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My dear friend Simon Dooley has recently released INSIDE OUT HEART COLLECTION.

Volume 1: Poems for my dying father & after; &,

Volume 2: Diary notes of being with my dying father.

Inside Out Heart delves deeply into the mysteries of life, death, suffering and old age, just like the young buddha upon departing from his father’s kingdom.

When we first met I gave Simon my copy of Neale Donald Walsch’s “Conversations with God,” neither of us knowing that many years later Simon would be sharing his own book of intimate encounters with the world.

Inside Out Heart takes you on a meandering journey down the path of a father and son’s final year together, as Simon and his father Peter do their best to navigate Peter’s inevitable demise from advanced, inoperable brain cancer.

As the year goes on and Peter’s capacity declines Simon finds himself more and more alone, and in these moments he writes. The result is two separate but related works. A book of poems, and a book of diary notes in which Simon expresses the suffering and poignancy of the experience he and his father are going through. Simon’s practice of mindfulness helped him and his father. It helped Simon to really be there, present with his father, day after day. And, it helped him to see with the eyes of benevolence what was really going on, and to be with that, and to receive healing and replenishment.

There is an honest, tender beauty in Simon’s musings. What makes it extra lovely is that this is written by an Australian man who allows himself to be in the not knowing, in the wondering, in the pain. The writing has a lovely rhythm that brings me to the body, to a ‘realness’, to the heart. This is a lovely, and deep piece of writing that makes the world a gentler place.

See more about Inside Out Heart by SJP Dooley at https://www.stellarviolets.org/book-shop/

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