Written in Water may alter the way you look at love and death. Almost certainly, it will alter the way you look at grieving. And it may even alter your perceptions of ordinary reality. When veteran journalist Carol Flake Chapman loses her husband suddenly in a kayaking accident on a remote Guatemalan river, she is thrust without warning into a time of grief and shock. But in her altered state, she soon realizes that grief has opened the doors to possibilities of consolation that she could never have imagined. Her time of grieving becomes a kind of improvised pilgrimage that takes her around the world in a journey of discovery, as she explores who her peaceful-warrior husband really was and what her place might be in the world without him.
Along the way, she encounters what she comes to think of as “necessary angels”—people who appear at the right place at the right time with the right words or acts of comfort. She travels into the “thin places”—the places where the boundaries between heaven and earth, between reality and dream, become permeable. She introduces the concept of “Slow Grief,” of a way of grieving that embraces life and that takes comfort in all its small and large miracles. Even technology becomes a means of healing. And in her encounters with the natural world, she finds not only connection and healing, but also a threshold of transformation. As she writes, “the invisible gossamer threads of connection became visible.” And always there is music, some of it coming from what she calls the “cosmic playlist”—songs that deliver timely messages of comfort and meaning.
She recounts in raw, moving and often riveting detail the small indignities, the bottomless sorrows and transcendent moments that come with death and the pursuit of healing.
Read by author, Carol Flake Chapman.
I was immediately caught up in the book’s story-telling momentum and emotional power. A wrenching, unblinking depiction of all the terrible and wonderful things Carol Flake Chapman experienced in the wake of her husband’s death, Written in Water is a book that strikes universal chords of heartbreak and hope.Stephen Harrigan, author of The Gates of the Alamo,
Remember Ben Calyton, and Water and Light
Written in Water cleanses two important doors of perception: grieving without getting lost in the process and connecting with a larger perspective through the healing balm of Nature. This is a deeply moving and transformative read.Will Taegel, author of The Mother Tongue,
Dean of the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies
Reading Written in Water took my skin off and revealed new skin underneath. This astonishing book has been a profound companion for me.Sarah Bird, author of Alamo House,
The Yakota Officers Club and Above the East China Sea
A finely honed investigative reporter, Carol Flake Chapman opens portals of life’s mysteries many of us never reach. Reflecting on the man she loved being taken in his prime becomes the catalyst for a journey of discovery. The breadth of her voyage through grief to her rebirth takes the reader from the marrow of bone all the way to the penumbra of the moon.Larry Winters, author of Brotherkeeper
and The Making and Unmaking of a Marine
Copyright © 2021 Carol Flake Chapman.