Every day we’re surrounded by questions as old as the human race:
Why is there something rather than nothing?
What is this thing called love?
Why am I sometimes such a bastard?
Why did she have to get sick?
How come music makes me cry?
What’s this life all about?
For a few thousand years people might have looked to find answers to questions such as these in churches or synagogues, in mosques or temples.
The great households of religion often claimed to have a monopoly on truth. But then more and more people stopped believing in them, stopped belonging to them.
These days, many people may be fine sitting in the tranquility of some ancient house of prayer, but will probably slip off if anything resembling a ‘service’ begins.
They don’t like to be told what to believe. They’re shy of certainty, suspicious of authority.
But we still retain a longing for some deeper, richer narrative by which to navigate our days.
We’re curious, and open to ideas, we haven’t closed the door on life’s strange mysteries.
How the big moments – the birth of a child, say, or the death of a friend – can leave us wondering about how to live in the small moments.
How to forgive someone.
If love is worth it.
Why people pray.
Is there a way of facing this stuff without talking like a flat earther?
The old tropes and doctrinal formulae weigh us down rather than bear us up. Words are precious and, as two writers, we wondered if there was a vocabulary for speaking about life and love, faith, and doubt that resonated with who we are, the way we live.
We noticed that poets and songwriters, novelists and social reformers had sometimes said it, and said it well. Both those who held faith and others who felt like they never grasped it.
We grew up in quirky, generous, god-haunted worlds and, if we’ve shed a few convictions over time, we’ve also picked up one or two. None stronger than a sense that how we live is more important than what we believe.
This is less of a ‘how to’ than a ‘try this’ book.
More about clues and pointers than terms and conditions.
It’s about how we might try to live well in this beautiful but baffling world.
What people are saying
"Sacred text for the more earthy reader" – Bono
"Full of clear, simple and useful wisdom on how to live" – Matt Haig
"Beautiful, wise and playful" – Brené Brown
"A perfect gift for the bedside, especially for those who lie awake at night wondering what life is all about" – Church Times