I've also been reading, and am just starting Snow by Orhan Pahmuk. While I've just begun, I must confess I really like his style of writing. My friend Susan gave me a book after the surgery called Poetry for the Spirit, edited by Alan Jacobs, which has inspirational poems from the dawn of man through the twentieth century. I turn to it in times like this, just opening it to see what's in there. Today, I found this poem by Emily Bronte, the last words she ever wrote:
No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven's glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear
0 God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hast rest
As I Undying Life, have power in Thee!
Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main
To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality
With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears
Though Earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And thou wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee
There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed.
I read something the other day (again, I had the time) from a book my friend Bill sent me (Cancer: Fifty Essential Things You Must Do by Greg Anderson)[Note: If you know someone diagnosed with cancer, I recommend getting them this book first. It is filled with practical advice, profound help, and incredible stories of healing and hope]. It said I must choose to live a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't necessarily mean I will be healthy all the time, but that I have the power to make choices that positively affect my health, every day, often from moment to moment. He also asked me yesterday about my "genie", the dark force that creeps out when you're not looking, not paying attention or just can't keep bottled up any longer. Actually, I've been keeping it at bay very well; between prayer, meditation and just learning to be okay with being still (the hardestof the three, I assure you). When the genie comes out, instead of shoving it back in, I acknowledge it, address it, and send it away with force. It holds no sway, because I choose not to give it power over me.
All things considered, my friends, in spite of the adversity slung my way, I am still doing quite well. I have also dipped into Job, and while his burdens were much greater than mine (can't even imagine!) I am getting an understanding of his character. Thanks, as always, for your thoughts and concerns, but rest assured, this too, shall pass.