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Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir

Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir

by Natalie Goldberg

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Overview

A powerful memoir from Natalie Goldberg—the woman who changed the way writing is taught in this country—sharing her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of writing and Zen

Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home begins at the grave of Katagiri Roshi, Natalie’s Zen teacher, in Japan. Twenty years after Katagiri’s death and Natalie’s return to New Mexico, she is permanently settled in Santa Fe with her partner, Yukwan. Except that, as Buddhism teaches us, nothing is permanent. Natalie learns that she has CLL, a potentially fatal form of blood cancer.

For two years, Natalie dances with her cancer—visiting doctor after doctor, attempting treatment after treatment. Nothing helps; in fact, one of the treatments only feeds the cancer and encourages its growth. Then Natalie’s partner, Yukwan discovers that she, too, has cancer—breast cancer—as well as an off-the-charts oncotype score that requires her to have surgery immediately. The cancer twins, as Natalie calls herself and Yukwan, now must each navigate her own illness, carve out her own cancer territory. Each can provide only limited emotional and physical energy for the other. And, somehow, they both need to find a way to stay together, to stay in love—and to heal.

As the title expresses, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home is so much more than a cancer memoir. Through a direct and grounded narrative, Natalie illuminates a path through illness: that we need to be in love with the lives we have, to embrace the dark and the light in our lives. For Natalie, writing and painting represent the light, and her cancer takes her deeper into her art practices. Balanced with a Zen practice that helps to her face death, this book is a moving meditation on living life in full bloom.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611805673
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 476,046
Product dimensions: 5.03(w) x 6.96(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

NATALIE GOLDBERG is the author of fourteen books, including Writing Down the Bones, which has changed the way writing is taught in this country. She teaches retreats nationally and internationally. She lives in New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

We Won't Last Forever 1

This Was My Life 21

Here Was My Beloved's Life 59

Down to the Marrow 97

Closer to Death 139

Endlessly Like a River 161

Afterword 187

Meditation on Metta 189

Acknowledgments 191

About the Author 194

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