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…
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…
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,…
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…
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…
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of…
"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…
"How Not To Say The Wrong Thing"
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…
Addendum: Let Your Life Speak
I cannot rid myself of my demons without risking that my angels will flee with them.
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…