A little more than 48 hours into this and I find I'm handling this challenge the way I have handled so many others: Debit card in hand, I head for the bookstore. For me, words hold comfort and power.
Sure enough, the folks at Common Good Books don't disappoint. Less than five minutes of explaining in no clear terms what I'm after (something uplifting but not schmaltzy; intelligent but not esoteric; well written but not preachy...), my keister is comfortably seated in an overstuffed chair in a quiet nook, five likely titles in my hand. Half an hour later I've winnowed my choices down to three. (The list is below.)
An hour later and $40 lighter, I'm in my favorite reading spot. (It's the bathtub; that's all the detail I'm giving.) I'm on page 27 when it hits me: Good grief! I'm repeating a decades old pattern that I've never noticed 'til now! The water's getting cold but I need to figure this out. Yup, I do the same thing with my art. Whenever I'm unsure of what I'm doing (I abhor uncertainty), I figure that I'll find what I need in a book. So I buy books about how to paint when way down deep I know that the only way I'll get better as an artist is to paint, not just read about it. The books give good info but they can't replace the experience.
And so it is with this brain tumor trek I'm on. I'll read, I'll look things up, I'll underline and highlight and asterisk, but ultimately, I will have to get that aforementioned keister out of its comfort zone and face my new life as a WWABT.
My book list:
Love and Death: My Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow by Forrest Church
Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World by Mary Pipher
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner