Synopses & Reviews
When you grieve, the world changes. However, much of the writing on grief is from outside the process, like viewing a distant planet through a telescope. The Unwanted Blessing is written by a father at the center of it all, who is dealing with the loss of a son to cancer. Like an astronaut sending back pictures from Mars, he offers instead an orientation to this new world through close up, first hand snapshots of the landscape. Here, rather than providing answers for or distractions from the grief itself, he offers a collage of feelings, events, questions, and prayers. The new terrain is reflected back stripped of any intellectual veneer or assent to understanding, and this new world is laid bare at your feet. In acknowledging the way it is, the book provides signposts of comfort in simply letting the reader know that they are not alone. Perhaps, it proposes, grieving is about going to where God is absent for a bit so that we can find him again. Perhaps, grieving is more central to God's story than the events that cause the grief. Perhaps, it is God's unwanted blessing. ""The Unwanted Blessing is a beautiful and heartbreaking love song--to lost children, to God, even to pain and grief. This book of scattered poems, pictures, and letters is a reminder that life is both a gift and utterly beyond our control."" --Stefany Anne Goldberg, author, Dead People ""Simply said, Jim is the real deal and his words offer a thoughtful reflection on the death of a loved one in the midst of living, while somehow inviting a deeper connection to God."" --Tavye Morgan Triemer, spiritual director ""The Unwanted Blessing hits the core of those who have been touched by loss too early. The pursuit to move forward shadowed by grief is a testament to a super human condition."" --Vince Zangaro, Alzheimer's Music Fest E. J. Stallings is a poet/writer whose second language is music, or a musician whose second language is poetry and the rhythm of the soul. His creative output is infused with a musical sensibility that can only come through decades of weaving musical tales from rhythm and melody. Often, his poems appear as literary photographs or renderings that combine the physical world around him with the spiritual world within. But, whether working with sounds, or syntax, or a combination of the two, he uses the subtleties of cadence and inflection to capture both the reality and the emotional essence of an idea. In addition to writing poetry, inspirational prose, books and articles on music, he has written for a wide variety of musical settings from the Grammy award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, to more intimate settings for weddings and contemplative chamber ensembles. Always eager to engage a different perspective, Jim has participated in writing workshops with noted authors and journalists such as, B.H. Fairchild, The Rev. Debbie Blue, and Alissa Wilkenson. E.J. holds degrees from Catawba College, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Georgia State University. His collection of poems, The Unwanted Blessing, is sure to resonate with, engage, challenge, and befriend the reader.