Philip Simmons was just 35 years old when he learned he had Motor Neurone Disease, a fatal condition that usually kills its victims in two to five years, but which Philip has already well exceeded. With a strong marriage, two young children and the start of a promising literary and academic career, he suddenly had to say goodbye. But, by learning ...
Philip Simmons was just 35 years old when he learned he had Motor Neurone Disease, a fatal condition that usually kills its victims in two to five years, but which Philip has already well exceeded. With a strong marriage, two young children and the start of a promising literary and academic career, he suddenly had to say goodbye. But, by learning the art of dying he has succeeded, against the odds, in learning the art of living. In 12 chapters, this book tells the story of Philip's spiritual journey. Finding answers to life's deepest questions - and introducing a host of colourful characters along the way - Philip illustrates, above all, that we can learn to live lives of depth, compassion and courage no matter what life throws at us.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-12-24 Living fully in the face of a debilitating fatal illness is the challenge Simmons, then an associate professor of English at Lake Forest College in Illinois, faced when he was told in 1993 he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and had less than five years to live. As his illness progressed, a wheelchair-bound Simmons moved with his wife and two children to southern New Hampshire, near the rugged mountains he once had climbed. Writing in his cabin in view of an old dump, Simmons describes the wonders of nature remembered and still visible from his abode. He tells of his search for life's meaning in a variety of religious and secular texts, among them the story of Jesus, the philosophy of Zen, Sufi and Buddhist masters, medieval Christian mystics, Emerson's essays and the poetry of Yeats. In a wry disclaimer, Simmons notes that learning to live richly in the face of loss is a highly individual undertaking, and adds, "I'm not in the business of issuing directives, offering tips, imposing lists of spiritual dos and don'ts, or providing neat, comforting formulas." Indeed, his little book of thoughtful essays offers no easy solutions to dealing with suffering and sorrow, but it does chronicle how the experience of living at the edge can become an extraordinary connection to the eternal. Agent, Bob Markel. (Jan. 9) Forecast: Few books on loss and death manage to break out to a mass audience, but Bantam's promised publicity and advertising campaign may help this well-written chronicle of a spiritual journey make a strong showing in the marketplace. Xlibris published it last year to much acclaim. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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