A debut book offers a wide-ranging and deeply personal study of the process of individual healing.
As the underpinning for his work, Moore interviewed many people on all parts of the health care spectrum—from caregivers like nurses to the loved ones of patients—to explore concepts of healing, both mental and physical, and alternate therapies that might be effective in a wide variety of situations. The author, for example, suffers from chronic sciatic pain and describes at one point the array of treatment strategies he underwent, from physical therapy to spinal injections to reflexology to “pet therapy” and shamanic breath-control rituals. He looks at Eastern philosophy and other exotic practices, all with an aim to “liberate our spirits in ecstatic ways” and get readers in touch with their own inner resources. Moore uses extended passages of autobiography as well as humor and his own poetry to help make sense of a great many aspects of modern life, not only health-related issues, but also social topics like politics, sexuality, and 9/11. He always employs a holistic overview and the variously worded reminder to “enjoy every single miraculous moment in its endless new unfolding.” Each chapter ends with discussion questions and reflection prompts, and the main text likewise reflects this kind of interactive approach. Moore holds that the mistake of both science and religion is a tendency to generalize and dogmatize the personal medical and spiritual experiences that are in fact unique to each person, and he urges readers to “declare our divinity” by looking inward for healing and a sense of renewal. The book’s prose remains lively and approachable throughout, although Moore has perhaps misjudged the balance of his materials: his own chunks of autobiography are almost always more intriguing than his more philosophical discussions, for instance, and like most personal poetry, the author’s own verses can at times be more awkward than enlightening. The main strength of the book lies in the sense it gives of Moore’s own journey.
An energetic accounting of life’s maladies and their survivability, conducted through prose and poetry.