Showing posts from March, 2020

Stay(ing) Home

We finally finished our last bit of important business yesterday. Not "last" as in forever, we hope. But it was the last thing we needed to do, to be responsible citizens, before hunkering down to wait until it's time to develop a new long-term "normal." Meanwhile, our days are following an interim "normal." I continue my usual morning: a brief reading, a short log of the natural world around me (mostly, lately: "it's snowing AGAIN" or "the snow is visibly melting!" but sometimes "ravens are nest-building" or "gulls!!"), an effort to be nice to someone(s) on social media, a morning "art project" card (discussed here ), and a brief written check-in. And then there are tasks: working on taxes, paying bills, writing here, etc. And select, limited times to check the news. Beyond that, though, it's been tough to focus on larger, long-term projects. I haven't edited my husband's spec-f

Oh, You Know

Looking out the window. (The sun is rising farther north, or left, along the horizon every day! Even when we're having another snowstorm and can't see it.)   Reading. (This is one of several multi-voice novels I've read in 2020. I love them in general, especially this one.) Also: sorting tax receipts, deleting old email, cancelling events, and doing other things that don't lend themselves to pictures. Worrying at pre-set times, in an effort to keep a lid on it. Thinking fondly of my parents, both young adults during World War II. My father spent the years in uniform in Hawaii, and my mother did nuclear mathematics in Montreal. Apart for 27 months, they were reunited in July of 1945, grateful ever after that they were spared. I try to apply I learned from them: Count blessings. Practice gratitude. Do your part, however small it feels. In short: We're leaning into a sense of calm as the world changes so rapidly. So, staying home. The usual. H

Can't Let Go

So today, I spent the day listening to smart people talk about creativity and art programs for special populations--namely, people with dementia and/or frailty. It was fascinating. Also exhausting. Earlier this week, I revised an essay from a few years back. I'd received some good feedback, sent it a couple of places that weren't impressed, and let it ripen in a drawer while I worked on my novel and the essay collection that became my book . So now I have a revision. It's not 100% beautifully ripe, but it's within a draft or two of expressing what I want it to express. Except. It suffers from a whole lot of "who cares?" I mean, I care. But why would someone else? I had no answer. So I figured, oh well. It's going to be one of those essays that needed to be written (and written well, if I say so myself), but doesn't necessarily need to be published. I have a couple of short stories in that state, too. So, today. As I sat in presentations and

Ethics and Stories

Last week, I had the great good fortune to speak briefly at a panel discussion about ethical issues in storytelling in health care settings . Here are some of the things I heard, all of which I'm pondering: * People carry with them a lifetime of stories--some cultural that stretch back generations, and some unique to them. * People may be wary of sharing personal stories without knowing who they're talking to. * People's stories are gifts, and those hearing them should listen with gratitude and respect. * People's stories represent their reality--their truth. * People seeking health care are always vulnerable, because in our health care system, the power (of knowledge, not to mention intangibles like community prestige and social class) rests with the practitioner. Vulnerable people may or may not be willing to share a story that makes them even more vulnerable. * People who share stories may be especially vulnerable in the moment of sharing them, and anyo