May 11, 2014
Last week I asked if you would help me write my book about caregiving, Rest, by taking a word-association survey (Want to Help Me Write My Book?).
Many of you took the survey. I am so grateful for your responses. Click on the REST Survey #1 to take it now. Feel free to take it more than once, as some of you have done.
Brilliant, springboard, resilience, woof, idleness, forgiveness, hunger, satisfaction. Why are these eight words important for a book about caregiving?
The words seem chosen arbitrarily, as if I’d opened a big dictionary eight times at random and stabbed down with my finger on the page. Which is true, in a way. I was following my intuition. Your associations to these eight words, I told myself, would be a resource for me in my writing, even though I didn’t know why.
Yet reading your responses, I know so much more about the gut-level process of writing this book for you. Your willingness to read my words has been such a gift to me. Your words, responding to mine, are another gift: sweet, soft, hard, unexpected. Brilliant. Together, we will make a gift that neither of us can make alone.
“Only connect,” writes E.M. Forster in Howards End. “Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height.”
Caring for others can bring us closer to them and closer to each other, even in the raw hardships of illness and frailty.
“My father and mother-in-law died this winter within weeks of each other,” writes meditation teacher Kate Wheeler in her blog post, The Dying Season. “I have been imagining us as orphaned little kids holding hands by an open grave, trying to carve out a little piece of happiness for ourselves as we transit through this life.”
I’m in transit through this life, too.
I’m writing this book because I think that life is precious, rough, raw, and whole.
I’m writing this book because lately it has dawned on me that my pelvic-floor problem is getting worse, and surgery is in my future.
I’m writing this book because Elana Miller, the young doctor who wrote When in Doubt, Write the Truth, has a new post about her life with cancer called Loss. In this essay, Elana hits the ball of truth so hard that I’m still reeling from the blow.
Thank you for being there.
All the best,
PS: Will you take the survey? Click on the REST Survey #1. Thanks! And Happy Mothers Day.