Sonic Soup of Vulnerability - Kate Bowler

Complicated Grief and Complicated Love with

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Sonic Soup of Vulnerability

The soundtrack of my life would make a horrible Spotify playlist. I wrote a huge chunk of the Everything Happens manuscript listening to a tiny Minnesotan college marching band rehearse the same. two. measures. for. eleven. days. I can still hear sousaphones when I open Microsoft Word. Writing from home means hearing tiny dinosaur shrieks from the playroom and subconsciously singing along to “Everything is Awesome!” from the LEGO movie. So, it is only fitting that I wrote my recent New York Times piece sitting in a shopping mall with cheery choruses of Christmas jingles blasting my eardrums.

When life turns upside down, sometimes all you can hear is white noise. Nothing makes sense. It feels like you’re a human turn table shuttering between grooves. It becomes impossible to sort through all the sonic soup of worry, advice, and placation when everything you thought you knew about life seems wrong.

I thought I knew how to cheerfully soldier on, alone in this new reality.

What I didn’t expect, dear ones, is how this community would grow. Just when it seemed nothing could be coherent again, this beautiful community came along and showed me I could be all kinds of messy without losing my worth. Everything Happens started as a love letter to my family in the midst of my hardest weeks, and a confession of all the absurd thoughts I couldn’t quite say out loud. Somewhere along the way it morphed into a love letter to ALL of you. My future is uncertain. But what IS certain to me, now, is how connection transforms uncertainty and isolation into delight.

You all have taught me that we are not problems to be solved, but people to be loved.

This book is truly for you all. It is a celebration of vulnerability, an affirmation of your delirious doubt, a resource for how to respond to the minimizers, teachers, and solvers in your life, and a way, I hope, to faithfully stare down the darkness—together.


Here’s your chance to win a copy of EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON (And Other Lies I’ve Loved):

We’re giving away a signed copy of Everything Happens for a Reason to one of you delightful souls. To enter to win, share this photo on your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using hashtag #EverythingHappens.

The winner will be announced on Monday, February 5th. Your post must be shared publicly to be an eligible entry. You can enter as many times as you’d like.

Psst… If you want to know how you can help get the word out about Everything Happens for a Reason, join Kate’s Launch Team.

And, if you haven’t already, click here to pre-order Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved. It releases on February 8th.

My dears, I am absolutely thrilled to share with you a preview of my new podcast, Everything Happens. It’s about learning how to be a human being in a world that loves you more when you are shiny and whole…and what you learn when you aren’t.

Click here to subscribe.

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gary carl
3 years ago

‘stare down the darkness’!! Japanese and Tibetan (dzogchen) zen say the goal is to merge with our primordial nature. Also St. John of the Cross as ‘dark night’ and St. Theresa as the interior castle. To descend to the hara, in zen. Jungian: European fairy tale as talking pot of gold at FOOT of tree–the goal is not the branches. Joshua continued in business to ‘become’ a mind-made man, refused to go into the depths, but whale got him anyway, will-he nill-he. Non-duality = simultaneity of cause and effect; when Jesus merged, while alive, with the undifferentiated: ‘I go to… Read more »

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