A Porthole for the Dying (Mary Lynn White)

A Porthole for the Dying (Mary Lynn White)

Mary Lynn WhiteA Porthole for the Dying (March 15, 2007)
When my friend Jan was dying of cancer, I read to her. Fairy tales and poetry. She was a chemist, a scientist, a writer whose faraway religious background was little support in facing her death and the unknown. But the longing, the search, the quest was in her. When I read "Love Dogs" and "Cry, cry out in your weakness," she motioned to me to lean over so she could whisper, "Leave that on the table, would you?" It was the only book she asked to keep. Perhaps Rumi held the door open for her to pass through.

Mary Lynn White
Spruce Pine, NC (WLRN, 91.3 FM)

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is professor of Persian & Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, and the author of several books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal aI-Din Rumi.