Twenty-six years ago today, the tumor growing in my skull vanished and I was thrown back in the streets like Lazarus. Today the rain is a fine mist and I open my face for a long time, receiving water from the sky. All I can say is perhaps falling in love with the world is the bravest thing we can do. I only know that my heart grows stronger every year, a muscle gaining each time I love. This rush of life is all we have and still we struggle to get out of it. Like fish we labor to make it to the sand as if that shore were Heaven. And when thrown back, we can grow bitter if we think we’ve failed or be humbled to accept that waking tomorrow in all of this is being saved.
A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a loved one or friend, describe one way you’ve been asked to accept the nature of life.
Sounds True recently published a new, expanded edition of Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, which gathers twenty-eight years of my writing and teaching about suffering, healing, and wholeness, including thirty-nine new poems and prose pieces not yet published. One of the great transforming passages in my life was having cancer in my mid-thirties. This experience unraveled the way I see the world and made me a student of all spiritual paths. With a steadfast belief in our aliveness, I hope what’s in this book will help you meet the transformation that waits in however you’re being forged. Thrown Back is an excerpt from the book.