Arthur Cole Riley’s This Here Flesh is breathtaking. Her unique style of contemplative storytelling invites the reader into a numinous space, full of profound revelation and beauty, woven into poetry, unforgettable imagery and story.
There are parts that some readers from more conservative traditions may find less familiar, and potentially uncomfortable, including those that deal with sexuality, shame and the body. But I found her observations on faith and God liberating rather than limiting, and profoundly moving. In the wake of Black Lives Matter, many black people are coming to terms with the denial of their humanity over centuries; this work draws us in to rediscover a joy that can be found only in our Creator God.
I will keep returning to its pages, ready to hear, in Cole Arthur Riley’s reflections, new ways to see myself, my family, my faith and my God. Who knew truth-telling could be so beautiful?