There's "Blood," by singer-songwriter Allison Moorer.
Want to enhance the experience?
Listen to the Audible version of the book.
"Blood" is a memoir centered on the murder/suicide of the author's parents outside her bedroom window when she was just 14 years old.
In less-capable and thoughtful hands, such a shocking story might be impossible to tell.
Instead, I found the Audible version -- read by the author in a plaintive voice -- both touching and intimate. It inspired me.
On one level, it's inspiring to experience the act of being told a story. It harkens back to Homer and Shakespeare, to the days my parents read stories to me, and to memories of reading stories to my daughters.
On another level, I was inspired by "Blood"'s theme of acceptance, forgiveness and love.
If you want to learn more about Moorer's book, I recommend watching her extraordinary interview with "CBS This Morning" last October.
If you want to know more about her music, watch this clip of Moorer and her sister, Shelby Lynne, performing "Maybe Tomorrow" as part of an Everly Brothers tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. (Shelby's the one sticking the gum she'd been chewing on top of Albert Lee's amp.)
As each post-COVID day fades into the next, I've been searching for inspiration.
At first, I found some comfort from a small book of daily Bible reflections, "Rejoice and Be Glad 2020 (Easter to Pentecost)" by my friend Mary DeTurris Poust. She wrote her reflections many months ago, well before the pandemic, but scripture being what it is, the readings seemed ever-relevant.
After Pentecost Sunday (May 31), I subscribed to FaithND, my alma mater's email of daily Gospel reflections.
We're back in "ordinary time" now, at least according to the Church. The beginning of last Sunday's reading (Matthew 10:37)... the day I finished listening to Moorer's book... was a bit startling:
Jesus said to his disciples, "No one who prefers father or mother to me is worthy of me. No one who prefers son or daughter to me is worthy of me."
I know it's unfair to focus on a lone Bible verse without context, but this one stuck in my head all day.
Meanwhile, late that night, Moorer's whispering voice... her haunting and lyrical words... reflected on her still-undying love for her parents, and her devotion to her sister.
Family is everything, and so today I'm posting this old photo of me and my sister.
No one is more important in my life than my sister, my wife, my daughters and my mother.
This is why Moorer's stunning book inspired me more than Sunday's Gospel.
I will never be a disciple like Matthew.
I admit it: I am not worthy.