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Synopsis

JEFF PINNEY LOOKS BACK AT HIS STRUGGLES WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS WHILE HOMESTEADING IN RURAL ONTARIO AS AN ARTIST AND WOOD CARVER.

Jeff Pinney, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, had already gone through a series of dead-end jobs and luckless relationships by the age of thirty. He thought things couldn’t get much worse—until he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Knowing he would suffer progressive neuromuscular deterioration in the coming years, he struck out for the country to enjoy life. While homesteading in the Haliburton highlands, he enjoyed the beauty of the natural world. His life took on an increasingly spiritual dimension as he built his home, made art, and honed his skills as a wood-carver. He overcame pain and discomfort by concentrating, applying himself, and practising Zen meditation.

Rather than dwell upon the ways the disease has affected him physically, Jeff explores how he dealt with it in mental and emotional terms. He also shares his candid thoughts on treatment options for MS patients.

From his porch above the beaver meadow, Jeff Pinney contemplates storms of an inner and outer nature. Bound to his wheelchair, he is beset with cabin fever; but the beauty of the world, as he recounts in Zen and the Art of Multiple Sclerosis, consoles and uplifts him.

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