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THE GOD-SHAPED HOLE                                                                  A Story of Comfort for The Child In All Of Us

       Written and illustrated by Granville Angell

Questions that matter

We Lost

In an empty so deep,

Only a child

Can bring them back.

“I...I tried everything to make it go away,” Joey stammered.  “The sadness stays on me all the time since Frisky died.  It won’t get off me!”                              Grandma gently wiped the tear from Joey’s cheek.  “Oh, darling,” she said, “what you are feeling is called grief.  Grief is a special kind of sadness we feel after we lose someone or something that is very important to us.  It’s kind of like a big hole is left in us after we lose the one we love.”

Tommy had talked all summer about his planned trip to New York for his birthday.  His Uncle Will was going to take him up in his office, where he worked in one of the tallest twin buildings in the world.

Grandma pulled a seed out of a dead flower.  “This seed is the Little-Me of a tomorrow flower.  It is locked up inside its shell like we are locked up inside our God-shaped hole.  When it’s planted in the ground, all that it knows is the shell that protects it and keeps it safe.  It hides in the ground for a time, where it feels safe, but then spring comes.  It rains and the wetness surrounds the seed.  Then a magical thing happens!  The Spark of life in that seed knows it’s time to grow. It is the Big-Me seed of the tomorrow plant that connects to God through Spirit and sunlight and water.

It sounded to him like jets were coming out of the sky and crashing everywhere.  One hit in Washington at the military building and maybe one was coming to crash on him.  Then the other tower – that great, big, tall tower – came crashing to the ground like his tall sand castle did when the tide came in.  But there was so much smoke and all those people running everywhere.  And where was Tommy’s Uncle Will?  Running?  In the tower when it fell?  Did Tommy know this was happening?  Then it seemed to be happening all over again.  The jets.  More towers burning and falling.  How many towers were there?  And everybody crying and so horrified – on TV, in the library.  It went on and on.  And on and on.

" . . . Another part is, no matter how different we are from each other, some part of us – way deep inside – always knows that we are more alike than we are different.”

Knowing

every thought

Is a prayer,

I hold

My future

In the fullness

of my mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Released in September, 2002

It Is A Story of September 11th -    

It Is A Message For All Time

Release Notes . . .

           It is no coincidence that the book, The God-Shaped Hole - A Story of Comfort for The Child In All of Us is being released in September.  What was twelve years in the making became twelve months in completion.

          Twelve years ago, counselor and author Granville Angell began to write a simple allegory to help people struggling with loss, tragedy, and the ultimate questions of life.  He wrote and re-wrote, enhancing the story, even adding supporting material that began to look like a separate book, but no matter how much work he put into the project, it never felt complete.  An initial laser-printed version of the story sold well, but that only increased his perception that more work was required on the project.  Then we were struck by the tragedies of September 11th.

          Years of professional counseling experience yielded repeated observations that many of his clients had not dealt adequately with what he called their ultimate questions - the questions that most matter about life.  Events of loss and tragedy under these circumstances made their experiences almost unbearable, with an overwhelming sense of emptiness to their existence. No stranger to these feelings himself, having served in Vietnam as a helicopter ambulance pilot, Angell wanted to communicate the healing message he had discovered in his years of personal and professional experience.

          The urgency of need after September 11th was reinforced by Angell's experiences volunteering as a Red Cross disaster mental health counselor at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center.  The book had to be completed. During the ensuing months, universal spiritual concepts essential to healing the emptiness and despair that come with tragic loss were worked into a powerful allegorical story.  Invoking a non-threatening, inner child perspective, the story includes illustrations, verse and other supporting material to inspire and re-orient the reader down a healing path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is a universal source at the core of all human suffering, perhaps there is a universal solution.

 

Please allow enough time for the illustrations to download . . .

 

 

“So many people who believe in God,” she began, “think mostly of God as an Outside God.”  She pointed to all the area outside the circle in the sand.  “They read scripture and study rules of a God Out There.  Many people in the world think only of an Outside God.” Then she touched the inside of the circle.  “But we live in here.  When we don’t know that God lives in here, within us, we live in the God-shaped hole.  This circle represents the God-shaped hole.  When we think God is only out there and we are in here, we feel so very alone. . ."

 

 

The air was beginning to get a crisp feel brushing past his face and the smells of summer were fading.  Joey would have to do all the smelling now.  He missed the familiar companionship of Frisky, his rhythmic clicking gait alongside him, head held high, smelling at the air. 

Deep inside Me

I find,

One inside the other,

A seed coming from

A Dead flower.

“No, honey, we all have the same God – even though God is worshiped and understood differently by people in different religions.  Fundamentalists are the spiritual infants in every religion.  They believe in God because of their scriptures and rules, but they do not yet know God through spiritual experience.  They are filling their God-shaped holes with the scriptures and rules, rather than with the experience of the Presence of God.  And, they are unhappy because they do not feel the shape of God filling their God-shaped holes.”

 

 

 

 

Summary

In the story, little Joey experiences grief for the first time in his life.  The death of his beloved dog and conflicts with his best friend have opened painful questions about what is behind the emptiness we all feel at times in our lives. He seeks solace in the arms of his wise grandmother, where to little Joey and to all of us, Grandma reveals the God-shaped hole and what we can do to begin filling it. Joey begins to work through his grief and continues to struggle with his friendship. But then, even Grandma's faith is challenged as everybody faces loss with the tragedy of September 11th.  The depth of her spirituality is revealed as she gently guides Joey in ways to find answers to life's most challenging questions - especially in the face of unspeakable grief and conflict. Their dialogue about the core source of human suffering and how to overcome it brings profound and simple truths to young and old readers alike.  Grandma's message is simple: Take courage - look into the emptiness to find the light. There is no tragedy so great, no shame so deep, and no pain so overwhelming but that the power of the human spirit can break through to the light.

A galaxy of souls

In the night:

Love in candlelight

Can span the deepest darkness.

 

We all know that certain emptiness inside.  Sometimes, it can be haunting and familiar.  Other times, it can be overwhelming. At a time when the emptiness inside will not go away - and mere beliefs are not enough, a simple story can answer life's deepest questions . . .

The God-Shaped Hole - A Story of Comfort for the Child In All of Us - is a story of September 11th and a message for all time.  A book of healing and inspiration that was initiated many years before the tragic events that brought about its completion will be available to bring comfort on the anniversary of the most tragic day of our time.

About the Author:  Granville Angell is a licensed professional counselor, in private practice, with a quarter century of experience in his field. Beyond his formal education in psychology and counseling, early and continuing spiritual experiences have fueled a lifelong study of the transpersonal aspects of human development.  His early love of flying led to his coming of age as a helicopter ambulance pilot in Vietnam. This, and other life experiences, became the foundation for personal and clinical in-depth study of the impact of loss and trauma and the part they can ultimately play in human spiritual development.  During early December, 2001, he served as a Red Cross disaster mental health counselor at Ground Zero, the World Trade Center site.  Storytelling, as a healing art, is a major focus in the author’s work.  Beyond a love of Nature and all things spiritual, writing, counseling, gardening, and ultra-light flying occupy Granville’s interests.  He and his wife, Alice, have lived the past twenty-one years on their wooded homestead in Lincoln County, western North Carolina, where they raised their two daughters.

 

 

 In response to the tragedies of September 11, and the issues of grief and loss/existential angst in general, I have written a healing-oriented allegory.  In the genre of such books as Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Little Prince, The Prophet, and Hope for the Flowers, my book, The God-Shaped Hole - A Story of Comfort for the Child In All of Us, both enchants and offers powerful inspiration to move beyond grief and loss.  On a path from natural loss and conflict to overwhelming tragedy, a child’s innocence and a Grandmother’s wisdom bring answers to the ultimate questions of life.   

The God-Shaped Hole - A Story of Comfort for the Child In All of Us draws its inspirational power equally from universal spiritual themes and the psychology of inner-child oriented grief work. Sandwiched between an introduction and a self-help epilogue, it is a healing story involving allegorical victims of 9-11 coming to terms with the tragedy by exploring the deeper questions of life.  It is relatively short, uncomplicated and powerful in the delivery of an inspirational message for people of all ages and all times.  It is available online at Amazon.com, and if it is not in stock at your local bookstore, it can be ordered. I also maintain a stock of books in my offices so a book will be available if a client requests it.

With Deepest Regard, Granville Angell

All material on this page is copyrighted 2002 by Granville Angell. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including material posted on this web site, may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

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