R. Lodge and B. Swinyard
What is a life well lived? How do you cope with those moments when your whole life seems to come crashing down around you? Can there be such a thing as a good death? Or is all of this out of your control or understanding? These are the fundamental questions of humanity and they face us all, at one time or another.
Here, Consultant Cancer Surgeon, humanist and poet, Richard Lodge, shares a lifetime of experience and dedicated practice focussed on helping patients and their families deal with exactly these questions, often in âlife and deathâ situations. Drawing on all of his accumulated knowledge and compassion for those in need he has distilled those essences of humanity that distinguish us and give our lives meaning. His search for such a simplified exposition of the role of love, endurance, empathy and dignity was made even more poignant when he himself was diagnosed with the terminal illness, Motor Neurone Disease (MND or ALS). In part this is his journey to find redemption from despair and a meaning in suffering, too.
Life, however, is not one-dimensional. It is rich in its variety and forms and we all recognise the impact that images or pictures have on our emotions and perceptions. It is here that Professional Photographer, International judge, lecturer and tutor, Brian Swinyard, has excelled. Devoted all his life to the documentation of life through the medium of photography. An 'Aspirational' Photographer with special interest in Creative photography he explores the ways that photography can abstract and formalize reality, and produces images that have emotional content whilst questioning the traditional concepts of 'What Is' and 'What Reality Means'. This too being thrown into sharp focus by his diagnosis and subsequent treatments for Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that is all too often life limiting.
Working together and recognising that the fusion of word and image can transcend and amplify each other, the two friends have worked to produce this tribute to the human spirit. Within it, they offer their combined thoughts and those of much more ancient philosophies on life, love and circumstance and how to approach them with dignity, forbearance, tolerance and delight. For to be human is a miracle and we should rejoice in that alone.
This inspirational book draws together many of the fundamental questions of humanity that face us all, at one time or another. What is the meaning of my life? How can I go on? Why is this happening to me? However, some universal truths do exist. Love, for example, transcends all boundaries and social conventions of gender, race, religion or situation. Kindness and compassion are never misplaced and can open doors and hearts in equal measure, or ease the pain and provide comfort in adversity.
The fusion of poetry and images in this beautiful book addresses all aspects of being human in a loving, gentle manner. It focuses on life, love, dignity and the search for truth and meaning. It offers thoughts and wisdom on problems both ancient and modern, yet deeply human. It speaks of lifeâs rich journey and lives well lived, with the added poignancy and acute observation granted to people facing terminal illness themselves.
Distilled from the combined experience of observing and caring for people at times of great joy, distress or hurt in their lives, this book offers hope and guidance to those in need, to those who are lost or for whom life has lost its meaning. At itâs most simple it is a union of beautiful poetry and photography to entrance and transport you. At its most fundamental it tells of lifeâs rich journey and the miracle that is being human. This is a celebration of that journey.
Half the proceeds from the sale of this book will be shared equally between the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Sarcoma UK to help support their magnificent work in raising the awareness of both devastating diseases and their untiring efforts to fund research into treatments and cures. Their contribution to the care and wellbeing of their members and the families cannot be overstated.