It is believed by astrologers that, as Saturn ‘returns’ to the degree in its orbit occupied at the time of birth, a person crosses over a major threshold and enters the next stage of life. With the first Saturn return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second return, maturity. And with the third and usually final return, a person enters wise old age.




    I secretly prayed that Tennessee would not uncover the truth about my past. I fed him a fabrication of my life—a halfhearted fiction. I knew he wouldn’t respect me if he knew about my harlequin truths. I had a crimson coated past, the color of blood, and the color of aggression. All aspects of me made me into who I was though; the voice of the devil was just as important as the voices of angels. They were both equal in their impact. And I’d be a hypocrite if I denied those raw years and the strength they forged within me. Somehow though, I always knew I’d emerge from the bottom, with a little grit and grind. Wasn’t much I couldn’t be, do, or have with a little hustle and time, I reasoned. I knew that with enough conviction I could overcome anything, and that faith is what got me where I was today. You had to keep your eyes on the dream or anything that resembled the light at the end of a horrifically long dark tunnel.

    I could never tell him the truth about my various attempts to bring my life to an end. Suicide was too dramatic of a word, and words wouldn’t suffice nor adequately describe my condition. No, I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t need anti-depressants. I had reached points in my life where things seemed too heavy to endure. I was a tortured soul. No amount of Holy water, prayer, or laying-on of hands would ever change that.

    This was the man that I’d shared a bed with for nearly five years straight and yet all he knew was a shadow of who I truly was. It wasn’t so much that I was hiding who I truly was; it was more like me holding back. If he asked more in-depth questions I would most certainly have given more in-depth answers. I knew that eventually I would have to allow Tennessee into the inner sanctum, the holy of holies. If we were to grow in spirit and in truth, I had to allow him to partake of me, layer by layer.

    I wondered if there was another side to him, like a hidden self that was clawing, scraping, and hitchhiking its way to the surface, to eventually be known by me and the rest of the world. I believed that everyone had a hidden self and hidden colors they forced into the monochromatic background so as to appear as sane and normal as possible in public. I wondered what type of wounds dwelled in his dark void. I wondered if his hiding places were as airtight as mine were. Men were not as guarded as women and Tennessee was no different, but surely there were parts of his story that he wouldn’t dare read out loud. That’s the way it was, wasn’t it? We sought out those emotional bruises and blind spots in others that we harbored. That was a part of our humanity.

    Of course this would be the perfect time to begin to pull back some of my layers, while we were there in my hometown , where the sun sets. My secrets were out in the open, laid bare. I was vulnerable. 









































































The more you heal yourself mind, body, and soul the more you can offer this world. The world needs every ounce of your happiness. When you’re happy, everyone you encounter is left with the sweet fragrance you imbue. The alternative is unhappiness, stagnation, and a feeling of defeat. There is more to life than spending the best parts of ourselves in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting. In this book, we are reminded to find happiness in simple things. Bates reminds us of the power found in service oriented living such as volunteering and feeding the hungry. One can find happiness in simple things like learning to play a new instrument, teaching yourself to paint with water colors and acrylic, riding an elephant, sky-diving, getting outside yourself and getting outside your zip code. Creativity and inspiration must be found through being around new people, refreshing experiences, and recreating what’s normal for you. In these pages you will learn how to find strength from within, grow in the midst of life’s most turbulent storms, tap your highest self, tune in to real genuine health, and open your spirituality. This is an homage to the broken women and men in search of light at the end of the tunnel. Use this book as your literary lighthouse when you feel weather-worn and brow beaten by life; when the weight of the world is bearing down upon your shoulders.














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On SOLEDAD...A stunningly ambitious novel. The quality of Ms. Bates' narration is so extraordinary.

The New York Times


Memorable, engrossing and illuminating...REMAINS TO BE SEEN is certain to widen Brandi L. Bates' audience.

The Seattle Times




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© 2015-2020 by BRANDI L. BATES