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In the course of her life, Ginny Jordan has been diagnosed with breast cancer, undergone surgeries and chemotherapy, experienced debilitating vertigo, and other conditions—at the same time as she has been a daughter, wife, mother of three, and member of a large, active family.
In prose that is startling and evocative, witty and generous, Clear Cut explores biographically, symbolically, and culturally the meanings of nine different parts of the body, of how much we can lose and still remain whole and know who we are. Jordan mourns for and celebrates the wisdom and beauty of body and soul as they struggle to find endurance in the face of multiple setbacks, and the courage to confront loss and separation and celebrate life and community instead.
While chronic illness is graphic and life-changing, it doesn’t make the body itself any less sacred. Clear Cut invites the reader to see that physical suffering is both personal and universal, and that our own suffering can become a gateway through which we see, feel and witness the suffering in the world. The book teaches us that illness need not take us away or separate us from the world, it can be a pathway to travel more deeply into the world. And sometimes when we try to banish illness we can also banish the lessons that come along with it. It reminds us that telling our own stories can be powerful and transformative and that being involved in something bigger than ourselves, (a project, a cause, a way we try to make the world a better place) can be powerful medicine in itself. Illness changes the way we meet the world, and that change can be an opening, not just a closing. And above all the book shows us that illness need not define or limit our lives. Our lives are always defined more by our joy than our suffering.
|About the Author – Ginny Jordan, MFA is a writer, poet and psychotherapist. She is co-founder of Beadforlife, a non profit organization working with women in Uganda to help them raise themselves out of poverty. (beadforlife.org) Ginny has three children and has recently become a grandmother. She lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.|