Saturday, 14 November 2015

Dear Doctor McFadden...

I have wanted to write this letter for a long time. Indeed, I wrote a version of it, but I don't remember if I ever passed it to its intended. I think I was too embarrassed at the time.

Well, today I listened to CBC's White Coat, Black Art, and after a few minutes of interviews of comedians about their experiences with illness and the health care system, they suggested we write a letter to a doctor, or a patient (I notice they foolishly left out nurses, etc.) and then send it to, well, to the radio program. Which seems a bit indirect, but let's see where we go with this.

Approaching five years ago I received a cancer diagnosis which at first blush looked very scary and promised a substantial removal of flesh which would not regrow. But if I was lucky, I wouldn't die.

I had heard many good things about the BC Cancer Agency and expected treatment that was excellent, but I was cowed by the vastness of the place, the unfriendliness of some of the staff (no more, I suspect, than in any other large corporation), and the general on-your-own-ness of being there. Worse was the inability to make a human connection with my surgeon. I was hugely relieved when he was taken off the case. (They discuss each case as a group and decide who does whata wise approach, I think. Far better than being stuck with the first specialist with a slot available and following whatever he or she thinks is best.)

Soon I met Dr. Andy McFadden, and everything began to change. He was emotionally available, funny, kind, as good a surgeon as the last fellow (better for my situation) but far superior in terms of helping me feel at ease. I don't recall if it was he who told me that the tumour was small enough that I had a pretty good chance of not being killed by it, but I do recall that he poohpoohed the previous doctor's ambitious plans for my flesh and said we could get away with a much more conservative excavation. (World tilts back on its original axis, almost.)

After the initial surgery, when he wanted to go back in to improve the margins (to my horror), I nervously agreed (better that than pop off too soon) and he said if I ever had any questions he was always available.

I believe I laughed. At that time, in that office (he works in several, as far as I can tell), there was a young receptionist who was impossible to get past. If I called and left a message, I never received answers. I took to bussing down to the hospital and sitting in the chair in front of her until she was forced to find out what I needed. (I sound awful. But how much more awful to have the whole thing unfold with no communication at all? And of course, I exaggerate. I think I did that once. Maybe twice.)

So when he said he was always available I exclaimed, "Great! Just tell me how to get around your receptionist!" He blushed, and said something about this showing how overworked they are there. (Which I utterly believe.) He then made it possible for me to get directly in touch with him, bypassing her entirely.

Over the duration of our relationship, I used that option exactly twice. He immediately got back to me, said a quick, friendly hello, answered my question, and left me to sail (sort of) onward with much less anxiety.

So this is my letter:

Dear Dr. McFadden. Dear Andy.

I cannot tell you how dear you still are to me, having midwifed me through the worst time of my adult life. I have continued in cancer circles since then and have seen the alternative routes mine could have taken. I have tried to learn courage in all of this, knowing that like you, I can give much more to my friends and contacts when they are facing disease, loss, and death if I can sit through my own fear and hang onto my connection with them as real and living human beings. (That's the key, isn't it? You treat us as living, not as sick.)

I never felt like you viewed me as a "case", though you were diligent and precise in your thought about the cancer. You were always warm, always kept your sense of humour, didn't waste time but never hurried me, either. You asked me about the books I was reading, shared thoughts about important things in our lives that had nothing to do with cancer, and made yourself available to help stave off the terror that was eating away at me more voraciously than the cancer.

Now that I am writing, this seems like all the letters written by all the people who ever were in trouble and received help. I have no grand insight to offer and no amazing way to frame it. It's just deep, enduring gratitude and love for the great humanity you brought along with your awesome skill.

You look very sweet in scrubs, by the way. That helped, too.

Love, and hopes for the very best that life can give you. Oh, and these flowers are for you.

Till we meet again.


(Watch Andy pitch the Top to Bottom campaign for Colon Cancer Canada.)

Monday, 19 October 2015

“Poem Beside Your Hospital Bed”

This poem knocked me over when I read it in Real Cool: poems to grow up with, a wonderful anthology of Irish and international poetry edited by Niall MacMonagle*. "Poem Beside Your Hospital Bed" is simple, vast, and aims straight for the heart.

A week or so after discovering it I found it still on my mind. I phoned a friend who shares my love of good writing and read it to her without rereading it first. I had remembered I loved it; I had forgotten its content. One stanza in we were both in tears.

Thank you, Michael O'Dea, for articulating what we know so well, but couldn't say.


Poem Beside Your Hospital Bed                

Your face,
that I loved,
has changed so completely
that I already know
our time is gone.

And as dying
like a sandstorm,
rearranges your features,
I am useless,
a cripple of words.

So if the winds in your head
will carry the smallest breath
of what I am saying, father:
let it be that
my proud years are tatters here;
I love you.

* I was looking for a C.V. or something to tell you a little about the editor. These student evaluations are much better than that could be.
Follow the link on Michael O'Dea's name to visit his blog, Poetry and Miscellaneous Yap, which features a "world of Irish poetry and Irish poets, literature, politics, nature, mythology, archaeology, tourism, art, love and war, and whatever else comes to mind on any particular day". The link on the poem's name takes you to his posting of the same, with an introduction.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Joyous Compromise

photo by Casey June Wolf

...there waits the joyous compromise through art with all that wounded or defeated us in daily life...

                                          Justine: a Novel.
                              Lawrence Durrell
photo by Casey June Wolf

Friday, 25 September 2015

Audience of One (For Bob, Who Wanted to Know How It Worked)

Not actually Brigit OR Mary, but St Lucy wearing a harrow crown

Audience Of One

I belong to a weekly writers workshop that meets through the cooler months, making of a little more than half the year a time that has been for me, for a few years now, focussed on writing poetry to, about, and in honour of Brigit, both as goddess and as saint, in her (their) many, often conflicting, aspects and time periods. This season has just recommenced and much as I’ve enjoyed the summer writing—a longish research paper, some short essays, and portions of an online course—I’m comforted and delighted to be back with the poetic source that I can’t seem to stem.

By which I mean, the number of poems continues to grow. Each fall I say, Yes! Now I will finish editing these Brigit poems and get on to the next project. But the more I edit, the more I am inspired to write. The more I write, the more I refer to materials to be sure I’ve got things straight. And the more I refer to these materials, the more wonders I encounter, flushing up the desire to write (oh, guilty pleasure) yet another poem... Maybe what I am learning from this is that I shouldn’t worry about “finishing”, that though a collection may yet come of it, for me the practice of writing these poems is the most important thing.

Last week, after our first meeting, a new member of the group asked if he could pose a few questions about the process I go through when writing the poems. He offered to pay me for my time by buying me a cup of coffee. (He is much cheaper than you may imagine. Our coffee goes for fifty cents per class.) I agreed, and this is the result. (He may have bitten off more than he can chew. Sorry, Bob.)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

“Winter on the Plain of Ghosts” by Eileen Kernaghan

A few years ago I read the one and only self-published novel by award-winning writer (Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, it's true. But that doesn't necessarily mean you will ever have heard of her), Eileen Kernaghan.

Winter on the Plain of Ghosts: a Novel of Mohenjo-Daro. The book is set in the Indus Valley, so long ago that all we know of the culture that existed there is what we can divine from a set of clay seals (pictured above and below). Kernaghan does a wonderful job of filling in the world and peopling it with compelling characters.

I have no idea why, of all her lyrical and thoughtful adult and young adult novels, this one failed to find a publisher. After ten years of bouncing it around Kernaghan caved in to her husband's nagging and put it out herself under the imprint Flying Monkey Press.

I am so glad he did keep bugging her. Left to her own devices, would she have thought it was just a lousy novel and gone on to the next beautiful gem? I don't know. What I do know is that I had (for me) a rare experience when reading this book: that of spending the day, while off doing other things, thinking with great pleasure about the writingthe words themselves and the places they were taking meand anticipating somewhat impatiently when I would get to be home again with feet up and Winter on the Plain of Ghosts on my lap.

It has stayed with me as a precious read, but a faded memory, one I don't pull out too often. Recently I glanced at the book again and read the poem that opens it, a poem that is collected with her other delicious speculative offerings in Tales from the Holograph Woods. It reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed the book, and how annoyed I am that so few people have had the chance to enjoy it as I have. So I thought I would introduce you to it and urge you, if you like what you see, to get a copy, read it, pass it around, and let the world know how much you enjoy this novel and this inestimable writer's work.


The salt earth is bleached
and brittle as old bone, in winter
on the plain of ghosts.
Shrill and thin down the grey
millennia, the spirit voices
cry on the parched wind.
Language of a dead land―
the wind’s riddles:
insistent and insinuating
whisper of pale grasses,
tongueless as corpses the slow
suck and hiss
of the river’s mouths
and age-deep in the dust
of empty water-courses
the cryptic dialect
of broken stones.

But on the terraces below the citadel
a flute plays
and ghosts rise in their shining bones
bedecked with jade and lapis lazuli.
Above the luminous pools white birds drift
long-stemmed as water lilies
and terrible in their stripes
behind the broken walls the tigers walk
among the glamorous trees.

This gives you a sense of Eileen Kernaghan's wordcraft and imagination. But let's give you a little of the novel itself. I shall indulge myself by adding a fair dollop of it below. Before we go, I'll add these links, and then leave you in Ms. Kernaghan's capable hands.

To read the review on the Historical Novel Society website, click here.
To order either the print edition or the e-book of Winter on the Plain of Ghosts, click here.
To order Tales from the Holograph Woods, click here.

Winter on the Plain of Ghosts:
A Novel of Mohenjo-Daro

            this morning, when I visited the warehouse, Akalla was breaking the seal on a chest full of luxury goods — among them some jars of unguent imported from the western deserts of Meluhha. I took one home with me and opened it in the privacy of my bedchamber. Released from its stone container, the rich, oily perfume awoke a rush of memories.
            Once again I breathed the fragrance of oleander, growing high up in a desolate hill pass. I heard the throbbing of the skin drums, the wistful music of the reed-pipes; and the shrill voice of the desert wind, crying across the parched, dun-coloured plain. But underneath the scent of spice and sun and flowers there was a hint of something darker, muskier — a cloying, sweet-sour odour of the swamp. And there rose in my mind's eye a vision of the great Meluhhan capitals, those once noble cities of the plains. I saw them crouched behind their crumbling walls like enormous stricken animals, choking on their own poisoned breath.
            Already it is the month of Nisan. The floodwaters are rising, and another year is almost over. I have lived long; have, I believed, sinned no worse than other men; have suffered much, and have received many blessings from the gods. It is, at this moment, as though I am standing on a high terrace, from which it is possible to look down upon my life's beginning, and on its end.
            And so, in this city of Ur, in the reign of the great king Rim-Sin of Larsa, I, the merchant-captain Rujik, set down my history — having instructed my storekeeper to lay in a great quantity of clay.

Friday, 11 September 2015

“Villette” by Charlotte Brontë

I thought that I was safe. Working quietly away in my little room, walking my cat and doing yoga in the yard, tending my community garden plot and visiting, when the moment made itself available, with friends and family.

I did not expect to have my heart broken again.

The last while, in between all those other noble ventures, I have been reading Charlotte Brontë's Villette, a well developed tome with none of the histrionics of, say, Jane Eyre. In turns I was blown away by the writing, irritated by the anti-Catholic diatribes, entranced by the world and annoyed with the protagonist.

Nothing bugs me more than spoilers, so I will be very cagey here. Suffice it to say that this book was to many of the books I piddle my time away on what meatloaf is to potato chips. It fed me, it awakened me, and it broke my heart. I can't think how many times tears have come to my eyes in the day since reading the book. I'll say no more, except, if you have the strength, read it.

“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.” 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

“Windharp” by John Montague

Art by Nora Duffy

For Patrick Collins

The sounds of Ireland,
that restless whispering
you never get away
from, seeping out of
low bushes and grass,
heatherbells and fern,
wrinkling bog pools,
scraping tree branches,
light hunting cloud,
sound hounding sight,
a hand ceaselessly
combing and stroking
the landscape, till
the valley gleams 
like the pile upon
a mountain pony's coat..

—John Montague, born Brooklyn, NY, 1929, brought up in Garvaghey, Co. Tyrone. Poem found in Real Cool: poems to grow up with edited by Niall MacMonagle (1994)

See also:

An Analysis of the Poetry of John Montague at REVIEWS RANTS AND RAMBLES   by Vincent Hanley

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Speed-Writing to God

The prompt I was writing to here was to write a letter to someone I trusted as a child. Though I no longer qualify as a Believer, God came to mind. It is a stream-of-consciousness thing which doesn’t attempt huge leaps of logic, so let it simply waft past you rather than trying too hard to comprehend. That is how I wrote it.

Jesus Praying on the Mount of Olives (Artist Uncredited)

Dear God,

I am writing to you, shade of a being I once imagined, shaped by family, friends, and neighbours, details filled in, sometimes false, sometimes fearsome, sometimes heartbreakiingly dear, by the representatives of your faith, female and male, yet still somehow personal to me, unlike any other person’s God, unlike any other caricature of divinity.

I write as a shade myself. I knew, and was, and am formed by that little girl and her haphazardly peopled world, but I no longer have a straight line to her. Her memories are tissue thin and blurry where they still exist. Her decisions are sometimes clear, sometimes lost. Her anger, represented now in dreams as mentally disturbed gunmen and inexorably approaching zombies, is the last strong vestige of whatever blossomed in her breast, along with its near companion, dear companion: conscience, compassion, love.

Ow. My arm hurts as much as my head after writing that so quickly. I’m tired, sore, tempted to go to sleep. What did I even want to say to you?

I remember when we talked a lot. Sundays on the kneeler, certainly, after confession and during penitential prayers, and before confessing, wondering with you what I might have done that I should list, or lying angry in my room when parental punishment struck me as too unfair.

I hear adults laugh at things they felt or wrote when they were young, but I can’t mock our childish agonies, or the indecipherable world that gave rise to them.

I was told that you, God, could do something with my pain, or maybe I only thought that was what grownups had said. Maybe they only meant that God brings and God takes away and I should pray to him and come to terms with that. An explanation might have helped. Or maybe I got one and rejected it. It always seemed there was much less giving than taking away.

I do see things differently now. I have dabbled with the disciplines of gratitude and forgiveness, self-expression and self-care, and self-restraint. I am a calm and happy person most of the time.

But the gunman is still in the church, the zombie in the library, and the child who wished that she would die, if not be loved, if not protected, if not helped up to a higher stair, she huddles in there still, heart pounding, strategizing with her dream companions how best to struggle through the challenge of the night.

And the young adult who pushed through the prairie blizzard shouting into your naked, uninterested ear—she remains, better trained, with more understanding, no longer misled into thinking there will be some sweet and final rescue.

They are there and they are my charges now, and I think I’ve done a better job with them than you did.

That does sound harsh, and my tenderness for you is now revealed. I know you didn’t stand a chance. Though there were genuine , kind, and honest folk, even gods need steadfast, clear-thinking allies in their work, and little succeeds against a whirlwind of misunderstanding and despair.

Care for them, my people. Let the dew of compassion, the sun-drops of faith in themselves and their safety permeate the armour, the veils, the corroded flesh, whatever mars their moments on this earth. And help me to continue letting go, freeing the leash I have tied around myself, freeing my love for every one I see.

Sweet blessings on your work.



Thanks as always to the wonderful women at the Callanish Society for our healing writing sessions.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Bottles on a Vast Sea: Letters to the Radio (1) CBC Rewind

Bottles on a Vast Sea:
Letters to the Radio

I listen to thoughtful radio. Sometimes, unavoidably, I listen to thoughtless radio, too, and sometimes that’s even fun.  But mostly if I am going to fill my head with sound I like it to be thought-provoking, informative, hopeful perhaps—I want it to feed me, heart, mind, and soul, in some way.
Of course, this leads to responsive thoughts in my own private cranium, and the odd time I want to express them to the speaker. The obvious way to do that is to write a note to the radio program, an email or a comment on their website or even a tweet. Seldom do I get a reply, though occasionally a producer will say something brief and encouraging. My thoughts go bobbing off on the vast internet sea, to be read or ignored, but there is something useful in doing it even without the response, so I carry on, a little sheepishly, my one-way correspondence with the mute unknown.
After some time of doing this I suddenly thought, somebody might actually be interested in these thoughts of mine. So I am collecting a few together to toss off into the sea again, messages in bottles, on their own solitary journeys once again.

CBCRewind with Michael Enright
ON THE ROAD 1972 (3 July 2013)

I have written before to say how much I love this program.  I'll say it again. So rich.

It was strange to listen today to the boys interviewed so close in time to when I myself left home and hitch-hiked around the countryside. So familiar: the slang, the inquisitiveness, the delight. I wonder, if there had been any girls interviewed (I am using the words we used then, not the ones—Men and Women—I would apply now) if they would have been any more honest about life on the road. Which is not to say these fellows were lying, only that they were leaving out an awful lot, cleaning things up terribly for the interviewer. Or maybe they were a different class of traveller than I generally met.

That sounds like I have some sour grapes but I don’t, though I must say along with the wonders of the road that they describe, which I, too, experienced and still treasure, it was an often frightening and sometimes very painful time. I was younger than any of the interviewees. I climbed out my East Vancouver bedroom window one night three months before I turned fourteen and set out on an adventure that was nothing like what I expected and which I would not have had the nerve to embark on had I had an inkling of what I was about to do.

I wasn’t a successful student or cold weather employee bent on exploring Canada or a young philosopher out to discover life. I was a grade eight dropout and runaway who discovered a mass of young people who were almost adults compared to me, who alternately aided and exploited me, shared their wisdom and their flea-bitten puppies and a world I had hardly suspected. Of marijuana, hashish, belladonna koolaid, and self-appointed gurus who set my adolescent teeth on edge. Of young pregnant women abandoned by boyfriends and trying to use sex to attract a “father” for their unborn children. Of bikers whose sense of humour was frightening and degrading to me. Of guys my dad’s age who had wives and daughters at home but who thought it would be great to be given comfort by a castaway like me. Of gentle First Nations girls who tried to help me after I'd been hurt once more. Drop-in medical clinics, social workers and Christians with a mission to save me, old rubbies who taught me about logging camps and rolling cigarettes and what it was like to live on the street. Well-meaning doctors, disinterested cops, kindly farmers, prurient young men who I thought “liked” me but that wasn’t quite it.

Being on the road taught me about the intense beauty of the West, the towns and orchards and ditches and fields, the southern mountains and the northern taiga. They taught me about history, about European immigrants whose view of the world was so different from mine, about hippies and their ideologies. Jesus freaks, Kraft dinner, panhandling, throwing up, lice. I relaxed a little, started wearing a dog collar (not done in those days), discovered how hard it was for me to risk displeasing anyone, no matter who or what a wanker, realized how comfortable I was with wilderness, how unalike I felt with people, though I loved or though I loathed them.

It’s difficult to express in a few words how enriching those awe-filled times were, despite the hardships. I don’t know who I would have become without that unparalleled opportunity to see a thousand different perspectives all at once, a literal kaleidoscope of eyes, minds, histories, obstacles, and aspirations. I had emerged from the parental home with some creativity and little confidence intact. Crushed by a milieu that thought me weird and my ideas dangerous, being among idealists, however flawed, among people who at least thought it was okay to try new things, be wild, take risks, be unconventional (even though underneath they were as girdled by conformity as their parents were) gave me the first outside world confirmation of my mother’s strange philosophy. That we could be other than what the world tried to force us into. That we were good and alive and valuable. That somewhere in life we might find permission to be truly free.

If one of my nieces or nephews were to take to the road now, I would die of fear for them. I look back affectionately on streets that had no drug more dangerous than heroin, at a country that didn’t yet know mass murderers, where one thirteen year old, anyway, was never forced into prostitution. It was dangerous, gloomy, greedy, and often stupid then. It is a world far more terrifying and cynical now.

And yes, I do pick up hitch-hikers now and then, when I have a car and am travelling. They are younger than I ever learned to be, and every bit as eager to be alive. I wish them well.

On This Rare Occasion I Got a Response
Marieke Meyer (5 July 2013)

Hi Casey:
Thanks so much for your great letter and for telling us about your experience. Very thoughtful. You should write a book (or at least an article) about it!


Note: Unfortunately, the episode I was responding to is no longer on the website. At least, I can't find it. You might try writing them a letter!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Picking Up Stitches

Marie Louise

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

In the last five days I have completed five rows of knitting, except for the second row, which my friend Joani finished off when my hand cramped up.

This is a great and unexpected event. Ever since I tried to get my grandma to teach me and she laughed my awkward fingers off the wool—Maybe you should try crochet, she said. It’s easier—I have cast not a single stitch, nor considered that I ever could. I have recently been gearing up to learn to sew a bit, since the simple clothes I like are not accessible easily, but knit? It never crossed my mind.

However, you will see the pleasure that I take in knitted wristlets, of which I have a dozen pairs or more. Wood, wool, leaf and feather, branchlet, sundog, fire. I love the taste and texture of the living world and every time I pass the wool shop—always closed—I stop and linger at the glass, taking in the skeins and skeins of every coloured yarn, the toques and neckpieces, the birchwood needles, the baskets... A feast for eyes and heart.

A friend asked if anyone knew how to make the cables stand out more clearly in his sweaters. I stopped by the store—open for a change—and asked.

And chatted and sat. Was challenged, So are you going to learn to knit now?

This is how I see it.

No. I am not going to learn to knit. I don’t want another craft to labour over, study, perfect. I want a restful pastime. Something to do with my hands besides making something else to eat.

The young saleswoman swore she found knitting more relaxing than yoga, which she teaches. Well, I doubt I would. And with hands full of cramps I can’t expect to do a lot. But a single line? That’s kind of pleasant. Touching the wool, the smooth wood of the needles, admiring the colours of each. Making that simple stitch I saw made so many times so many years ago.

Maybe, after a few more weeks or months, I’ll have enough of my weird uneven rows to stitch the ends together and slide it on my wrist.

Oh, no! I just realized I’d have one wrist left to go. Oh, well. There’s always next year.

“...drawn silently by the strange pull of what you really love...” I love you, Gramma. And I do understand.

My grandma was named Marie Louise. Her mother was from France, her father was from Belgium, and she grew up in southern Saskatchewan. In Forget, in Saint Hubert. At four she went to live with the sisters, she and her sister Julienne. She stayed with them for more than twenty years, visiting her family on some vacations as they moved about trying to strike a living from the land.

She became a mother one day, marrying a man who came in on a threshing team. But how do you mother when you have never seen it done?

So laugh at my unschooled ways. My hurt is your hurt, too. But I love you still and like you eventually did, in the glamour of senility, I have let go of my anger at such acts of insensitivity.

Remember when you looked up at the flowers on the wallpaper and said how beautiful they were? When you heard children play outside and watched with vague curiosity? Remember me sitting next to you? Those were lovely days. Sweet moments and sad ones as you gradually went away. I had those. Who cares if I never learned to knit?

Theresia & Marie Louise, Priest's House, Forget, Saskatchewan

Saturday, 14 February 2015

“The Danger of Books”

Some while ago I read the 1949 SF classic Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart. (Click here for full text in pdf format.) I very much enjoyed this dreamy exploration of life for one man in a post-apocalyptic USA.

Ish is a scientist, and he approaches the overturning of civilization and near extinction of humankind with an observer's detachment at the same time as experiencing it in all its personal shock and upheaval. It is a pleasure to see through his eyes the slow recovery of his urban landscape by natural forces, and the even slower resurrection of some sort of kinship unit as people gradually come together around him. It is neither a utopia nor a dystopia, but an even-handed depiction of what might come to be.

There is a lovely scene where Ish takes his child to a long-disused public library, a place of sanctuary for him but a totally new sensation for the boy.

“He was actually glad to get Joey away. The stimulation of seeing so many books seemed almost more than was good for the frail little boy. Ish was glad that he had not taken him to the university library.”

I know the feeling Ish. Get his feet wet slowly. It's the only way.

Friday, 16 January 2015

“Ernest Hyde" by Edgar Lee Masters

From Spoon River Anthology

by Edgar Lee Masters

Ernest Hyde 

MY mind was a mirror:
It saw what it saw, it knew what it knew.
In youth my mind was just a mirror

In a rapidly flying car,
Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.
Then in time
Great scratches were made on the mirror,
Letting the outside world come in,
And letting my inner self look out.
For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow,
A birth with gains and losses.
The mind sees the world as a thing apart,
And the soul makes the world at one with itself.
A mirror scratched reflects no image—
And this is the silence of wisdom.

For a free download of the book,
click here.