using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2011 65 my traveling parts would end with me since I had no offspring. For a moment that fact saddened me. There was a time when I’d thought of my books in that way, as extensions of myself that would outlive me. I no longer did. These moments all alone before the peonies and irises in the dappled light of a summer morning seemed enough. This little everywhere, this nowhere else. In the beginning, as the immediacy and complexity of life changed, I struggled with it. At first I managed only by compartmen- talizing—my own life, his life, work life, play life, house life—and then, finally, I learned to embrace it as a whole. Now, for the most part, it’s become seamless and I’m just living my life. After dinner, we often share memories about what happened to him in the hospital and during his first years at home (little of which he remembers, because his brain wasn’t storing memories well at the time). It has helped him understand himself better, what he went through, all he’s accomplished since the stroke. Whenever I confide my stresses and worries, his face grows ten- der, and he says, “Little Thing, how hard that must be.” It has provided an opening for us to talk about my hurts and experi- ences, as well as his, and about our history and life together. A life like an intricately woven basket, frayed, worn, broken, unraveled, reworked, reknit from many of its original pieces. As a result, it has brought us much closer. Life can survive in the constant shadow of illness, and even rise to moments of rampant joy, but the shadow remains, and one has to make space for it. I am in a phase of life with responsibilities I could not have imagined during my boy-crazy high school years in the heart of Pennsylvania, when Beatles tunes suggested that love was as sim- ple as “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Like the teen years, this is also a passing phase. Be fully awake for it, I tell myself, pay attention to all of its feelings and sensations, because this is simply another facet of being alive, of life on earth, and then there will be another era when Paul will be gone and you won’t have these responsibilities and worries. That has been the unthinkable thought. One that haunts each day, the worry of being left behind and alone that comes with having an older and/or sick spouse. I know there will most likely be a long spell without him. I tell myself that I will be fine. On my walk today, I sensed: When Paul is gone, the trees and sky will still be beautiful, I will still be poignantly aware of life’s transience, and how lucky I am to be alive on this planet in space. It’s all part of the adventure. I will still cherish being alive, even though I will miss him fiercely. And, oddly enough, I will probably look back on these days as some of the happiest of my life, despite all the worries, frights, and impediments, because I’ve loved heartily and felt equally loved in return. Paul continues to invent new pet names for me, some funny, some romantic, some playfully outlandish—all a testament to how a brain can repair itself, and how a duet between two lovers can endure hardship. A bell with a crack in it may not ring as clearly, but it can ring as sweetly. ♦ Excerpted from One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing, by Diane Ackerman. © 2011 by Diane Ackerman. Used with permission from W.W. Norton & Company.