Sunday, 29 January 2017

An Announcement, and The Ugly Soul

I’ve not posted here for over a month, but fear not, the stream of, um, whatever it is I do here has not been cut off.  Christmas and New Year were busy and less than ideal (expensive and inconvenient car problems).  However, all that is behind me, and no doubt the international situation will provide plenty of grist for my mill.

I am also now in the curious position of being a depublished author.  Not unpublished, because as you may know my novel Three Men on a Pilgrimage was available for sale, but depublished.  My novel is currently not longer available.  The publishers, Whispering Tree, were only ever a very small operation, and they’ve not had the early successes they were hoping for and run into some financial problems.  Due to their size, they were also unable to provide the marketing activity that Three Men really required.  As a result, I’ve requested the rights to Three Men back from them with immediate effect, and they’ve agreed.  I now need to find a publisher to take it on, and hopefully, God willing, with the good review it received in Premier Christianity, that won’t be too hard.  It also gives me an opportunity to correct a few typos that slipped past the proof-reader, and a few awkward sentences that stand out to me like leprous thumbs.

If you happen to be a big and/or rich publisher or literary agent looking for a quirky theological comedy (and I assume that these are relatively common) please feel free to get in touch

In the meantime, here is something I wrote a little while ago.  No doubt similar things exist, but this one is mine, and I submit it to you, the blog reading public to see what you make of it.

The Ugly Soul

“Little creature?”

“Who’s that?”

“Little creature, come out of the darkness.”

“You’re mistaken. There’s no-one here!”

“I know you’re there.”

“Go away!”

“Come out into the light.”


“Why not?”

“I don’t want to!”



“Look at this one.  They’ve stepped into the light.  Look how happy they are.”

“They do look happy yes, but that’s because they have nothing to hide.”

“What do you have to hide?”

“I’m ugly!”

“Who told you that you’re ugly?”

“I am.  I know it.  I know myself.  I do not wish to be seen for what I am.”

“Little creature, you will not start being what you really are until you step into the light.”

“But if I stay in the dark, no-one will see me.  You won’t see me.”

“Little creature, I can already see you.”

“No you can’t!”

“Yes.  I can.  I can see every inch of you.”

“Then you can see how ugly I am!”

“I can see that while you stay in the darkness, you will always be ugly.”

“Then why would I come into the light and prove it to everyone else?”

“Do you see this one who stands in the light?  Are they not beautiful?”

“They are.  Oh, they are!”

“Do you not wish to be like that?”

“I do!  I wish to be like that!”

“Then step into the light.”

“I can’t!”

“This one who dances in the light was once as ugly as you.”

“Impossible!  They are beautiful and no-one is as ugly as me!”

“They were as ugly as you until they came into the light.  It is the light that shows them to be

“I want to be in the light…”

“Then step forwards.”

“I can’t!  I can’t!  I can’t! They’ll see me!  You’ll see me!”

“I see you already.  Step forwards.”


“Leave your ugliness behind.  There is not a one who plays in the light that has not stepped out of the darkness, not a one who was not as ugly, or uglier than you.”

“None can be as ugly as me!”

“A great many have been far uglier than you.  Crouching in the darkness, you overestimate your own hideousness, and make a deformity out of a flaw.”

“I want to play in the light.  I want to join them, but I am ashamed.  They are so beautiful”

“They are not beautiful.  They are as they’ve always been, as you are now, or worse.  It is the light that falls on them that is beautiful, and that is what you see.  Step into the light, and you will be beautiful too.”

“I can’t!”

“You must.  All that is not light is darkness, all that is not beautiful is unseen.  There is no other choice.”

“I can stay here for ever!”

“You can, but do you want to?”

“No!  I want to stand in the light!”

“Then step forwards.”

“I… I’m afraid.”

“I know.  Step forwards.”

“I’m naked!”

“I know.  Step forwards.”

“I’m ashamed!”

“I know.  Step forwards.”

“I’m hideous!”

“You are not.  Step forwards.”

“Please don’t make me!  I can’t bear it!  I’ll die!”

“You can.  You must.  You will.  Step forwards.”

“Oh, have it your way then…”

“There now, little creature, was that so bad?”

“Don’t look at me!”

“Then look at yourself.”


“Are you ugly?”

“No!  Is this really me?”

“This is far more really you than the ugly thing that lived in the darkness.”

“But what has happened?”

“The light has made you beautiful.  You have been persuaded that you are ugly, but you were lied to, and made to want to remain ugly for ever, for fear of being seen for what you thought you were.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“I did, but you refused to listen.”

“Why didn’t you make me come forward?  Why didn’t you force me?”

“Because no-one could bring you into the light but yourself, just as no-one could keep you in darkness but yourself.”

“Could I go back?”

“You could.  Do you want to?”

“No!  Never!”

“Then stay here.  Stay in the light.  Dance and play, and forget the darkness and the shadows.  They are not the light, and therefore they are nothing at all, and all who remain within them will remain ugly and tiny, while you will grow larger and more beautiful with every second that you spend here.  Dance in the light, and let the others see you.”

“Others?  What others?”

“Look out into the darkness.  Do you see them?”

“See who?  It’s dark.”

“The darkness is filled with others, all just as you once were, staring at the light with hope and hunger and longing and despair and terror, needing and hating it and hating themselves for what they think they are, and staring at you, and thinking how beautiful you look.”

“Can you not tell them to come out?”

“I can.  I do.  I am.  They will.”

Copyright Thomas Jones 2017

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