A powerful memoir from Natalie Golderg--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.
A moving and clear-looking memoir on being in love with your life even when life brings illness, from longtime Zen practitioner and world-renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg.
When Natalie learns that she has CLL, a potentially fatal form of blood cancer, she is plunged into the world of hospitals, doctors, and medication. While trying to find a footing in this new and strange world, her partner, Yu-kwan, is also diagnosed with cancer. The cancer twins, as Natalie calls herself and Yu-kwan, must each navigate their own illness while somehow trying to stay in love and heal.
"When you go through extreme sickness, when everything you know and lived is tossed out the window and glass shatters . . . this too is part of life. Don't give up. Pay attention. We have to make ourselves larger to include the inconceivable."
Through a direct and grounded narrative, Natalie illuminates a path through illness: that we need to be in love with the life we have, to embrace the dark and the light in our life. 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 her to face death, this book is a moving meditation on living life in full bloom.
Natalie Goldberg is the author of over fourteen books, including the bestselling Writing Down the Bones, which has changed the way writing is taught. Her other books include Wild Mind, The Long Quiet Highway (both published by Bantam), and The Great Spring (Shambhala). She continues to lead workshops and retreats nationally and internationally, which she has done for over forty years. She has also painted for as long as she has written. She lives in northern New Mexico. For more information, please visit www.nataliegoldberg.com.
“Grounded, heartbreaking, and full of hope, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home shows us how to meet the reality of illness and recovery head-on with courage and grace.”—Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
“This is the book that didn’t exist: an unflinchingly gorgeous exploration of being sick while being very much alive. Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home is both generous and wise, glorious proof that our darkest moments are also our most illuminating, that being vulnerable is an act of true courage, and that often we are most present and awake when our future is uncertain. This book is both a comfort and a wonder. I couldn’t put it down.”—Katie Arnold, author of Running Home
“This riveting and deeply honest book is for all of us. It opens up the road of diagnosis, dying, and life in a way no other book I have read does. It is a powerful narrative of truth and rawness that will touch and teach us.”—Joan Halifax, PhD; abbot, Upaya Zen Center; founder of the Project on Being with Dying; author of Being with Dying and Standing at the Edge
“Fragile, bare, and enormous, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home masterfully prepares us, young and old, with medical wisdom, love, and insight for our inevitable moments of facing death.”—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace
“With alert stillness infused with intention, Natalie Goldberg meets mortality head-on. Beautifully written, this is a book about love, loss, and down-to-the-marrow courage.”—Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate