brave woman’s uncharted path to becoming as she paws gently, humbly, persistently through the suffocating darkness of a multitude of trash bags to tear through the illusion of plastic flesh into the light of the truth which she’d always possessed, despite the intrusion of unwelcome doubts, along with a redemptive, elephant memory and finally learns to trust the persistent voice within. Okay, maybe a smidge of credit goes to Jesus, cool neighbors, one amazing teacher, hope chests, nature, goats, the motivational force of misery and Amy Grant. Her music will never sound the same. Instead of 8th grade dances, I’ll hear the salve for my sister from another mister’s soul.

I breathed a tearful sigh of relief as I turned the last page which won’t mean a thing unless you read every line, suffer every humiliating sting of the beastly, insecure, cowardly! Persuader, every brutal Winter that comes before the final, first and merciful Spring.

Today, while speeding through too many chores against fading daylight, I envisioned belting Ignorance as if it were some disembodied being; some person we could all be allowed to viscerally hurt and hate. I wanted to take out my rage for her pain on someone. Our higher self knows there’s no such or single human person to punish; it’s simply the roots of divinity meeting at the intersection of Providence and Hell. This enlightened understanding weaves itself throughout Cherilyn’s story. She gets it. While we’re allowed to loathe and protect ourselves against the fear-filled, pond scum of humanity, we’re invited to understand, as Cherilyn does, that love and free will are our only hope.

Buy her book. Support indie authors. Tell your story. And, most importantly, keep choosing Love.

ps: Cherie, I loved your book. You’re amazing. I hope you have a beautiful closet full of awesome clothes, ALL the music, books and Tillamook cheese you want and that you never have to sleep on a cold floor ever again. Happy birthday!!

2 thoughts on “She Lived

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