Saturday, July 28, 2007

What's a Word Worth?

Over there on the left side of this blog are "living links" to the blogs of some friends. On top of the list at the moment is The Cancer Blogs, in which a former student -- a student I like to think of as a friend because who wouldn't want to have a friend who writes well and thinks clearly and is also brave -- describes his, what?

His battle with cancer? His experience with cancer? His living with cancer? His learning from cancer? You got the thing, you own the vocabulary, right?

I haven't picked up yet exactly how George wants to describe what he's going through, I mean, the one-word summary that boils it down and makes it all "simple." I wager George is much too intellectually agile to succumb to such oversimplification. It's got to be a kaleidoscope, a shifting landscape. I know I am proud of him for sharing his experiences because describing how one deals with a life-threatening disease that is still occasionally stigmatized is a guide to dealing with a great many things, not just cancer. It's a road map for more than one kind of journey.

I read with wonder and admiration. Old men can learn from the young. Old men better.

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