Jim Atwell, local Fly Creek author of Wobbling Home – A Spiritual Walk With Parkinson’s, will be signing copies on Sunday, December 4 at the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard from 12:30 until 4:40. The signing is free and reservations are not required.
Upstate New York farmer and philosopher Jim Atwell has been living the dream life in Fly Creek since his retirement in 1993. His award-winning weekly newspaper columns about rural life and his past as a teaching monk, professor, and college administrator led to his successful first book, From Fly Creek: Celebrating Life in Leatherstocking Country (North Country Books, 2005). But his life took a dramatic turn in 2007 when he was forced to deal with a neurological disease diagnosed first as Parkinson’s, then as Parkinson’s Plus, and most recently as Parkinson’s: unknown. He has been told by his doctor that a positive diagnosis of this odd family of diseases is best done by autopsy — a strategy that Jim stoutly rejects.
This second collection of columns, Wobbling Home, is a deeply insightful meditation on his illness, his Christian faith, and his journey´s end. Raised a Roman Catholic, Jim has been a Quaker for forty years. Viewing his life as a "Parkie" through the lens of Quakerism, he sees the disease as emanating from the same loving Source that gives him life — a Source which also manipulates his body and brain at random times and in mysterious ways. He shares not only his own thoughts and reactions, but also those of his loving wife Anne and other Parkies and their spouses as well. Interspersed with tales of daily life and ritual in one of New York´s most bucolic small towns, Jim´s writings are shot through with the warm humor that is a mark of his personality and his masterful style.