"An intimate portrayal of love and loss. Discovering the core of our existence where we find healing, peace, and compassion. For caregivers everywhere, whether dealing with the disease of Alzheimer's, cancer, or any other terminal illness, this book shares deep insight and ways to help with the care of a loved one, family, or friend. Even in the last stages of an illness, there are gifts a patient imparts that continually sustain and inspire loved ones left behind." Kenneth R Pelletier, PhD, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine (UCSF), San Francisco, author of Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer.
"The words 'Zen' and 'Alzheimer's' are seldom paired. Zen, representing supreme awareness, and Alzheimer's, associated with loss of awareness, would seem to have little to do with each other, but just as all opposites dissolve in the truth of non-duality, this volume bears touching testimony to how presence in the now is available at any moment in any state. Part autobiography, part biography of a remarkable man, Robert Briggs, this book is also a dialogue in poetry and an extraordinary love story. It affirms love and life while remaining clear-eyed and honest about the suffering entailed in love and life. Diana Saltoon toward the end of the work states that she found her husband's acceptance and curiosity in the face of his deteriorating condition, "humanly noble and inspiring." This reader found those words a fitting summation of the entire book. Reading this book expands one's experience of what it is to be human in the best sense of the word. " Sonja Arntzen, Professor Emerita, University of Toronto, author of Ikkyū and the Crazy Cloud Anthology and Kagerō Diary.
"This lovely book is, in its entirety, a poem about love. It is about young love, middle-aged love, and love that endures through the profound changes of Alzheimer's and on into the loneliness and mystery of death. It has two authors, two poets, Diana Saltoon, and her "late" husband Robert Briggs. In these pages Robert is quite alive, even as his own memory - but not his sense of humor - fades. Although it is quite interesting to read this touching memoir and to learn about the Beat generation from one who lived it, it is their Zen practice that shines through, and the book's unexpected effect is a warming, spreading radiance in the reader's heart. " Jan Chozen Bays, MD, and co-abbot of Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clakskanie, Oregon, and author of How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness.
"From the overlapping poetry and prose of Robert and Diana, we gain insight into how the interests they shared throughout their long marriage–prose, poetry, jazz, politics, Japanese tea ceremony, existentialism, and Zen–sustain them. They reach a place where fragments of language and the gestures of everyday life bring them to an understanding of each other that transcends words." Clayton Morgareidge, Professor Emeritus, Lewis and Clark College, author of Demystifying Demons: Rethinking Who and What We Are.
"The authors Diana Saltoon and the late Robert Briggs write a love story through the eyes of poetry, Zen, and the relief from suffering, which is love. Deep bows to this blessed wisdom and compassion and to the authors."Larry Christensen, Ph.D. is the Head Teacher at The Zen Center of Portland and a clinical psychologist in Portland, OR.