Let’s talk about books!
It is difficult to write today and I may touch on that shortly. What I can say is that when I saw the KIOS prompt this morning, this is the book that came to mind to write about – Spirit of Place. So, Spirit of Place, by Loren Cruden, is a handbook for spiritual searchers who may be looking for a way of connecting with, and strengthening, their spiritual practice. The wonderful thing about this book is that I believe it could be used by anyone regardless of their religious and/or spiritual beliefs. It is fundamental and yet it has so much information and wisdom in it and it is meant to be worked with throughout the year, and then worked with again, and again, for as many years as it takes before it simply becomes a part of your walk and your spiritual practice.
So, the back story. I was a big-time spiritual novice / seeker back in the mid-1990s. One of my first “touchstones” was a New Age store that at the time was called Tao of Books (what better place for me to start my search?). How I even found that place is a story unto itself. Anyhow, after a few years of hanging out there, and not learning a heck of a lot BTW, I met a woman one day who worked at “The Tao” as a reader (tarot reader, but she was really more of an intuitive reader and used the cards only because it made the “customers” happy). For whatever reason, I never really felt the need for a reading per se (that wasn’t what I was searching for), so I really only met her while she was waiting for her next client. We chatted a bit and she seemed nice and friendly, and then she recommended the book above to me. And that was it.
I did buy the book, but I didn’t do anything with it for at least a year. About a year later she asked me about the book and whether I had worked with it and I told her that I had it, but that I hadn’t done anything with it. She didn’t say anything to my response. It is only later that I learned what she really thought and that is because that woman eventually became my wife. And what she thought is that I was a rube that didn’t “get it” and probably never would. Ah, but I am a persistent little bugger and things have a way of falling into place in their right time and I did eventually read, and work with, the book for about five years or longer and now I always think of various sections of it and may indeed work with it directly again one day again soon. So, in an indirect way, that book led me to my wife and it helped us to create the kind of life that we both wanted to live.
As to the reason why I am finding it difficult to write – late last week we returned to my wife’s oncologist at Dana-Farber for a follow-up appointment to hear what the results from her latest MRI were. My wife was diagnosed with cancer last February (we married six days after the diagnosis but had been living together for 10 years), and she had a major operation in April 2013 to remove the cancer. In June she was pronounced surgically cured and while she is still dealing with complications from the surgery, we thought the worst was over. Until last Thursday. We were told that her cancer had returned and it is seemingly aggressive and has spread out from its organ of origin. We have few options, and the suggestion by the oncologist was to sign up for a clinical trial as the best bet, or think about “palliative care”.
Honestly, we are devastated. She is the absolute center of my universe and my reason for being, and I do not write these words lightly. We still have decisions to make around all of this, but we are deeply, deeply saddened and indeed, grieving. So I wanted to share this book as a testament to all that we’ve become as a couple and for all that she has taught me. It required much patience on her part, a patience borne of love for she is not always a patient woman, but for me she always held out the hope that I could be what she saw in me.
And now, I fear this is a lot to “hang out” to a lot of people that I don’t really even know, but this is our life and this is the thing we are being asked to face and accept and deal with. And we will do it with the grace borne of a strong faith in our spiritual ways. At least for myself, the seeds of all of that were planted by this book.