Still on Fire-Field Notes from a Queer Mystic

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Still on Fire by Jan Phillips is a beautiful memoir about growing up, coming out, and finding one’s place in life. Each chapter is prefaced by the author speaking directly to the reader, offering hopes for what each story might bring to the reader, or additional insights and wisdom gained after the fact.

This book spoke to me on so many levels. Jan’s growth past religious dogma, and into true faith and spirituality echoed my own in some ways. My mother and father weren’t churchgoers. It was me who prodded them into it, as at a young age I was looking for something. However, the dogma turned me off. I moved on, and they didn’t. My path led me to a fusion of Druidry and Rokkatru. I get the ‘why are you doing this? You’re going to hell’ talk often. Jan’s stories remind me of what about Christianity actually spoke to me, to begin with.

While I’m not gay, I’ve only recently accepted I do fall into the expanded LGBTQA+ categorization. I’m ace, that last and latest letter. I grew up thinking I was broken, and my family didn’t help. I’m the eldest. I was expected to provide grandchildren. My mother did ask me a few times if I were lesbian. No… There’s just no sexual interest either way, though I do crave companionship and love. Reading Jan’s story helped me be more at ease with myself, reaffirming I’m not broken. Now I’m just working on accepting that I’m not likely to find that companionship and love. Aces seem rare, and males seem to expect sex in exchange for those things.

She’s been through so much too! Visited so many places! For every story shared here, there must be dozens more. I would love to sit and listen, in person. We are all little stories, that make up bigger stories, that shape the epics of our lifetimes. Each and every story, of everyone out there, has something to teach us, if only we know how to listen. Jan’s stories made me cry, gave me strength, broadened my horizons, and helped me find myself just a little. Highly recommended!

Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 250 pages
Publisher Unity Books
Publish Date 01-Oct-2021
ISBN 9780871594167 Buy this Book
Issue October 2021
Category Biographies & Memoirs