For the last quarter-century it has been my spiritual practice to get up before dawn and write. It connects my dreams with the rest of the world. I start writing what I think I know, and in the process, connect my hopes, loves and fears. The messages from my amygdala bounce around in my cerebral cortex, and I connect my sorry little self with the rest of this humongous, scary, exciting, incomprehensibly changing world.
Because my work in the world has been to work with adults to help children thrive as they grow, the Genius in Children became the focal point of my writing in the last ten years, and it has served me well. What is our reason for being, if it cannot be linked to making the world more glorious for the next generation?
This discipline for mindfulness has been a vehicle helping me become one whole human rather than a bunch of disparate, warring factions. At the same time, it helped me, day by day, feel like I am doing something to make the world a better place. And perhaps with better education the world will become whole rather than a collection of disparate warring factions.
As some of you may have noticed, I fell away from this practice the week I discovered that my brain had an evil intruder. I don’t know why. It just happened to me, just as the melanoma just happened to me. I like to think I am in charge of my life and my destiny, but life intervened and corrected that error. The truth is that I may be in charge of my life, but I am not in control of my destiny.
I don’t know precisely why I am back writing to you all, again, but one of my motivations is YOU. Your responses to my last two posts was very heartening–yes, people are actually listening. You have told me that what I say matters to people, and that has gotten me back in the fight. Maybe, we can partner-up in some useful way with the young people who are rising up, speaking up and reminding us that we do all know what’s worth fighting for.
I am in my eleventh week of immunotherapy. In some ways, it seems to be working. One of the metastases in my brain has shrunk, but the one in my right occipital lobe seems to have gotten larger, and my vision is fuzzier—I hope my thinking is not so fuzzy. We may know something more by the end of next week, after I get a PET scan.
Last month my family rallied to the Bay Area, and we had great fun together—almost all twenty of us.
One of the reasons that I am doing so well is that my wonderful wife Victoria has been “doing the thinking for both of us” as well as being anxious for both of us. I get to focus my energy on staying alive. Staying alive, loving, laughing, binding my sorry self together into one whole human and connecting with the rest of this crazy world. I am so grateful for this great gift she is giving me.
Worrying about what is going on in my body is like listening to the news every night–not exactly inspiring. On the other hand there is some evidence that things are actually coming together, and that there is room to hope there will be healing. It happens all the time. We’ve all been through worse, and if we partner-up with the young folks, we can we can sing along with the cast of Spamalot, “We are not yet dead.”