PERIPLUS: A Review of Passage to Nirvana by Lee Carlson

I was compelled to begin this review having not yet finished the last page. Perhaps it’s that while the “end” is important in some way, no less – or perhaps even more significant and relevant – is the inspiration at any moment in Passage to Nirvana.

An unconventional autobiography, we come to know Carlson as he comes to know himself again after an ironically-charged event leaves him to live a life transformed irreparably by Traumatic Brain Injury. It is the story of a writer, now struggling with writing, writing to heal, writing to learn, writing to share the specific and the universal of our human condition. Carlson’s observations and narrations undulate, integrating the realms of life – inspiration, challenge, spirituality, reality, cause+effect, expanding one’s experience of mind, body and soul. It is in his authenticity, his meeting and telling of truths, in this unselfconsciousness that one finds one’s own comfort in being, in one’s own (auto)biography and condition.

I knew Lee prior to this book. But, I did not know him well. And wish I had had the opportunity. Our paths crossed through the familial lines, sometimes leading to light conversations, but as I recall, mostly short and simple pleasantries or greetings. I was not aware of the depth of his Zenness, the richness [...] continue the story

Speaking Without Words

Ronen Razieli, a member of Israel’s special police unit, was shot in the head during a counter terror operation in 1993. Comatose for 6 months, his brain injury left him permanently paralyzed and wheelchair bound with impaired communication and general function. This story follows his journey of rehabilitation, relationships and impact on those closest to him, and recovery of quality of life.

Addendum: In 2008, Ronen married his long time soul mate Marylou and a year later she gave birth to their son Alon.

Head Strong: Zehr Family Profile

Brain Injury awareness and program funding is close to home for Zehr Insurance Brokers Limited President John Zehr. His daughter Kelly, has an acquired brain injury as a result of an illness she suffered when she was younger. The Zehr Insurance family understands how disadvantaged brain injury victims can be when it comes to competing with life’s opportunities. Kelly’s mom, Dr. Laurie Sellers, a physician who works in the emergency room, sees the challenges brain injury victims live with on every shift. A brain injury is heart breaking. It can set a family back both emotionally and financially. This brain injury cause needs increased awareness and support. Kelly is pleased to help with this campaign to create possibilities for brain injury victims to develop meaningful careers and places in society through the scholarship awards this program will fund.

Ben Fanelli Story – Head Strong

Brain injury occurs suddenly, without warning. In an instant life is changed, forever. Canadian Hockey League defenseman Ben Fanelli knows this first hand. In October of 2009 Ben suffered a head injury that changed his life. Because of this Ben has realized the need for Brain Injury Awareness and funding. And that is why he teamed up with the Kitchener Rangers to start Head Strong; Fanelli 4 Brain Injury Awareness: a program designed to raise awareness about brain injuries and provide funds to various Brain Injury associations and programs.

Between Life And Death Part 1

Provocative documentary following the doctors who can now interrupt, and even reverse, the process of death. Filmed over six months in the country’s leading brain injury unit (Addenbooke’s Hospital, Cambridge), it follows the journey of a man who, by only moving his eyes, is eventually asked if he wants to live or die. Two other families are also plunged into the most ethically difficult decision in modern medicine.