Taelle has posts a fic quote that should probably be checked out by all LMM fans.

I read this one a couple of days ago and have been wanting to link it and get all and sundry (“all and sundry” including most particularly those of you who are interested in the ideas of faith and identity) to read it. Alana moves from mysterious stones on Orkney to reflections on what religion is, in particular what it means to be Jewish.

And finally, as everyone probably knows by now, Jay Lake’s cancer has returned. (Spit.) I’m not sure why this hits me on such a personal level; I don’t know Jay and I’m not even a fan of his fiction (I am of his blog, though). I think it’s a combination of things.

First, you do feel like get to know someone when you read his blog for a while, whether oth not that’s actually true. He bcomes Jay, a known person, rather than an anonymous member of the masses whom you can only care about in a sense of “for I am involved in mankind”. Second, I’m still sensitized to how brutal cancer can be, after losing my uncle three years ago. His great-nephew will never know him and I’ll have to fill both our roles for him. I’ll never get the fun of traveling with my uncle again, of hearing about the places he’s been and telling him about mine, and teasing him for the way in which he remembers every good meal he ever had. I blame cancer for that, and the grudge is personal.

Thirdly, I think a lot of it is just because I’ve lived my life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. I didn’t happen to be around gay communities in the 80s when AIDS was really ravaging through them; past that, the only diseases I’ve had experience of have very low mortality rates or were quickly controlled. I’ve never had to fear the Black Plague sweeping through my town. I’ve never lived through a flu epidemic that took the adult and healthy and left old people and children to mourn. The other major killers of my time are either random and rare (yes, accidents kill people, but each one is different and has unique causes), or actually have intent (murder, terrorism) or most often happen to people who have already had long lives. Cancer kills diverse people, too often can’t be stopped – or can be stopped only for a while, and seems to come without sense or warning. (I’m saddened but actually less aggrieved by the lung cancer that hit my father after decades of smoking than I am by my uncle’s rare cancer of unknown cause – though a lot of this is really also because Dad’s now OK.) Cancer is sort of a unique thing in my world, and that makes its random brutality all the more painful.

I hope Jay is able to find a treatment that heals him, or at the very least keeps him in relative health for a long long time. That’s the main concern for the best opart of me. But there’s another part that just wants to see cancer lose this time, be eradicated totally in ignominious defeat. I don’t know you, Jay’s Cancer, but I don’t like you and it’s personal.

(And someday I will learn to organize my writing to put the most important stuff first.)