The Art of Healing

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9780986060076: The Art of Healing

Poetry. Collaboration. THE ART OF HEALING documents in poetry the experience of Charles' bout with cancer. Poets Charles Entrekin and Gail Rudd Entrekin—husband and wife, survivor and caregiver, insider and witness—beautifully, vulnerably and sometimes heartbreakingly share their finely crafted poems in this brilliant volume. In this collection, both poets were moved to make sense of what was happening in their lives through the writing of poems. Unaware of each others content, they continued writing throughout the treatment. Later, upon reflection, they realized that they had been coming to grips with the same events through poems that seemed to complement each other. These poems reflect those two journeys, from diagnosis to treatment to healing, and the coming to terms with what remains, what it means to be alive and part of a larger web of being. This is a book for anyone who has come to know the meaning of suffering and healing.

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From the Author:

This book documents a transformative and cathartic experience in my life. It is similar to my last book Portrait of a Romance, which is really a love story in verse. The Art of Healing also tells a story--a story of discovery and fear, healing, forgiveness,compassion and love. It is important to realize that Gail and I were approaching a diagnosis of cancer from separate points of view. Up until my diagnosis, we had lived in a shared reality. After the diagnosis, it became obvious that we were going to have to go through this experience as separate people.
 
I, for one, began looking into Zen Buddhist philosophy and thought. As I began facing the possibility of not surviving this experience, I found myself trying come to grips with what my life story was all about. The more I delved into Zen Buddhism, the more I began to appreciate a perspective that questioned my belief and attachment to the story of who I thought I was.
 
After spending sometime doing this, I tried to explain to my brother on the telephone one day what about Buddhism interested me and I failed to come up with a good answer. So I set about devising what I call "my elevator speech," a way of explaining--in a limited amount of time--what attracted me to Buddhism. The short version is as follows: Buddhism gave me a way to let go of my attachment to the self I used to be.
 
This may seem strange to people who are about to undergo chemotherapy, but I found it necessary to"forgive myself" for coming down with cancer. Cancer, for me, felt like I was abandoning my life and my family, even though I knew I had not chosen this path. All of this fed into my poetry because I had always written poetry to discover myself, who I was, what I thought and what were the emotional realities of my life. I had been doing this since childhood. Now I found myself writing poems daily that were informed by my own questioning of who I was and what I was doing.
 
Cancer felt like I was engaged in a war against unopposable forces and the only path to some level of peace was to surrender to the experience and embrace what was happening to me,no matter where it led. These poems in the Art of Healing mark the progress of my thinking on a day-by-day basis and Ibegan to gain comfort and relief from suffering from the task of writing and from the philosophical understandings of Zen Buddhism. The first poem begins with the diagnosis and the last poem is about forgiveness.
 
Having said all of the above, I must come back to the point of how my wife and I had lived a shared experience of reality. With cancer, we had begun to diverge. I know, in many ways, Gail's experience of being caregiver to someone who is going through cancer was harder in some ways than my experience having it. I know at moments she felt deserted, abandoned, and betrayed and her poems reflect her struggles. But they also portray an amazing capacity for love, devotion, and support as we weathered the worst of the war, an experience which I characterize much like a desert war in Africa, where the Janjaweed (riders on horseback) killers were the unopposable forces that one could only flee to save one's life. Her poems show an understanding, an agreement to be with me in this desert warfare/struggle and to lie down with me during the worst of it and help me through the night.
 
So I have recently been thinking that it could also be called Zen and the Art of Healing because my poems have a very strong Zen influence, and it could also be called Zen and the Art of Loving because this book is about loving and caring and suffering and the relief from suffering. Itis a book about confronting unopposable forces, surviving, and growing.

From the Back Cover:

The Art of Healing
 
In this collection, both poets were moved to make sense of what was happening in their lives through the writing of poems. These poems reflect those two journeys, from Charles' cancer diagnosis, to treatment, to healing and the coming to terms with what remains;what it means to be alive.  
     
                    Here, in the humid momentary 
heat of summer's solstice 
I find my shadow self,and passion; 
throw off old cancer's green claim, 
dream, begin to be whole again.            
                    Yes, night moves inside me, 
and I can set the stars in place. 
 
This is a book for anyone who has come to know the meaning of suffering and healing.
 
"The Art of Healing is a fitting title for this volume that demonstrates that healing is, indeed, an art. It could also be called The Art of Loving because the love between Charles and Gail is palpable and inspiring. And it could be called The Art of Living, for it contains wise examples of how to be alive to each moment..." --Ellen Bass (Author - Like a Beggar, poet and teacher)
 
"The Art of Healing takes a revelatory approach to a topic -- cancer -- we all thought we understood. Poets Charles and Gail Entrekin -- husband and wife, survivor and caregiver, insider and witness -- beautifully, vulnerably and sometimes heartbreakingly share their finely crafted poems in this brilliant volume. Patients and survivors will recognize themselves and find solace in these two unique, overlapping perspectives. Poetry lovers will come away enlightened and inspired." --Karin Miller (Editor - The Cancer Project)
 
"Poets Gail Rudd Entrekin and Charles Entrekin have navigated Charles's lymphocytic leukemia for years. Heeding Rumi's counsel that love turns all pain to medicine, they've used their craft to transform fear into curiosity, confusion into inviting mystery, and discomfort into gratitude. Any patient or caregiver faced with a serious illness will benefit from Gail's and Charles's healing observations." --Jeff Kane, MD (Author - Healing the Heart of Healthcare: How Doctors and Patients Can Cure our Sick System)

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Book Description Poetic Matrix Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Poetry. THE ART OF HEALING documents in poetry the experience of Charles bout with cancer. Poets Charles Entrekin and Gail Rudd Entrekin husband and wife, survivor and caregiver, insider and witness beautifully, vulnerably and sometimes heartbreakingly share their finely crafted poems in this brilliant volume. In this collection, both poets were moved to make sense of what was happening in their lives through the writing of poems. Unaware of each others content, they continued writing throughout the treatment. Later, upon reflection, they realized that they had been coming to grips with the same events through poems that seemed to complement each other. These poems reflect those two journeys, from diagnosis to treatment to healing, and the coming to terms with what remains, what it means to be alive and part of a larger web of being. This is a book for anyone who has come to know the meaning of suffering and healing. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780986060076

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