If you’e insane that makes two of us! I’m reblogging with a referral to an interesting article: Jellinek, Augustus. Spontaneous Imagery. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 1949, 3, 372-391. In addition: Waking Dreams, by Mary M. Watkins, Harper & Row, 1976. I don’t want to detract from the beauty of the poem, but the topic of imagining is a welcomed one to me.
I open my door
and see a cow
chained to the back
of a pick-up,
trotting and stumbling
to keep up,
in the headlights
of a sheriff’s car
at her heels.
Alongside, bands of
children run excitedly,
My door shuts,
the image already
Later I hear she was
an escapee from the
stock yards, and
While discarding more of my overflowing files, I came across the following, from a distant cousin:
“My grandfather was the one who sang hymns in his sleep, but never sang when he was awake. He stayed with my parents quite a bit after his wife died, so I got to hear him sing while he was sleeping many times. Some people talk in their sleep, but he would sing. Never heard of anyone else that sang in their sleep.” (Nor have I!)
I’ll be “cleaning out stuff” until I die, so hang on. Last night I came across an old journal entry from about 1973:
“At Nikki’s I enjoyed talking with Bob’s parents. M.E. told about a time that they stayed in a haunted house. They stayed with her brother who had temporarily changed houses with an Episcopalian minister. The house was at the beach. They didn’t know it was haunted until they started hearing a baby crying–it came from all around them. Jeffrey was so frightened he kept saying, “In the name of Jesus be gone!” over and over and finally it quit til just before they left. Then they learned that the Episcopal minister had wanted a respite from the haunting. Once while they were there two priests visited and one said, “I can tell this house is haunted, isn’t it?” The house was next to a church and old graveyard and a child’s grave was near the house. M.E. worried for a long time at the idea that a baby could be trapped as a ghost. Nikki mentioned the legend of putting a stake through the heart to let out the spirit. “
On Wednesday, March 22, when I posted “Survivor Survival Manual” and listed one of the survival tips as reading “Love After Love,” by Derek Walcott, he had just died the previous week, Saturday, March 17, 2017. In my posting I did not bother to include the poem itself, but now I will.
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Thursday night I videotaped a female Bipolar survivor speaking on her experience with the disorder, for public access. It was a NAMI presentation, at the public library, and I heard again good things about the new treatment aid for Borderline Personality, PTSD, Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression, and stressed folks without a disorder. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed after my stint in graduate school and in fact after I retired! Curious, I finally purchased a second-hand copy in excellent condition via Amazon, and for ten dollars have the skilled workbook for my own use. (Total bill was $10-something). Now I know what everybody has been talking about! Instead of my measly list of suggestions for self-soothing in my blog last Monday, I have at my fingertips a list of more than 100 self-soothers! There are only two I would take umbrage with: 1. watch television [not today!] 2. Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a long time [not if you’e a survivor of incest].
Anyway, now I know what it’s all about and I’m starting my first lesson!
BTW, it’s called The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, by McKay, Wood, and Brantley, 2007.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to mislead you with hopes for a rosy post. I’m just “cleaning out” my papers again and came across the following which is the beginning of a story I never finished, from 1-4-98, titled “Something About Ida.”
At 62, Ida was an imposing old girl, having inherited her large frame from her mother’s father and her seeming aloofness from her father. Not a very nice person, but she meant to be. She was an enigma to herself, and others often dismissed her as being too complex and self-centered.
A woman of many talents, she has come to believe if not totally accept that in some aspects she is irrevocably stunted. As she sees it, her task is to live a life of integrity, while allowing for her very real
and intransigent shortcomings.
At times she wonders if her view of her shortcomings is a cop out. Is her perception of her developmental hang-ups pathological or not? She grasps for an analogy when reflecting on this. Like a man carving himself out of a block of wood: is he a block of wood with delusions of grandeur or a creative spirit working to free himself from his unconscious?
I belong to a talkative brown bag lunch group, and last week someone started talking about child sexual abuse, whereupon another put her hands over her ears so as not to hear. When I wrote my book on incest, the first assistant I hired refused to read it. It’s okay to have strong negative feelings about the topic, but what about the children who are continuing to experience incest, for example, living their own abuse histories even as I write this blog and you read it? We don’t have to read lurid, painful histories, but how about educating ourselves so as to better protect our own children and others’?
I was just reading a recent article in Time magazine about the floating gender folks, and wonder how many of them were incest survivors…or just survivors of child sexual abuse. I’ve been trying to see if I can think of myself as non-binary and maybe I could if it weren’t for the genitals. But the young children who are coming out non-binary. How is their choice connected to their genitals? How do they know about choice re the genitals if they’re not even that knowledgeable about where babies come from? If they’re educated in that area I wonder if they should be.
I’m still a newbie but I’d to see if I can do something interesting on my blog. I know that images speak louder than words, and I’m wondering if anyone–on Saturdays–(today)– would be good enough to post a photo on my site, I guess under COMMENT, that pictures how you’re feeling right now, along with the word for the feeling. I’ll start in the morning. I’ll experiment and see if I can move your response to a better viewing space. Nan (I’m feeling shy and hopeful right now).
SATURDAY 3/25/17 — Nan
See the seventh light face from the left, third from the bottom? I’m feeling moldy, crowded, pressured, stuck and sorry for myself.