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Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life

by

Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now I find myself in late August, with the nights cool and the crickets thick in the fields. Already the first blighted leaves glow scarlet on the red maples. It’s a season of fullness and sweet longings made sweeter now by the fact that I can’t be sure I’ll see this time of the year again....

— from Learning to Fall

Philip Simmons was just thirty-five years old in 1993 when he learned that he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and was told he had less than five years to live. As a young husband and father, and at the start of a promising literary career, he suddenly had to learn the art of dying. Nine years later, he has succeeded, against the odds, in learning the art of living.

Now, in this surprisingly joyous and spirit-renewing book, he chronicles his search for peace and his deepening relationship with the mystery of everyday life.

Set amid the rugged New Hampshire mountains he once climbed, and filled with the bustle of family life against the quiet progression of illness, Learning to Fall illuminates the journey we all must take — “the work of learning to live richly in the face of loss.”

From our first faltering steps, Simmons says, we may fall into disappointment or grief, fall into or out of love, fall from youth or health. And though we have little choice as to the timing or means of our descent, we may, as he affirms, “fall with grace, to grace.”

With humor, hard-earned wisdom and a keen eye for life’s lessons — whether drawn from great poetry or visits to the town dump — Simmons shares his discovery that even at times of great sorrow we may find profound freedom. And by sharing the wonder of his daily life, he offers us the gift of connecting more deeply and joyously with our own.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Philip Simmons was just thirty-five years old in 1993 when he learned that he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig

Synopsis:

Simmons was just 35 years old, a young husband and father, when he learned that he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and was told that he had five years to live. Taking his fatal illness not as an ending but as a beginning, he embarked on a remarkable, 10-year spiritual journey, whose fruits he shares in this book.

About the Author

Philip Simmons is associate professor of English at Lake Forest College in Illinois, where he taught literature and creative writing for nine years before being disabled. His literary scholarship has been published widely and his short fiction has appeared in Playboy, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, and the Massachusetts Review, among other magazines. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

1. Learning to fall. — 2. Getting up in the morning (and other essential duties) — 3. In praise of the imperfect life. — 4. Unfinished houses. — 5. Wild things. — 6. Out of the cave. — 7. Mud season. — 8. Choosing the world. — 9. Winter mind. — 10. The art of doing nothing. — 11. Returning home. — 12. Living at the edge.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553897593
Subtitle:
The Blessings of an Imperfect Life
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Author:
SIMMONS, PHILIP
Author:
Philip Simmons
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Spirituality - General
Subject:
Inspirational - General
Subject:
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Subject:
Religion-Inspirational - General
Subject:
Religion-Spirituality - General
Subject:
Religion : Inspirational
Subject:
Religion : Spirituality - General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Religious
Subject:
Family & Relationships : Death, Grief, Bereavement
Subject:
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Subject:
College teachers
Subject:
Suffering
Subject:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Subject:
Spirituality
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Disability
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Illnesses
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Biographies
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Neurologic Illness
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Subject:
HEAL-DISABILIT835EndCap
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20030429
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
176

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Religious
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Grief
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Inspirational

Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life
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Product details 176 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780553897593 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Philip Simmons was just thirty-five years old in 1993 when he learned that he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig
"Synopsis" by , Simmons was just 35 years old, a young husband and father, when he learned that he had ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and was told that he had five years to live. Taking his fatal illness not as an ending but as a beginning, he embarked on a remarkable, 10-year spiritual journey, whose fruits he shares in this book.
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