Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Roles, II

Nick, on roles:

The talk about roles shifting is something I’ve been think about a lot. Partially because I see myself taking on new roles (trying to be the “cool uncle” figure to Tilley’s nieces, while simultaneously arguing with my own uncle…), but also in a more general sense. I don’t remember who, but some rabbi I read a while back talked about starting and ending your day by reflecting on…

View On WordPress

On Roles, I

I listened to a show recently on recognizing and managing dementia. Gurney Williams talked about what happened when he realized his wife needed full-time, out-of-home care, and talks–with warmth–about the period after she moved into a care home:

We started looking to a new life for all of us. And I particularly began to come out of a hermit phase that I was in. To reach out to people, to realize…

View On WordPress

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On Learning Self-Care

It’s taken so long to figure out what “self-care” is. And I’m still working on it. 

In some serious ways, I was neglected as a child. Not in the casual sense, but the clinical sense. Kids learn to care for themselves by being cared for, and seeing other people take care of themselves. In many basic and important ways, I wasn’t cared for. And my parents weren’t great at caring for themselves,…

View On WordPress

Friday, July 4, 2014

Journal Entry: Trigger City

Journal Entry: Trigger City

I spent so much of my early life without much touch and craving it badly, that I usually enjoy even the touch that happens in haircuts, eyebrow waxing, physical therapy, etc. And massage, of course, is wonderful.

I’ve started seeing a massage therapist. I can’t really afford it, but my body needs something, so I’m giving it a shot. Today was my second session.

I lie down on the table, unders only…

View On WordPress

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Middle Age

Many of my friends are alone and know too much to be happy though they still want to dive to the bottom of the green ocean and bring back a gold coin in their hand. A woman I know wakes in the late evening and talks to her late husband, the windows blank photographs. On the porch, my brother, hands in pockets, stares at the flowing stream. What’s wrong? Nothing. The cows stand in their own slow…

View On WordPress

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of…

View On WordPress

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear"

“Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear”

An excerpt from Laura Munson’s Modern Love column:

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to…

View On WordPress

"How Not To Say The Wrong Thing"

“How Not To Say The Wrong Thing”

From Susan Silk and Barry Goldman:

Susan has since developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake. It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger…

View On WordPress

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Addendum: Let Your Life Speak

Addendum: Let Your Life Speak

I cannot rid myself of my demons without risking that my angels will flee with them.

–Sheldon Kopp

View On WordPress



It happened the other night. The worry, in my tired body, turned into a whole storm. I had a double consciousness: the pressure of each sharp, insistent fear. The accompanying pain. And at the same time, the knowledge–not all of these are so important as they seem now. Not all are so pressing.

I knew that in the full of it. I knew it was a storm. I knew it would pass. I knew not to believe all of…

View On WordPress