Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skeptic's Search for Health and Healing Paperback – 3 Jul 2012
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“A small triumph of narrative artistry, luxuriantly written and full of bone-dry humor.” The Spectator “A searingly honest, viscerally vivid, darkly comic self-examination of the connections between writing, personality and health.” David Lodge “A mystery story written with extraordinary nerve and eloquence...The result is harrowing, mordant, and unforgettable.” David Shields
"A small triumph of narrative artistry, luxuriantly written and full of bone-dry humor." The Spectator "A searingly honest, viscerally vivid, darkly comic self-examination of the connections between writing, personality and health." David Lodge "A mystery story written with extraordinary nerve and eloquence...The result is harrowing, mordant, and unforgettable." David Shields
About the Author
TIM PARKS is the author of novels, nonfiction, and essays. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask, and Llewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His works include "Destiny, Europa, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, Italian Neighbors, An Italian Education, "and "A Season with Verona."
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If you are uncomfortable with frank descriptions of the body, medical procedures and sexuality, then this book will be a very disturbing one for you, because Parks is frank. Very frank. But if you are able to move past Victorian sensibilities, you will find there is a lot to be learned here. You will probably end up knowing a whole lot more about the prostate gland that you ever wanted to, but because it is integral to the story, it figures prominently into the narrative. Trust the author and stick with him.
When all is said and done, this book is about coming to terms with who we are. It's about Parks experience, but his thoughts, feelings and pain will not seem foreign to most of us.
Take time to explore the train of thought that this book will undoubtedly spark in you as a reader. I didn't come away from reading it feeling like I was dramatically changed - it isn't a prescription for a metaphysical epiphany - but it was thought provoking and unflinchingly honest. It is was a worthwhile read for me, and I believe it will be for you as well.
Even though he considers himself a huge skeptic, Parks tried other methods of healing. Part Two of this book discusses his journey to health again. The methods that helped him the most were meditation, shiatsu massage, and essentially learning to calm down and relax his tension. He realized his body had been tense his entire life, which no doubt contributed to his severe pain. He was sensitive to noise and needed quiet time to heal.
Part One of this book was difficult reading for me, but I enjoyed Part Two more, as Parks began to heal. However, the author is very intelligent and includes lots of references to artists and writers I haven't heard of, so I have a feeling many things were over my head.
However, I would recommend this to anyone who is battling an unknown illness, and anyone who suspects that it would benefit their health to learn to relax and sit still.
Stories are a wonderful way to learn and I really learned so much from reading this book. The author gives us a funny, candid look into his life and mind.