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February 6, 2015 / jpschimel

These Things You Cannot Take

This isn’t about “Writing Science,” rather it is the ultimate of personal writing by someone who I respect deeply for his science but equally for his humanity and eloquence in the face of adversity. I repost it because they are people who are close to me, a message that is equally so, and it shows a power of language. Alan, Diana, and Neva, the thoughts and wishes of all your friends are with you.

Alan Townsend's Blog

My wife Diana was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, the second brain tumor to hit our family in fifteen months. They are unconnected events – lightning striking twice unimaginably.  For the first one, still very much a part of our young daughter’s life, we shared a great deal here.  We may do the same for this latest challenge, or we may not.  It’s a bridge we have not yet crossed.  But on World Cancer Day, here are a few words.  

I’ve had a recurrent dream since last Friday.  I am afloat on an equatorial sea, a sweep of beach to my back.  Before me, lines of aquamarine rise from the depths in metronomic intervals as though the sea itself is but the rippling skin of some unseen leviathan.

The waves begin to build, each one just a touch higher than the last, and in the crystalline walls appear the faces of those…

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