Sunday, February 12, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0080 - In Conversation

Email is still the medium most people choose to communicate with me after reading my blog. I understand this. It’s comfortable, it’s easy, it’s direct, and it’s private. There is nothing wrong with doing so, and I greatly value such dialog.

Still, there is something transparent and vulnerable about blog comments and links that add value to the conversation. One college buddy who has commented on my blog is named Ron. I look forward to his comments not only because he is insightful and often makes fascinating allusions which would never have occurred to me, but also because his willingness to engage me in this medium demonstrates an openness that is rare and important. Ron, as an aside, I am very interested in seeing progress on Searching the Code!

Another is my niece, Kath. In a remarkable turn of events, I have discovered a fascinating person of multiple dimensions, interests and talents that would otherwise probably have remained a family “acquaintance” otherwise. Her transparency to others, her obvious artistic abilities, her reaching out and searching within – these all inspire me.

There are others who have come, I think, from site links on the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. J and Bill occasionally comment. J especially has influenced me to read a book which I otherwise would never have purchased, Stephen King’s On Writing: Memoirs of a Craft. He was absolutely right – I am finding that book even more useful to my writing journey than Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.

Then there are new acquaintances and conversationalists. Shel Israel, co-author of Naked Conversations, surprised and touched me yesterday with his blog entry tracking back to my blog. In his entry, he tells a story about a good friend, Charlie, who both won and lost his battle with cancer. Both? Yes, he died, but it is clear that Shel’s life was enriched deeply by his friend and the journey they took together. Shel, those 5:30 am bird songs remind me too of the wonder of little things.

Tulip (you did write I could call you that!) wrote a comment yesterday and issued an invitation to her blog. This is a remarkable woman! Bint Alshamsa is a young woman, about the same age as my niece, who is battling bone cancer. She is a beautiful woman whose entries demonstrate a strength of character in the face of a devastating diagnosis that will inspire anyone visiting her blog. Peace be with you, Tulip.

Immediate family members have been reluctant to use the medium (Eric, Michael, and Jason, you’re exceptions). Hey, if you’re reading this one, join in!

Others touched by cancer have written encouraging notes, such as someone from Blue Cross of California. They are all appreciated.

Let the conversations continue. Let’s laugh, let’s cry, let’s celebrate our victories and mourn our losses. Thanks, everyone.


j said...

i have no more books on wriing to suggest, but i always store a plethora of fiction if you are interested.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Oh, my! Well, you sure do know how to flatter a girl, don't you?

You know, I used to think that cancer was the worst thing that could possibly have happened to me but I don't think so any more. Even with our cancers, we still have the capacity to use our hearts and minds. So, all of the best aspects of life are still available to us, including the ability to share our experiences with others. Thank heavens for that, right?!

Don Spencer said...


I'm always interested in what other people are reading. Why not put together a list of a few of your favourites? Thanks in advance,


Don Spencer said...

Bint (Tulip),

You're right. Cancer is certainly not the worst thing that could happen, although I have to admire your equanimity in view of your diagnosis. Yes, it's what we can do that is important, not what we can no longer do. I celebrate your spirit and our ability to support one another.



Alvin said...

Hi Don,

I just surfed onto your site from another blog's link. Honestly speaking I'm not sure what to say...I nearly lost my mother to cancer years ago, so I can imagine the difficulties you must be facing. But she recovered, and I wish you well in your recovery too :)

Don Spencer said...

Hi Alvin,

Thanks for dropping by and sharing about your mother. I'm glad to hear of her recovery. I'm hoping for a full recovery as well, but like Bint, I'm just taking it a day at a time.



Anonymous said...

The other Stephen King non-fiction I would recommend is Danse Macabre. It's his interesting take on horror to date. Parts are very funny and his take on how humans deal/react to horror is very thought provoking. One particular point is, in many horror movies, we're terrified to see the "monster" and when we finally do it's a relief because it's never as bad as our imaginations had created. Don, you're dealing with your own horror. Your unflagging positive attitude is inspiring.