Seth in his Daddy’s shoesSometimes there are moments when the whole of life comes together in a moment, an image, an insight and we have a perspective that casts light on the past in a new way. I notice this with my children and grandchildren from time to time.
A few weeks ago, my grandson Seth […]Read More →

Napa Valley Autumn How innocent were these Trees, that in Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze, Stood garlanded and gay; Who now in sundown glow Of serious colour clad confront me with their show As though resigned and sad, Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold; Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old; Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you, Who tell once more in tones of time, Your foliaged farewell. – Siegfried Sassoon, October Trees Biographical note: Siegfried Sassoon, who fought in World War I, wrote this beautiful poem. He returned to France to fight again after takingRead More →

I just returned from my research trip in England and have been musing over history in all its forms. I realize all over again that I’m fascinated with history. Those who know me would laugh at that comment, as my choice of profession–therapist–is about personal history as is memoir writing. My books Becoming Whole and […]Read More →

Lord, it is time. The summer was very big. Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine. – Rainer Maria Rilke Celebrating Becoming Whole at Book Passage Book Passage was a terrific host for the launch of Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story. A generous crowd showed up, extra chairs were added, and the Book Passage staff as always made us feel very welcome. Most weekends, they haveRead More →

“One can enjoy the health benefits of writing without the emotional costs associated with writing about trauma. The physical benefits of writing about one’s best possible self were equal to or better than writing about trauma.” —Laurie King Writing and Healing Writing your true story can heal you, both physically and emotionally. Expressive writing, writing that integrates your emotions and insights with memories of events that occurred in your past, has been shown to improve the immune system and have a positive effect on such diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and asthma. Self-disclosure and confession have long played a role in relieving stressRead More →

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December A magical thing and sweet to remember. “We are nearer to Spring than we were in September.” I heard a bird sing In the dark of December. – Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing It seems impossible that 2007 is drawing to a close! Does time speed up, or is it the pace of our lives? We are entering a season of celebration, gatherings of loved ones and friends, and the time of year that we appreciate the blessings of the old year while looking forward to the new. As I adjust to lengthenedRead More →

Mrs. Rockwell’s fourth grade classroom smells of polished wood, chalk dust, and pads of Red Eagle newsprint tablets lined with pale blue lines, a dotted line between the thicker ones to indicate where “t’s” should be crossed. About twenty-five of us are sitting in school desks, our books and papers tucked neatly or messily, as mine are, in the well beneath the desktop. The windows of the room go from the thick green radiators to the ceiling. The windows are raised and lowered by long poles wielded by the boys or the teacher. The boys are noisy, some have dirty fingernails, and their hair is cut in a flat top or slicked to the sides with Brylcream.Read More →

The train bisects the blue and the green, parting wheat fields by the tracks. Mommy and I rub shoulders, watching the landscape move backward as we sit in the last car, as if erasing my childhood when she would board the train and leave me aching for her. Now, in my dream, we rub shoulders, her perfume lingering. The old longing wrenches my stomach.Read More →

Blanche and I are in her garden. The Iowa air is full and rich, redolent with the scent of thick black earth, green growing things, the sweetness of flowers. When I get close to her, I smell her sweat, see it running in rivulets in the multiple creases in her skin. Her brown eyes under curly eyebrows are fierce as she flails away with the sickle at weeds who have the audacity to grow in her garden and bury the potato patch. Her whole arm rises and falls, sails of flesh hanging from her substantial bones. I am fascinated by her, how she can be so old, her body with its variety of wrinkles and drapings. She is more alive than anyone I have ever known, passionate about weeds, about her tomato plants and her raspberries, her strawberries, her woodpile, and the fire she builds each day in her wood cook stove. Blanche is the hero of my life. Blanche is with me every day, even now.Read More →