Matters for You Alone

82 pages
May 14, 2024

COMING SOON! Matters for You Alone is a spiritual exploration of friendship: its shapes and duties, stresses and blames—and its absolute necessity. The book takes its title from Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s classic, Abandonment to Divine Providence, as it strives to interpret everyday encounters and events—the domestic, the mundane—in light of the eternal.

Hardcover ISBN 9781639821662 $28.00
Paperback ISBN 9781639821655 $17.00
eBook ISBN 9781639821679 $12.99
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Matters for You Alone is a spiritual exploration of friendship: its shapes and duties, stresses and blames—and its absolute necessity. The book takes its title from Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s classic, Abandonment to Divine Providence, as it strives to interpret everyday encounters and events—the domestic, the mundane—in light of the eternal.

Powerful and powerless—made perfect in weakness—the speaker in these poems is fractured and dazzling, abject and hurried, courageous and fallen, you and me. At times playful, at others deadly serious, these poems ask important questions about our friends. What is the lifespan of a friendship and how might we celebrate its glories? How have our friends made us who we are? “As Seen in Frescoes Now Effaced” says it this way: “We’re taught to love / by someone—a series of them— // each seeking a brief shelter / as the spirit searches / for more capacious / seas—.”

A friend holds a special status—not exactly family, but often with deeper resonances of meaning and responsibility, and especially, choice. When friendships go wrong, how can we mend and heal? As “way leads on to way,” how can forgiveness hold the sacred memory of others and their indelible marks on us? This book is for anyone who wants to reflect on the people in our lives from whom we’ve received instruction, correction, inspiration, and joy.

Leslie Williams writes in a rare and holy register, both wry and absolutely wonderstruck. These are poems that tell the whole truth about our world, a world of cracked lobsters, green diamonds, gangs of turkeys, broken doorknobs, shrinks for children, bleeders in ambulances, and ankle bells on Atonement Day. All this, held by that jolly, howling, uncanny God whom all psalmists know, and whom our good psalmists (like Leslie) are learning to love. Read this.

Paul Pastor, author of Bower Lodge: Poems