Hello all! I decided to spend 2020 writing a journal of my life as a Buddhist practitioner living with ongoing ill health.

I have lived with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or at least that is the current named diagnosis) for twenty-four years with the last four years largely seeing me confined to bed. Dealing with symptoms and the ups and downs of pain and (extremely) limited energy is a daily struggle for me. I practice Sōtō Zen Buddhism, which informs how I live and see the world. You are likely to hear a fair amount about this either directly or indirectly. The blog header is my bedroom shrine, albeit with some books about illness and medications swapped in for a three large collections of Buddhist discourses!

In addition to writings on chronic illness and Zen, you are likely to also hear about my children (three teenagers between the ages of fourteen and eighteen), my haiku poetry, books I am reading (Buddhist or otherwise) and a squirrel who sometimes visits.

The interesting part of beginning a blog designed to last a year is that although the broad strokes of future life may be guessed on, the details remain to be written, and events will unfold in real time. Although this is the case with any year to come, recording it for posterity brings with it an extra element of anticipation.

Other information you may or may not wish to know about me is that I have recently had my fiftieth birthday (although depending on the day can feel anywhere between thirty-five and seventy), have a PhD in plant biology (which largely involved sitting in a field for three years) and live somewhere near Canterbury in the south-east of England.

Please feel free to drop by whenever you like. It might be fun!


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