Showing Up

Showing up: my peculiar brain

One of the great things about being the owner of my particular – and peculiar – brain is that I often don’t remember what I’ve read, or the movies I’ve watched, or apparently what I’ve written. It’s actually quite delightful, because showing up to watch the same movie multiple times I can have just as much fun as the first time. I even get surprised, though admittedly recognition memory does kick in now and then. The downside, alas, is that…

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Why do we have to explain racism?

The internet is full of funny memes and articles like the one on the right here. My favorite is still my beloved Maddie’s “just because I say ‘save the forests’ doesn’t mean I think ‘fuck the oceans.’” I shared the one pictured here on my social media feed, because I thought it was funny. But then I thought, what’s funny about apologizing for Black Lives Matter? Why do we have to explain racism? Here’s my question: why are we seeing so many…

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This time it’s Dallas

Today I was once again on a plane because of a despicable shooting, perpetrated by an angry man with easy access to guns. This time it’s Dallas. Just a few weeks ago it was Orlando. Last time people were targeted because of who they love. This time people were targeted because they wore uniforms. People in uniforms who were protecting people who were peacefully protesting the fact that other people in uniforms killed two young black men who were guilty…

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Hope: Reflections from Dallas

Last night, Dallas still looked, and felt, like a war zone. Everywhere people looked as though they were still in shock. I realized that wherever a mass shooting has happened, I hear some version of this: “I didn’t think it could happen here.” That seems the crux of it. The greatest violence done by a mass shooter is to our collective illusion of safety, and to our sense of hope. If that isn’t a definition of terrorism, then it’s a damn…

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Lessons from Pulse: Safer Together

Having just come home from Orlando, the dream from which I woke this morning didn’t take six years of graduate school and a Ph.D. In clinical psychology to figure out. The meaning was plain, and it is the lesson of Pulse: we are none of us safe, until we are all safe. I was in a large, enclosed space, with lots of other people. A faceless man with a gun was methodically walking around shooting people, once each, whether fatal…

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Refuse to be helpless about Orlando

I refuse to be helpless. Heaven knows I’ve felt it, as many of us have, in the aftermath of Orlando. Helpless, an emotion captured so well by a friend in this post. Heaven knows it’s tempting to wallow, lost in hand-wringing, or rage, lost in the pointless hatred of some faceless enemy out there, anywhere but here, inside, looking back at me in the mirror. I’m on my way to Orlando today. The company I work for, among other things,…

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Mental health month happens in May

Did you miss mental health month? It’s not too late. Ever. Mental health is about being who, what, when, and where you are. “Why” doesn’t really have much to do with it. I learned, when hit by loss, to ask the right question: ‘What next?’ instead of “Why me?’  – Julia Cameron What say you? Dr Les Kertay

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Live long and happy, and think about death

Yesterday I published About Aging Gracefully.  That same morning two things showed up on my social media timeline that together said, “Maybe bullshit was too strong a word.”  That said, “You want to know how to age gracefully?  Here you go.” First up was a November 2015 TED talk that showed up on a friend’s timeline.  In it, Robert Waldinger, the fourth and current director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, reminded me – yes, again – that only one thing determined above all else whether…

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About Aging Gracefully

I have this to say about aging gracefully: Bullshit. People have been telling me for years that “old” is a state of mind.  The implication being that if you don’t think old, then somehow, you won’t be old.  That too is Bullshit. There is a hidden admonishment in this magical thinking, that if you do feel old, you must be doing it wrong.  I notice that only people much younger than me ever talk like that.  Today, I realize that…

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The Courage to Voice Truth

Hero, courage, service. Those words get tossed around a lot these days.  Sometimes I think I’ve gone numb to them. Sometimes I think they are used cynically. Other times I think we confuse courage with bravado, or braggadocio. Too often, they are tied only to war and risking the ultimate sacrifice. Most times I think we’ve forgotten altogether what they mean. I should say, most times I forget what they mean. Especially when I am afraid. These days, I confess,…

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