Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Teachers: It’s Always About the Connection

“Perhaps you could come over one afternoon, and we could sit here and speak French?” Ms. Lenard suggested as I got up to leave almost four hours later. And that’s when I realized something about her and, really, about all great teachers: It’s always about the connection. For that reason, “Jeunes Voix” did for me what textbooks seldom achieve: It made me want to learn. It reached me by coming to me instead of asking me to go to it.

Upon leaving, I sheepishly asked Ms. Lenard to sign my aging copy of “Jeunes Voix.” She obliged, signing the page opposite a portrait of Christine. “Thank you, Courtney, for keeping both Christine & me alive and feeling loved. Yvone.”
-Courtney Lichterman

Courtney Lichterman is a freelance travel writer.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/education/edlife/christine-eustrade-french-lesson.html

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dream

I dreamed I had a studio in downtown Providence and I was looking out a tall window that had a view of the east side. As I was staring at the landscape I saw a pink marble building come crashing down and bounce. A bunch of police officers lined up in formation squatting and one officer opened a door. They responded as if there was a bad smell but it was a terrorist inside the building.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Today

Today Bill and I played fetch with Romeo in the ball field at Turbesi Park. He quickly understood if he dropped the ball we'd throw it for him. He ran like crazy and after a few throws he flopped down with the ball and was biting at the grass surrounding the ball. He loves this. It's a way of eviscerating an imagined animal.

We ran into Erin with her Rosie and Annabelle and the dogs were chilled out and happy to meet. Then we walked to the river behind the pond and played fetch with Romeo close to the shore so he could dip into the water bit by bit. I threw one ball off leash about ten feet out and Romeo had his first moment of swimming. He bobbed for the tennis ball a few times but he did okay. He hung onto the ball most of the way home. We saw two sun dogs in the sky. I showed a woman and her two sons how to spot them. "Right above and between those two trees!" I offered them my sun glasses to see.

Mike the Roofer

"My wife and I adopted a purebred dog, it was very high strung and we were in a little apartment. We were working 14 hour days. We'd come home to a three legged chair and a one armed jacket."
- Mike the Roofer

Friday, October 27, 2017

Swimming

Today I drove to the pool after many weeks. I knew I'd be rusty but I also knew I was due for a swim. It was the right thing to do. It lifted my spirits. I enjoyed using my swim muscles and it made me smile for the rest of the day.

Ram Dass on Mythology

https://www.ramdass.org/function-mythology-affect-culture/

Listen to

Krugman

Haunted

It's probably no accident that haunted is the theme in late October. This is the time of year when my self doubt creeps in.

Sinking In

My friend Peter is afraid of dogs the way I am afraid of receive-mode. His fear of canines creates tension that can frighten a dog. I saw him yesterday and he consciously tried not to be afraid of my dog. He stuck his hands out in a bright gesture that caused Romeo to retreat. I gave some kibble to Peter to feed Romeo. "They say no eye contact," he said, looking away. My dog hunkered down and barked which he rarely does. "He's wagging!" I said.

If I don't give into receive-mode by reading and sinking into the slower energy I will have a more difficult time.

The second half of Autumn which began this week is always rough and it has the holidays mashed up in it. February and March I love. Now that I think of it I like half of every season.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Human-Canine Irony

An unneutered large dog came charging at Romeo as we walked through a parking lot. Romeo was on a leash held by me. Romeo was polite but when the dog got nasty Romeo stood his ground. They sounded awful but luckily nobody got hurt. The sad part is I know the owner and the back story is she didn't neuter her dog because it seemed "unnatural" which reminds me of the mothers who won't vaccinate their kids thereby jeopardizing the community. Now this woman goes around saying all dogs are dangerous and unfriendly to her monster.

Romeo: An Awesome Toy Hog

Romeo is playing with his four toys all at once. He keeps switching from one toy to the next as if I was going to take them away from him.

Blind Runner

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/nyregion/a-blind-runner-and-his-guide-dog.html

Wanda Ramirez

“You have to put your part in,” she said of remaining drug-free. “A miracle doesn’t just walk in the door. If you want to quit, you have to be understanding and compassionate with yourself.” Ms. Ramirez smiled. “Today,” she added, “I walked in with my health.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/25/nyregion/coming-out-of-a-cloud-after-drug-abuse-and-mental-illness.html

Stay in Motion

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/well/move/for-your-brains-sake-keep-moving.html

Human Flow

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/13/555652263/-human-flow-offers-a-searing-look-at-the-global-refugee-crisis

Tesla

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/25/560045944/tesla-turns-power-back-on-at-childrens-hospital-in-puerto-rico

Do Not Wait

"Do not wait: the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along."
-Napoleon Hill

Glass Half-Full

“We discover that difficult and unwanted thoughts and feelings can be held in awareness, and seen from an altogether different perspective – a perspective that brings with it a sense of warmth and compassion to the suffering we are experiencing.”
https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2015/apr/21/could-mindfulness-therapy-be-an-alternative-to-antidepressants

Jon Kabat Zinn

“The human mind, when it doesn’t do the work of mindfulness, winds up becoming a prisoner of its myopic perspectives that puts ‘me’ above everything else,” he says. “We are so caught up in the dualistic perspectives of ‘us’ and ‘them’. But ultimately there is no ‘them’. That’s what we need to wake up to.”
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/22/mindfulness-jon-kabat-zinn-depression-trump-grenfell

“No difficulty, no joy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/sep/17/ai-weiwei-without-the-prison-the-beatings-what-would-i-be

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Love Cannot be Built in Isolation

“The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

“For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that “unless you love yourself, no one else will love you.”…The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

“Fire can warm or consume, water can quench or drown, wind can caress or cut. And so it is with human relationships: we can both create and destroy, nurture and terrorize, traumatize and heal each other.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Relationships matter: the currency for systemic change was trust, and trust comes through forming healthy working relationships. People, not programs, change people.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“The responses of traumatized children are often misinterpreted...Because new situations are inherently stressful, and because youth who have been through trauma often come from homes in which chaos and unpredictability appear "normal" to them, they may respond with fear to what is actually a calm and safe situation. Attempting to take control of what they believe is the inevitable return of chaos, they appear to " provoke" it in order to make things feel more comfortable and predictable. Thus, the "honeymoon" period in foster care will end as the child behaves defiantly and destructively in order to prompt familiar screaming and harsh discipline. Like everyone else, they feel more comfortable with what is "familiar". As one family therapist famously put it, we tend to prefer the "certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty".”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

“Biology isn’t just genes playing out some unalterable script. It is sensitive to the world around it,”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“The most traumatic aspects of all disasters involve the shattering of human connections. And this is especially true for children. Being harmed by the people who are supposed to love you, being abandoned by them, being robbed of the one-on-one relationships that allow you to feel safe and valued and to become humane—these are profoundly destructive experiences. Because humans are inescapably social beings, the worst catastrophes that can befall us inevitably involve relational loss. As a result, recovery from trauma and neglect is also all about relationships—rebuilding trust, regaining confidence, returning to a sense of security and reconnecting to love. Of course, medications can help relieve symptoms and talking to a therapist can be incredibly useful. But healing and recovery are impossible—even with the best medications and therapy in the world—without lasting, caring connections to others.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“To develop a self one must exercise choice and learn from the consequences of those choices; if the only thing you are taught is to comply, you have little way of knowing what you like and want.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“We also need to recognize that not all stress is bad, that children require challenges and risk as well as safety. It is natural to want to protect our children, but we need to ask ourselves when the desire for risk-free childhoods has gone too far. The safest playground, after all, would have no swings, no steep slides, no rough surfaces, no trees, no other children—and no fun. Children’s brains are shaped by what they do slowly and repeatedly over time. If they don’t have the chance to practice coping with small risks and dealing with the consequences of those choices, they won’t be well prepared for making larger and far more consequential decisions.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Memory is what the brain does, how it composes us and allows our past to help determine our future. In no small part memory makes us who we are”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“The core lessons these children have taught me are relevant for us all. Because in order to understand trauma we need to understand memory. In order to appreciate how children heal we need to understand how they learn to love, how they cope with challenge, how stress affects them. And by recognizing the destructive impact that violence and threat can have on the capacity to love and work, we can come to better understand ourselves and to nurture the people in our lives, especially the children.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Even in utero and after birth, for every moment of every day, our brain is processing the nonstop set of incoming signals from our senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste—all of the raw sensory data that will result in these sensations enter the lower parts of the brain and begin a multistage process of being categorized, compared to previously stored patterns, and ultimately, if necessary, acted upon. In many cases the pattern of incoming signals is so repetitive, so familiar, so safe and the memory template that this pattern matches is so deeply ingrained, that your brain essentially ignores them. This is a form of tolerance called habituation.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Growth of the Body and the Brain. The physical growth of the human body increases in a roughly linear manner from birth through adolescence. In contrast, the brain’s physical growth follows a different pattern. The most rapid rate of growth takes place in utero, and from birth to age four the brain grows explosively. The brain of the four-year-old is 90 percent adult size! A majority of the physical growth of the brain’s key neural networks takes place during this time. It is a time of great malleability and vulnerability as experiences are actively shaping the organizing brain. This is a time of great opportunity for the developing child: safe, predictable, nurturing and repetitive experiences can help express a full range of genetic potentials. Unfortunately, however, it is also when the organizing brain is most vulnerable to the destructive impact of threat, neglect and trauma.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“When you drive, for example, you rely automatically on your previous experiences with cars and roads; if you had to focus on every aspect of what your senses are taking in, you’d be overwhelmed and would probably crash. As you learn anything, in fact, your brain is constantly checking current experience against stored templates—essentially memory—of previous, similar situations and sensations, asking “Is this new?” and “Is this something I need to attend to?”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“What could prompt parents to give up sleep, sex, friends, personal time and virtually every other pleasure in life to meet the demands of a small, often irritatingly noisy, incontinent, needy being? The secret is that caring for children is, in many ways, indescribably pleasurable. Our brains reward us for interacting with our children, especially infants: their scent, the cooing sounds they make when they are calm, their smooth skin and especially, their faces are designed to fill us with joy. What we call “cuteness” is actually an evolutionary adaptation that helps ensure that parents will care for their children, that babies will get their needs met, and parents will take on this seemingly thankless task with pleasure.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Surprisingly, it is often when wandering through the emotional carnage left by the worst of humankind that we find the best of humanity as well.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“There were inquiries, Congressional hearings, books, exposés and documentaries. However, despite all this attention, it was still only a few short months before interest in these children dropped away. There were criminal trials, civil trials, lots of sound and fury. All of the systems—CPS, the FBI, the Rangers, our group in Houston—returned, in most ways, to our old models and our ways of doing things. But while little changed in our practice, a lot had changed in our thinking. We learned that some of the most therapeutic experiences do not take place in “therapy,” but in naturally occurring healthy relationships, whether between a professional like myself and a child, between an aunt and a scared little girl, or between a calm Texas Ranger and an excitable boy. The children who did best after the Davidian apocalypse were not those who experienced the least stress or those who participated most enthusiastically in talking with us at the cottage. They were the ones who were released afterwards into the healthiest and most loving worlds, whether it was with family who still believed in the Davidian ways or with loved ones who rejected Koresh entirely. In fact, the research on the most effective treatments to help child trauma victims might be accurately summed up this way: what works best is anything that increases the quality and number of relationships in the child’s life.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“If the experience is familiar and known as safe, the brain’s stress system will not be activated. However, if the incoming information is initially unfamiliar, new or strange, the brain instantly begins a stress response. How extensively these stress systems are activated is related to how threatening the situation appears. It’s important to understand that our default is set at suspicion, not acceptance. At a minimum, when faced with a new and unknown pattern of activity, we become more alert. The brain’s goal at this point is to get more information, to examine the situation and determine just how dangerous it might be. Since humans have always been the deadliest animal encountered by other humans, we closely monitor nonverbal signals of human menace, such as tone of voice, facial expression and body language.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Our conscious memory is full of gaps, of course, which is actually a good thing. Our brains filter out the ordinary and expected, which is utterly necessary to allow us to function. When you drive, for example, you rely automatically on your previous experiences with cars and roads; if you had to focus on every aspect of what your senses are taking in, you’d be overwhelmed and would probably crash.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“In today’s safety culture we seem to swing from strictly monitoring and guiding our children from infancy through high school, and then releasing them to the absolute freedom of college (though some parents are trying to encroach there as well). We have to remember that for most of human history adolescents took on adult roles earlier and rose admirably to the challenge. Many of the problems we have with teenagers result from failing to adequately challenge their growing brains. While we now know that the brain’s decision-making areas aren’t completely wired until at least their early twenties, it is experience-making decisions that wires them, and it can’t be done without taking some risks. We need to allow children to try and fail. And when they do make the stupid, shortsighted decisions that come from inexperience, we need to let them suffer the results. At the same time we also need to provide balance by not setting policies that will magnify one mistake, like drug use or fighting, into a life-derailing catastrophe. Unfortunately, this is exactly what our current “zero tolerance” policies—that expel children from school for just one rule violation—do.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“As you learn anything, in fact, your brain is constantly checking current experience against stored templates—essentially memory—of previous, similar situations and sensations, asking “Is this new?” and “Is this something I need to attend to?”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“That question became even more salient to me as I began my clinical work with troubled children. I soon found that the vast majority of my patients had lives filled with chaos, neglect and/or violence. Clearly, these children weren’t “bouncing back”—otherwise they wouldn’t have been taken to a child psychiatry clinic! They’d suffered trauma—such as being raped or witnessing murder—that would have had most psychiatrists considering the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), had they been adults with psychiatric problems. And yet these children were being treated as though their histories of trauma were irrelevant, and they’d “coincidentally” developed symptoms, such as depression or attention problems, that often required medication.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Negative emotions often make things even more memorable than positive ones because recalling things that are threatening—and avoiding those situations in the future if possible—is often critical to survival.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Of course, the diagnosis of PTSD was only itself introduced into psychiatry in 1980. At first, it was seen as something rare, a condition that only affected a minority of soldiers who had been devastated by combat experiences. But soon the same kinds of symptoms—intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event, flashbacks, disrupted sleep, a sense of unreality, a heightened startle response, extreme anxiety—began to be described in rape survivors, victims of natural disaster and people who’d had or witnessed life-threatening accidents or injuries. Now the condition is believed to affect at least 7 percent of all Americans and most people are familiar with the idea that trauma can have profound and lasting effects. From the horrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we recognize that catastrophic events can leave indelible marks on the mind.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

“Unfortunately, that basic sense of fairness and goodwill toward others is under threat in a society like ours that increasingly enriches the richest and abandons the rest to the vagaries of global competition. More and more our media and our school systems emphasize material success and the importance of triumphing over others both athletically and in the classroom. More and more, in an atmosphere of increased competitiveness, middle- and upper-class parents seem driven to greater and greater extremes to give their offspring whatever perceived “edge” they can find. This constant emphasis on competition drowns out the lessons of cooperation, empathy and altruism that are critical for human mental health and social cohesion.”
― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

Human Love

“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.”

― Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

Orange Cones

The first day we walked past the orange cones they were linked by yellow caution tape blowing in the wind. I gave Romeo a treat as we struggled past them. The second day the caution tape was gone and the cones were knocked over but Romeo was still frightened. I gave him a treat and we maneuvered by. The third day I gave him a treat as we walked by and today he breezed by like "What cones? Where?"

Dream

I dreamed we put a gigantic fish tank in the living room. I was mesmerized watching the fish swimming.

The Wheel

Maybe it's the time of year October, when my energy downshifts and looks inward. The season presents me with old stories in a new light. I am remembering when my bicycle was stolen from the junior high school while I was painting scenery for the school play. My English teacher asked the students for contributions, cash funds for me to buy a new bicycle. The very same week my mother forced me to walk in and lie to the insurance company and say my bike was stolen from my garage at home. I felt awful. My fellow classmates raised 30 dollars of their own money towards my new bicycle. Then, my mother who never liked me riding off on my bike, presented an option. "Why not buy a potter's wheel instead of a bicycle?" I didn't realize that she had an agenda. I couldn't decide but she pushed me each day towards the potter's wheel. Finally I agreed. Within days of assembling it she said "Make me a set of dishes!"

Esther Perel

My approach is akin to that of an anthropologist and an explorer. I talk to people, and I listen.

We can hear her practicing a supple kind of literary criticism, on the fly, in front of the authors.

Her ambitions for clients and readers are literary, too — she wants them to develop more plots in their lives, more possibilities. She wants them to live without easy, limiting certainties: “Reconciling the erotic and the domestic is not a problem to solve; it is a paradox to manage.” And the script we have inherited when it comes to infidelity is pitifully narrow, its language cribbed from addiction and criminalization: “Clinicians often label the faithful spouse as the ‘injured party’ and the unfaithful one as the ‘perpetrator.’”

Article

Rules of the Doctor's Heart

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/magazine/the-rules-of-the-doctors-heart.html

Opioid Crisis

Washington Post Article

Eudora Welty: Place Heals the Hurt

“All serious daring starts from within.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them ...”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

“I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them--with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.”
― Eudora Welty

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

“Write about what you don't know about what you know.”
― Eudora Welty

“We are the breakers of our own hearts.”
― Eudora Welty

“I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

“It doesn't matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.”
― Eudora Welty

“The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy.”
― Eudora Welty

“People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel...but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.”
― Eudora Welty

“Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

“Never think you've seen the last of anything.”
― Eudora Welty

“Southerners love a good tale. They are born reciters, great memory retainers, diary keepers, letter exchangers . . . great talkers.”
― Eudora Welty

“One place understood helps us understand all places better”
― Eudora Welty

“People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.”
― Eudora Welty, Delta Wedding

“She read Dickens in the same spirit she would have eloped with him.”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

“My main disappointment was always that a book had to end. And then what? But I don't think I was ever disappointed by the books. I must have been what any author would consider an ideal reader. I felt every pain and pleasure suffered or enjoyed by all the characters. Oh, but I identified!”
― Eudora Welty

“There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.”
― Eudora Welty

“It is our inward journey that leads us through time – forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction. ”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer's Beginnings

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bruce D. Perry

Trauma and our responses to it cannot be understood outside the context of human relationships. Whether people have survived an earthquake of have been repeatedly sexually abused, what matters most is how those experiences affect their relationships - to their loved ones, to themselves and to the world. The most traumatic aspects of all disasters involve the shattering of human connections. And this is especially true for children. Being harmed by the people who are supposed to love you, being abandoned by them, being robbed of the one-on-one relationships that allow you to feel safe and valued and to become humane - these are profoundly destructive experiences. Because humans are inescapably social beings, the worst catastrophes that can befall us inevitably involve relational loss.

As a result, recovery from trauma and neglect is also about relationships - rebuilding trust, regaining confidence, returning to a sense of security and reconnecting to love.

- Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog,(pg 231-232)

Hoover Maneuver

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/hoover-maneuver-the-dirty-secret-of-emotional-abuse-0219154

Viviana Andazola Marquez


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/opinion/ice-detained-father-yale.html

Happiness is...

Happiness is watching Romeo chew his Nylabone.

Five Minutes

Pressure cooked eggs make the perfect hard-boiled eggs in five minutes. Fast food. Easy peeling.

Affordable Housing Grant

https://patch.com/rhode-island/woonsocket/s/g9gbn/east-providence-woonsocket-awarded-nearly-2m-to-help-those-most-in-need
EAST PROVIDENCE, RI — East Providence and Woonsocket are getting federal dollars for new, affordable housing and projects to help the homeless, state lawmakers said. Rhode Island was awarded nearly $2.4 million to revitalize neighborhoods and increase affordable housing.

Citizen Therapist

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
— Maya Angelou

“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world”
-Dolores Huerta

“We need in every bay and community a group of angelic troublemakers.”
-Bayard Rustin

https://citizentherapist.wordpress.com/blog/

Crazy-Making

https://citizentherapist.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/the-crazy-making-parentcountry/

Myanmar Monks Rescue Moon Bear

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/23/bear-in-myanmar-has-giant-tongue-removed-by-team-of-vets

Naomi Wolf

I actually believe in a “Name your assailant day”, in which women go to police together, to support one another in filing reports. It doesn’t matter if you are outside the statute of limitations. You may not be able to prosecute your own abuser. But the report will be on the record.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/14/sexual-assault-report-women-culture-of-silence

The Antidote

You and I are not only here in terms of the work we’re doing on ourselves. We are here in terms of the role we’re playing within the systems of which we are a part. If you look at the way change affects people that are unconscious.

Change generates fear, fear generates contractions, contraction generates prejudice, bigotry, and ultimately violence. You can watch the whole thing happen, and you can see it happen in society after society after society.

The antidote for that is a consciousness that does not respond to change with fear. That’s as close to the beginning of that sequence as I can get.

-Ram Dass

https://www.ramdass.org/reaction-change-affect-life-experience/

LOVE: Responsible Social Action


Ram Dass on the Importance of Inner Social Action



There have been many dark ages throughout history.

As we now enter into a seismic shift within our government, and within our collective consciousness, we can’t help but empathize with the feelings of fear, division and anger that now personally affect so many within our society. It’s sometimes difficult to remember to consider the “long view” in the scheme of things; and to remember that there has always been light to balance out the darkness.

The reality of impermanence permeates our lives in every way, yet here we are in the “here and now,” being tested in ways we never imagined. Our tenets of freedom and social justice are being challenged on a daily basis, and our principals of what fairness and equality mean are being vehemently disrupted.

So what are our options now, not only for ourselves, but for society as a whole? And how do we harmonize with those we are in disagreement with?

As we find ourselves in a deeply polarized country, it seems we have a fine line to walk: In the material world, we have to attend to our actions as individuals and as citizens, yet it is equally important to attend to our inner being.

“Inner social action” is necessary in order to make our outer actions productive.

There is doing and there is being. In being, we have to quiet down inside of ourselves. We have to anchor ourselves in spiritual wisdom, keep our love strong, and remain compassionate, even towards those who we do not agree with. While remaining centered in our own being, we need to do whatever actions we can to alleviate the potential negative effects of this new era.

A big lesson that we have learned is that social action is effective when spiritual quietness, listening, and the Witness are present. With the cultivation of spiritual values like compassion, love and wisdom, all actions have the possibility of a positive outcome. We can’t make a difference when we are enraged.

The mere existence of President Trump creates a spiritual curriculum for everyone. We need to all take a look at our individual fear, anger, and our labeling of “us” and “them.” That’s the work. When we identify with our soul, we surround those difficult thoughts and emotions with love. We create a spacious and calm moment from within which allows these dark disturbances to transform. It’s hard to do, which is why that’s the work. It’s the concept of “fierce grace”: The dark moments we are handed in life give us the chance to dig deeper into ourselves as human beings, to turn our lives away from separation and into compassion and interconnection.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “We need enlightenment, not just individually, but collectively to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future. If we want to save ourselves as a planet.”

The most pressing issue is the polarization of our fellow humans with whom we vigorously disagree. We may find it nearly impossible to have any constructive dialogue with those whose views we oppose. This creates a kind of divergence within us that gives power to a sense of righteousness.

So, how do we deal with that? How do we transform our own hatred, our own judgment of others? How do we relate to people who, in this case, directly support Trump and have a completely different attitude and opinion about how this country should be led?

We are all Americans; that’s our tribe. They aren’t “the other.” They are part of our tribe and that’s what is frustrating to us. We need to engage with a deeper listening; we need to understand and appreciate the causes and conditions that created this particular landscape. We need to learn what produced the story line in which we have become invested and in which we are intractably bound up.

When we spent time in India with our Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, we had the good fortune to experience unconditional love from a human being who represented the potential we all have as humans. And that unconditional love is what we need to cultivate in order to surround these negative emotions with loving awareness.

Loving is a tall order when we feel so oppressed by the dark shadows and implications for our way of life, including the health and sustainability of our planet. But as we know so well, embodying this love results in truly responsible social action.

So what choice do we really have but to do the work of love?



– Ram Dass & Raghu Markus

Ram Dass

How do Our Thoughts Manifest Our Universe?

by Ram Dass

Meher Baba said it beautifully: “Love has to spring from within.” You can’t coerce it from another person, but you can be it, and it catches on. It’s very catchy. You are it, and then somebody else catches it from you. When I am centered, I can walk into any vibrational field and take it and convert it. I am just feeling love, so whatever they are giving to me – anger, paranoia, distrust – I am just taking it all in and converting it. I see the net they are stuck in, this mind net that is each person’s own model of the universe, so instead of climbing into it with them, putting both of us in it, my job is to say, “Yes, I see your net, but we are here.” Then, immediately, here we are on a new level.

All of that stuff of the mind net starts to fade to this greater force, and then it goes through everybody you meet, and they feel this fantastic force, and then when it feels pure enough, they open to it, and “they” become “us” and the force keeps passing through to others from these people that have opened it. And the more you transcend your own identity to something larger, You are able to override any other force fields, just by the nature of your being, because you aren’t so busy being you.

As you get more and more cosmic perspective, and as you get finished with any kind of finite self-definition of oneself, you are more and more energy, and then everything you do, everything you think, happens. See, it’s got to scare you how much power you get, because you begin to see how your thoughts are manifested in form. Many of you are beginning to see that already. You begin to see how you’re creating a universe. It gets very scary to me at times how it looks, how everything I think, happens; and then I realize it’s synchronicity; it’s always happening, I just haven’t noticed it. I’ve been so busy, you know… stuck somewhere else.



I want to share with you this inscription from a 16th century Norman crucifix-

I am the great son, but you do not see me.

I am your husband, but you turn away.

I am the captive, but you do not free me.

I am the captain, but you will not obey.

I am the truth, but you will not believe me.

I am the city, where you will not stay.

I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me.

I am that God, to whom you will not pray.

I am your counsel, but you do not hear me.

I am your love, whom you will betray.

I am the victor, but you do not cheer me.

I am the holy dove, that you will slay.

I am your life, but if you will not name me, fill up your soul with tears, and never blame me.


– Ram Dass

Steve Paxton: Contact Improvisation

Mr. Paxton is perhaps best known as the inventor of Contact Improvisation, a touch-based, weight sensitive, conversational and often athletic dance technique that, since its inception in 1972, has become practiced around the world. Its roots reflect his childhood, growing up in Tucson where he became an accomplished gymnast.

In some ways, “Tea for Three” is about their deep familiarity — as dancers, as choreographers, as friends. “It’s like three-way chess by people who enjoy playing the game together more than just winning,” Mr. Paxton said.

Matthew Feeney

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/opinion/police-surveillance.html

The relationship between security and liberty is often described as a balancing act. This act can’t take place if we’re not informed about the technology used to safeguard our security.

That’s why, when it comes to surveillance technology, the American people should demand to know whether the police are spying on them. At the moment, those who are suspected of being Muslim extremists are prime targets, and innocent people caught in this effort face immediate concerns. In the past, Communists, civil rights leaders, feminists, Quakers, folk singers, war protesters and others have been on the receiving end of law enforcement surveillance.

No one knows who the next target will be. What we do know is that it’s difficult to put surveillance equipment back in the box it came from.

My Hero, Paul Krugman

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/opinion/federal-reserve-john-taylor.html

Denise Levertov

"Strength of feeling, reverence for mystery, and clarity of intellect must be kept in balance with one another. Neither the passive nor the active must dominate, they must work in conjunction, as in a marriage."
- Denise Levertov

"I'm not very good at praying, but what I experience when I'm writing a poem is close to prayer."
- Denise Levertov

Monday, October 23, 2017

Let's Have Cooking Classes in Woonsocket Library

Programs That Boil, Bake, and Sizzle! | Programs That Pop
http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/05/opinion/programs-that-pop/programs-that-boil-bake-and-sizzle-programs-that-pop/#_
By Andy Woodworth

We showed up and we cared.

I’m not going to lie and say that there is just one solution that will cut down on gang violence. We did it, though. We showed up and we cared. It is really that simple. I have serious doubts, however, that the man who thought repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act would be easy will ever be able to end the scourge of gun violence.

Tamar Manasseh is the founder and president of Mothers Against Senseless Killings.

Tamar Manasseh (@TamarManasseh) is the founder and president of Mothers Against Senseless Killings.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/22/opinion/chicago-gangs-crime-mothers.html

Butter Shortage in France

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/france-butter-shortage-1.4364296

Six Loaves of Sourdough

It's foggy out and Romeo and I walked the downtown loop before the city was awake. My six loaves of sourdough are baking and my 5 minute pressure cooked hard-boiled eggs are cooling off in the fridge. Welcome Monday.

Could Amazon Pick Woonsocket

For its second head quarters?
Picture it.

Rotten Rye?

https://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/pop-culture/article/how-a-bad-rye-crop-might-have-caused-the-salem-witch-trials

By the autumn of 1692, nineteen men and women accused of witchcraft had been hanged in Salem Village, an 80-year-old farmer had been pressed to death under a pile of rocks, and four more would be executed in the months to come. Historians have tried for centuries to explain how a tight-laced Puritan village was consumed by a witch hunt--mental illness, an eruption of repressed Freudian psychosis, and even the existence of actual witchcraft have all been hypothesized. But one undergrad came up with a much more tangible explanation in the 1970s: the Salem Witch Trials might have been caused by a rotten crop of rye.

Jane Goodall

Were you ever afraid?

Sometimes — when the chimps began to lose their fear, they became extraordinarily aggressive, and they’re all eight, 10 times stronger than you are. They treated me like a predator, like they would treat a leopard. So their hair’s sticking out, and they’re screaming, and they’re up in a tree, swaying branches, hitting my head with it. Fortunately, while it was going on, I wasn’t scared. I thought, oh, it’ll be all right, I’m meant to be here. [I] dug little holes in the ground, ate leaves, didn’t look at them, and indeed, as I hoped, they went away. It was afterwards, though, that my legs were all shaky.

What are you afraid of now?

Not death, per se. Because it’s either nothing, or something, in which case, that’ll be very exciting. But I think one is afraid of getting decrepit and all that. [For the world] I think we’ve got to tackle poverty, the unsustainable lifestyle of the rest of us, and human population growth. Those three things, it’s led to climate change and all the rest of it. We’ve got to make change somehow, or else what’ll it be like in 50 years? I’m afraid for my grandchildren’s children.

What can we do to help this gloomy situation? I meet so many incredible people doing amazing things, saving animals on the brink of extinction, restoring the forest, cleaning up a river. It’s knowing what can be done that gives people the courage to fight.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/movies/jane-goodall-documentary-marriage.html

Sunrise, Sunset

6:40 AM Monday Woonsocket, RI
Dawn in Woonsocket, RI

5:52 PM
Monday, October 23, 2017 (EDT)
Sunset in Woonsocket, RI

Worthless

“Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.”
― Sinclair Lewis

Sleep with Me...

“Sleep with me sleep with my dogs-”
― Sinclair Lewis

Two Insults

“There are two insults which no human being will endure: The assertion that he hasn't a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.”
― Sinclair Lewis

New Sniffs on a Familiar Trail

Our neighbors were dragging their dog-eaten couch down their gravel driveway to the sidewalk and it scared Romeo. Any strange sounds or tall things on the sidewalk is scary, orange cones, free standing signs, and couches. Trash bins are not a problem.

Getting out each day for new sniffs on a familiar trail are perfect socialization for him. The yard does not substitute for a walk. I learned this from all of my dogs. Humans like yards but dogs like streets.

Winter

“Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.”
― Sinclair Lewis

They Don't Give a Damn

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.”
― Sinclair Lewis

Every Man is a King

“Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on.”
― Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis

“Most troubles are unnecessary. We have Nature beaten; we can make her grow wheat; we can keep warm when she sends blizzards. So we raise the devil just for pleasure--wars, politics, race-hatreds, labor-disputes.”
― Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

Sinclair Lewis

“I think perhaps we want a more conscious life. We're tired of drudging and sleeping and dying. We're tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists. We're tired of always deferring hope till the next generation. We're tired of hearing politicians and priests and cautious reformers... coax us, 'Be calm! Be patient! Wait! We have the plans for a Utopia already made; just wiser than you.' For ten thousand years they've said that. We want our Utopia now — and we're going to try our hands at it.”
― Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday: Bread Dough and Homemade Pasta Sauce

I just made a spinach, onion, garlic, mushroom, carrot, tomato, sauce. I had some to eat on toast. It is fabulous! I am going to let it simmer all day. I mixed up two big batches of sourdough.

Humor and Wit in Dutch Paintings

“It was a way for artists to develop their skills in developing lifelike scenes and to show their wit on all levels,”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/arts/humor-17th-century-dutch-art.html

Teenagers’ View of the News

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/opinion/high-school-student-letters.html

Marinating Incubating or Simmering

I don't feel right unless something is marinating incubating or simmering in my kitchen and it's been two days of quiet. My week-long cold has shut down my culinary ambition and my taste buds are on strike. I think I'll take a walk and buy some bananas and see if I can get inspired to make something grand for the week. My friend Gabe gave me his Insta-Pot and I am tempted to try something ambitious in it like pulled pork. I could bake a tray of buns and chop up bucket of coleslaw and we'd have a southern supper.

Dan Gerber

Only This Morning

by Dan Gerber

In a hundred trillion years—
an actual number
though we can’t begin
to grasp it—the last traces
of our universe will be not
even a memory
with no memory to lament it.

The last dust of the last star
will not drift in the great nothing
out of which everything we love
or imagine eventually comes.

Yet every day, every four hours
around the clock, Debbie prepares
her goat’s-milk mix
for the orphaned filly
who sucks down all three liters of it,
gratefully, it seems,
as if it matters more
than anything in the universe—
and it does—at this moment
while the sun is still
four hours from rising
on the only day that matters.

- Dan Gerber from Particles
© Copper Canyon Press, 2017

Today we are Eleven

Today the Urban Mermaid Blogspot is eleven years old! The only way I know how to celebrate is to keep on writing and reading. I am thinking of setting up and aquarium as my fireplace this winter.

I am reading THE BOY WHO WAS RAISED AS A DOG by Bruce D. Perry. Amazing book about trauma and recovery in children. It's a great book. I am fascinated by the healing power in traumatized humans and dogs.

Romeo

Romeo is a hunk of precious dog love. He is so smart and eager to learn. I fill my nailing apron with treats and we set out to walk the beat. Downtown Woonsocket. He has never lived in a city but he is adapting fast. He was afraid of free standing signs, orange cones with caution tape, and garbage trucks but with a little kibble nibble we have worked through nearly all of these things.

He is excellent with people and other dogs. I imagine he was kept outside for his first year and tossed beef bones as his teeth are worn down. I give him tennis balls for playing fetch and Nylabones to save the remains of his teeth.

I imagine the owners had outdoor parties and visitors and lots of dogs running around. They gave him his shots and fed him well. Perhaps he freaked over hunters firing shots or firecrackers and escaped his yard and got injured and hid. Someone saved him and brought him to the rescue league in Georgia. That's my theory anyway.

This morning we went downtown and he loved it. Nothing beats a mile of good sniffing. When we got home I fed him breakfast while I washed the big pile of dishes. He's napping now.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Josephine Hart Poetry as Roadmap

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/9153246/Maurice-Saatchi-a-tribute-in-verse-to-my-beloved-wife.html

Circadian Rhythm Research

https://www.bphope.com/nobel-prize-for-medicine-awarded-to-american-scientists-for-circadian-rhythm-research/

Recipe from Heidi C

http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/salmon-with-a-maple-syrup-ginger-glaze-L9612.html?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=bestrecipes&utm_medium=Facebook
Salmon with a Maple Syrup Ginger Glaze

Ingredients 5
Cook Time 00:15
Serves 4

A healthy and delicious dish suitable for the entire family that can be prepared and served in minutes!

Ingredients

1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp grated ginger fresh
1 garlic clove crushed
720 g salmon fillet

Method

STEP 1 Preheat oven to 200C.
STEP 2 Line baking tray with baking paper.
STEP 3 In a small pan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, maple syrup, ginger and garlic and bring to the boil.
STEP 4 Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and is a syrupy consistency.
STEP 5 Place salmon on baking tray.
STEP 6 Use half the glaze to cover the salmon.
STEP 7 Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked as desired.
STEP 8 Use the remaining glaze to serve over salmon.
STEP 9 Serve with potato and a simple green salad.

Notes

Watch the glaze as it takes next to no time to get to a syrupy consistency. The remaining glaze, you may wish to baste further the salmon while it's still in the oven, just be sure to leave some to drizzle over the baked fillets. Gourmet Garden Ginger blend is a good substitute if you don't have any fresh ginger. Still using 2 teaspoons. I have made this both in the oven and on the stove top, both with great results.

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Since I was 5 years old I knew dogs were my true family. Dog love has always been more rewarding than any other kid of love.

Pico Iyer

“The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.”
—Pico Iyer

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
― Pico Iyer

“A person susceptible to "wanderlust" is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.”
― Pico Iyer

“Writing is, in the end, that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
― Pico Iyer

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”
― Pico Iyer

“...home lies in the things you carry with you everywhere and not the ones that tie you down.”
― Pico Iyer, The Man Within My Head

Dog Expressions

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/science/dog-expressions.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

J.B. Burrage

Article
https://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-and-autumn-my-favorite-and-worst-season/

Friday, October 20, 2017

We Should All Be Feminists


“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“A Nigerian acquaintance once asked me if I was worried that men would be intimidated by me. I was not worried at all—it had not even occurred to me to be worried, because a man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the kind of man I would have no interest in.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up. But I sometimes still feel vulnerable in the face of gender expectations.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to everyone else.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“The late Kenyan Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai put it simply and well when she said, the higher you go, the fewer women there are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up when she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking, and very masculine young man. My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“But by far the worst thing we do to males—by making them feel they have to be hard—is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“What struck me—with her and with many other female American friends I have—is how invested they are in being “liked.” How they have been raised to believe that their being likable is very important and that this “likable” trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly. We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“You know, you’re a feminist.” It was not a compliment. I could tell from his tone—the same tone with which a person would say, “You’re a supporter of terrorism.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledge that.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“The first time I taught a writing class in graduate school, I was worried. Not about the teaching material, because I was well prepared and I was teaching what I enjoyed. Instead I was worried about what to wear. I wanted to be taken seriously. I knew that because I was female, I would automatically have to prove my worth. And I was worried that if I looked too feminine, I would not be taken seriously. I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt, but I decided not to. I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/t-magazine/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie.html

Richard Conniff

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/opinion/sunday/amazon-boycott.html
Richard Conniff (@RichardConniff) is the author of “House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth” and a contributing opinion writer.

Picnic

Roasted Green Bean, Apple, and Bacon Sandwiches
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/green-bean-apple-bacon-sandwiches

Makes 8 servings
MyRecipes August 2013
RECIPE BY Southern Living

A green bean sandwich? Trust us on this one. We fell for the combo of tender beans, crisp apples, salty Parm, and tangy dressing. Keep it tidy by hollowing out the baguette to create a cradle for the fillings.
Ingredients

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 6 thick bacon slices 1/2 cup torn fresh dill 1/2 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon firmly packed lemon zest 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 small shallot, minced 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided 1 medium-size Red Delicious apple 2 (8 1/2-oz.) French bread baguettes, cut in half horizontally 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, thinly sliced Wax paper


How to Make It
Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss green beans with 2 tsp. olive oil, pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place beans in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan, and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and chill 10 minutes.
Step 2

Arrange bacon in a single layer in jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Step 3

Whisk together dill, next 4 ingredients, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and remaining 3/4 tsp. salt. Let stand 5 minutes.
Step 4

Meanwhile, cut apple into thin slices, and toss with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
Step 5

Spoon vinaigrette onto top halves of baguettes. Layer beans, bacon, apple, and cheese on bottom halves. Cover with top halves of baguettes; wrap tightly in wax paper. Chill up to 2 hours. Slice sandwiches before serving.

Ram Dass


Who do You Think You Are?

by Ram Dass


Who you think you are is not who you really are at all. I’ve used an example many times in lectures, but it’s such a vivid one that it’s useful to cut through an awful lot of holdings. It involves the levels of perception, the television receiver, the little dial by the side of your eyes.

When that dial is set on channel five, when you look around at the world, you see the physical environment, you see people’s bodies. For example, if you were particularly interested in sexual gratification, you might see everybody in terms of a possible sexual partner, and that would be your reality, very physical. Under those conditions you might be preoccupied with your own physical being, that your body is too weak or too old, too young or too thin, too fat or too much of this, too little of that, always something in the wrong place. When I lived in that reality, I was worried about going bald.

Flip to channel six, now you’ve entered into the psychological domain, and you look at everybody as happy, sad, righteous, lazy, etc. And you could call yourself a manic depressive, and you could say, “I wish I was as happy as everybody else.” or “I’m a young woman looking into the future.” or “I’m a Mother.” That’s a social-psychological role. “I’m a good citizen.” or “I don’t care about anything.” “I’m seeking God.” That’s a nice one but these are all psychological.

Try channel seven. Now you look out at the world, and there are twelve categories, “Ah, you’re a Leo, I’d know you anywhere.” “I’m an aries, that explains it.” Thus far five, six and seven have all been the game of individual differences. How are you different from me?

Channel eight; when I look into someone else’s eyes, I see someone else looking back at me, Someone just like me in there, are you in there? I’m in here, far out. How did you get into that one?

At that point you are aware of all of the individual differences as packaging and you’re seeing that which is the same in you as it is in me. Which in Hinduism is called the jivatman and in Christianity, it’s called the soul.

Let’s flip once more, to channel nine. When I turn to channel nine, it is as though two mirrors were facing each other with nothing in between. It is yourself looking at yourself. For on channel nine, there is only one of us, we are the Ancient One. In that reality, on channel nine, we are one acting like the many, in order to carry out this illusion, and there is only one of us doing all this, the one behind the many.

One more flip, channel ten. Flip into channel ten and you disappear and that which you were looking at disappears, it all returns to the formless. To that which lies behind the one, the essence of one or what the Buddhists call Nirvana. Channels five, six, seven, eight and nine are all levels of relative reality, all within the domain of form. Channel ten is the reality of the formless which lies behind all forms.



-Ram Dass

Lock it up.

McDonald's introduces phone lockers to get people to put their mobiles away
http://mashable.com/2017/10/16/phone-lockers-mcdonalds-singapore/
When was the last time you had a meal with someone without spending time texting someone else?
McDonald's has introduced mobile phone lockers, in a bid to get customers to put their phones away, and start talking to each other again.
One of its outlets in Singapore, at Marine Cove, is targeted at families, with the store encouraging both kids and parents to put their phones away.
But to no one's surprise, people seem to be choosing Instagram over family time:
The locker for 100 phones might have been a bit too ambitious.
Another initiative, which is also under McDonald's "Phone Off, Fun On" campaign, isn't doing too well either.
This user, who tried out another initiative which aims to get people to stack their phones away in a corner, says they lasted all of "five minutes."
According to a survey by McDonald's Singapore which interviewed 302 parents, found 72 percent of children, and 69 percent of parents use their smartphones during mealtimes.
Lock it up.
Lock it up.
This is not the first time McDonald's has pioneered such an initiative.
It attempted to pull off a similar campaign in India in 2015, urging youths to put down their phones.
Customers had to tweet how long they went offline and what they did during the time.
We'll check back again in a few weeks to see if the new campaign is doing any better, but tbh, we're not gonna hold our breath.

Sleep is Medicine

WHY WE SLEEP: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, by Matthew Walker. (Scribner, $27.) The director of Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab makes the argument for why sleep is essential to our well-being: “to reset our brain and body health each day.” His book is dense with information, but Walker is adroit at presenting his findings and their implications in language accessible to the lay reader. And, he says, it really is true that you’ll have a harder time falling asleep if you’ve been reading a book on an LED device than you will after reading one on old-fashioned paper.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/books/review/10-new-books-we-recommend-this-week.html

Breathe

Film

Gingered Pork Vegetable Soup

https://www.porkbeinspired.com/recipes/gingered-pork-vegetable-soup-with-wonton-noodles/

Pork Board Party

Double Pork Party Sliders
Courtesy of National Pork Board

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 5 Min.
Cook Time: 15 Min.

What you need:
(click + to add ingredients to your shopping list)
+ 4 thin pork loin chops, boneless, 1/4-1/2-in. thick
+ 2 slices bacon
+ 8 cocktail buns, OR 4 hamburger buns
+ 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
+ salt and pepper
+ 4 Tbsp. steak sauce

What to do:
1. Slice buns in half horizontally. If desired, toast or warm through. Spread cut sides of buns with butter.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 1 min. or until there is enough bacon fat released to coat the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally. Push bacon to side of the skillet and add the chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Cook chops for 3-10 min. or until lightly browned and internal temperature on a thermometer reads between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), turning once halfway through. Remove chops and bacon, draining bacon on paper towels and resting chops for a minimum of 3 min.
3. For cocktail buns, cut each chop in half so you have 8 pieces. Place chops in buns. Top chops with steak sauce and bacon strips. These bacon-infused sandwiches are ideal for tailgating and cocktail parties.
* Serves 8 appetizer sandwiches or 4 main-dish sandwiches.
* For social gatherings, opt for the smaller cocktail-size buns available in the bakery section of grocery stores. Offer coarse-grain mustard and halved dill pickle slices for the sandwiches.
* Variations
Italian: Before cooking, dip chops in 2 large eggs, then in seasoned fine dry bread crumbs to cover (approximately 3 Tbsp. of bread crumbs per chop). Cook as directed except sprinkle on 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp. of shredded Parmesan or Provolone
on each chop after turning the chops. Omit the butter and steak sauce. Spread buns with 1/2 Tbsp. of pre-prepared pesto; add pork and bacon, then top with roasted red pepper slices and arugula
Asian: Cook chops as directed. Omit butter and steak sauce. Place pork and bacon on buns and top with 1 Tbsp. bottled peanut sauce. Toss 1 c. shredded cabbage with 2 Tbsp. of rice vinegar; add to sandwiches atop peanut-sauced chops.
* Nutritional information given for 8 appetizer sandwiches.
* Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more recipes visit:
www.PorkBeInspired.com

Nutritional information:
Calories: 230; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Total Carbs: 11g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 22g; Sodium: 300mg;

When Corporations Run the World


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/business/media/sean-penn-fights-with-netflix-over-el-chapo-documentary.html

Lulu the Labrador

Lulu, a Labrador retriever, did not make it out of her C.I.A. training class for sniffing explosive odors. She is still a good girl.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/us/politics/cia-lulu-bomb-dog.html

TTT

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/opinion/trump-trade-and-tantrums.html

Margaret Renkl

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/opinion/the-raw-power-of-metoo.html

Lupita Nyong’o

Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.

Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.

Lupita Nyong’o is an actor, director and producer.

Always Carry

Always carry a book, glasses, food, a flashlight, and a blanket.

Dawn in Woonsocket, RI

6:36 AM
Friday, October 20, 2017 (EDT)
Dawn in Woonsocket, RI

E.L. Doctorow

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
—E.L. Doctorow

John Dewey

Writer's Almanac:

It’s the birthday of John Dewey (books by this author), born in Burlington, Vermont (1859). Regarded as the father of progressive education, his best-known innovation was what he called “learning by directed living,” which combined learning with concrete activity. He wrote Democracy and Education (1916), and he founded the New School for Social Research. He was a shy, scholarly youth; a friend said that ideas were like living objects to him, and the only things he was really interested in. When he was hired to teach at the University of Michigan at the age of 25, he constituted the entire philosophy department. He spent most of his career thinking and writing about education. He said that schools were useless unless they taught students how to live as members of a community; that they wouldn’t succeed in teaching children anything unless they were receptive to what children were ready to learn; and that they wouldn’t get anywhere unless they treated children as individuals. He once gave a speech at Michigan in which he said there was so much knowledge at universities because the freshmen brought everything they knew to college with them, and the seniors never took anything away.

Adelaide Hall

Writer's Almanac:

It’s the birthday of cabaret singer Adelaide Hall, who broke into the big time with her wordless solo on Duke Ellington’s “Creole Love Call,” born in New York City, in 1901. She first met Duke Ellington in Harlem and by 1927 they were touring in the same show. She said, “I closed the first half of the bill and Duke was on in the second.” One night, Ellington told her he had a new song, “Creole Love Call.” Hall said: “I was standing in the wings behind the piano when Duke first played it. I started humming along with the band. Afterward, he came over to me and said, ‘That’s just what I was looking for. Can you do it again?’ I said, ‘I can’t, because I don’t know what I [am] doing.’ He begged me to try. Anyway, I did, and sang this counter melody, and he was delighted and said ‘Addie, you’re going to record this with the band.’ A couple of days later I did.”

She later explained her long and successful career in show business. “This is how you do it, my dear,” she said. “You get to know the musicians. You’re in the places where they are. And then you ask them if you can sing a song. Be very charming, not too pushy. And be prepared. Know your song, know your key. And sing it. And then someone will hear you and take you out to dinner and give you a job. And there you are.”

Robert Pinsky: Poetry Takes Care of Itself

Writer's Almanac:

It’s the birthday of American poet, essayist, and translator Robert Pinsky (books by this author), born in Long Branch, New Jersey (1940). Pinsky was a dreamy kid, easily entranced by the sound of his fingertips against the headboard of his bed, which he credits with giving him an early sense of musicality. As a boy, Pinsky loved reading dictionaries. He says: “Read as much as you want, this word reminds you of that word, you could just wander. It didn’t matter if you lost your place. It wasn’t tyrannical like a story.”

And: “Poetry takes care of itself. All art does — that is paramount. In a survival race, I’m quite sure poetry will long outlast reality TV and Twitter.”

Charles Ives and Jelly Roll Morton

Writer's Almanac:

It’s the birthday of composer Charles Ives was born in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1874. His music is considered modern classical and is often termed “inclusive” because he saw no reason to exclude any style of music — Brahms, church hymns, college songs, Beethoven, gospel, singing at revival meetings, sounds of nature, military marches, ragtime — so long as it expressed his ideas. He said, “The fabric of existence weaves itself whole.”

Ives won the Pulitzer for his Symphony No. 3, with other noted works, including Piano Sonata No. 2 and “The Unanswered Question.”

He said, “Awards are merely the badges of mediocrity.”

*****

It’s the birthday of musician Jelly Roll Morton, born Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe in New Orleans (1890). He grew up listening to French and Italian opera, hymns, ragtime, and minstrel songs. He was a great piano player, and he apprenticed in the seedy bars and brothels of New Orleans. In addition to being a talented performer, he was a pool shark, a gambler, and a pimp. He wore a turquoise coat, a Stetson hat, and tight striped pants. He said: “I was Sweet Papa Jelly Roll with the stovepipes in my hips, and all the women in town was dying to turn my damper down.”

He traveled around the Gulf Coast, and from there moved on to the West Coast and Chicago. In the 1920s, he was one of the biggest names in jazz. He recorded major hits like “King Porter Stomp,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” “New Orleans Blues,” and the “Original Jelly Roll Blues.” He was fierce in his claim that he was the founder of jazz, and he is considered the first true jazz composer because he was the first to go beyond improvisation to write down jazz tunes. He engaged in highly publicized feuds with other musicians who claimed to be the King of Jazz, the founder of jazz or the blues, or any other title he wanted for himself. When the great jazz trumpeter Lee Collins went to record with Jelly Roll, Morton informed him: “You know you will be working for the world’s best jazz piano player … not one of the greatest — I am the Greatest.”

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sautéed Kale

Sam Sifton

Yield4 servings Time15 minutes


This is a technique that elevates basic sauteed greens into something even more savory and tender.

Featured in: A Fish Called Dinner.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free, Kale
Ingredients

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large bunch kale, stemmed, with leaves coarsely chopped
½ cup vegetable stock, white wine or water
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red-pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Preparation

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic, and cook until soft.
Add kale to the pan, turn the heat to high and add the stock. Use a spoon to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers, add vinegar and toss to combine.

A Suicide in Utah

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/18/he-said-it-would-be-awesome-to-help-a-friend-kill-herself-now-hell-be-tried-for-murder/

Hawaii Spam Heists

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/19/spam-heists-in-hawaii-prompt-retailers-to-put-the-wildly-popular-mystery-meat-in-locked-cases/

Carl Rogers: Anyone who Wants to Learn will Learn


“What is most personal is most universal.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“I'm not perfect... But I'm enough.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me”
― Carl R. Rogers

“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?”
― Carl R. Rogers

“Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me?”
― Carl R. Rogers

“there is direction but there is no destination”
― Carl R. Rogers

“A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“You know that I don't believe that anyone has ever taught anything to anyone. I question that efficacy of teaching. The only thing that I know is that anyone who wants to learn will learn. And maybe a teacher is a facilitator, a person who puts things down and shows people how exciting and wonderful it is and asks them to eat.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“To be with another in this [empathic] way means that for the time being, you lay aside your own views and values in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside your self; this can only be done by persons who are secure enough in themselves that they know they will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and that they can comfortably return to their own world when they wish.

Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, and strong - yet subtle and gentle - way of being.”
― Carl R. Rogers, A Way of Being

“we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person

“The kind of caring that the client-centered therapist desires to achieve is a gullible caring, in which clients are accepted as they say they are, not with a lurking suspicion in the therapist's mind that they may, in fact, be otherwise. This attitude is not stupidity on the therapist's part; it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust...”
― Carl R. Rogers

“If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual,”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“I hear the words, the thoughts, the feeling tones, the personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker. Sometimes too, in a message which superficially is not very important, I hear a deep human cry that lies buried and unknown far below the surface of the person.
So I have learned to ask myself, can I hear the sounds and sense the shape of this other person's inner world? Can I resonate to what he is saying so deeply that I sense the meanings he is afraid of, yet would like to communicate, as well as those he knows?”
― Carl R. Rogers

“True empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. "If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“I have learned that my total organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my intellect.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“The more I can keep a relationship free of judgment and evaluation, the more this will permit the other person to reach the point where he recognizes that the locus of evaluation, the center of responsibility, lies within himself.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“In my relationships with persons I have found that it does not help, in the long run, to act as though I were something that I am not.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“It becomes easier for me to accept myself as a decidedly imperfect person, who by no means functions at all times in the way in which I would like to function. This must seem to some like a very strange direction in which to move. It seems to me to have value because the curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change.”
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

“Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead.

The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“When I can relax, and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I may behave in strange and impulsive ways in the relationship, ways I cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought processes. But these strange behaviors turn out to be right in some odd way. At these moments it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and has become something larger.”
― Carl R. Rogers

“I am less and less a creature of influences in myself which operate beyond my ken in the realms of the unconscious. I am increasingly an architect of self. I am free to will and choose. I can, through accepting my individuality, my ‘isness,’ become more of my uniqueness, more of my potentiality.”
― Carl R. Rogers, Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human

“When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening.”
― Carl R. Rogers