Poem of the Week
Founded August 1996

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)


THE golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.


IMG_4649IMG_0157“If, then, the transformations that interest the analyst are those that nourish and grow the mind, it is important to know how to recognize them for at least two good reasons even when they are not evident. First, because only in this way is it possible to map the analytical field and intuit where to meet the patient; and, second, because the perspective that the unconscious has on things is always richer than that of the conscious since it is much more capable of thinking about infinity………The analyst must be like a painter. As a painter, he must know how to use his palette of colors, his emotions and dreams.”


Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s (1995) statement that “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams,” can be paraphrased to apply to psychoanalysis: analyses grow old and stale because the capacity for mutual dreaming between patient and analyst becomes arrested.



When Old Friends Die

IMG_4594fullsizeoutput_1170Sometimes we haven’t visited with a friend for a long time, but we still think of them and remember them fondly.  We decide to google them, wondering if they are on Facebook or Linked In or some other social media that might allow us to track them down.  And sometimes, if we are of a certain age, we discover that they have died, and it’s very sad.  This happened to me last night when I thought of an old friend who is (was) an artist.  The last time I saw her I bought one of her paintings.    And now through the very  social media  I had   hoped would reunite us, I discover  she is gone. Goodbye Marina Yashina, I am sorry to know you have passed.  The world is less interesting without you.


fullsizeoutput_f63Betty Ford, the former  (click here for her obituary) first lady of the US, who died in 2011, said something fascinating  once about her experience of wanting to have a facelift for her ‘new life’ – once she had overcome cancer and addictions  She said that many of her previous  supporters felt angry with her about her wanting the face lift,  supporting  her  more  enthusiastically when she was fighting breast  cancer  and battling drug addiction.    She believed many people prefer to support others when they are down, as opposed to when they are  accomplishing goals, expanding their range of experience, or  simply enjoying their lives.  She thought that people prefer to   root for  the underdog, for  victims, to whom they can feel superior, rather than  to support others when they are strong – when they are flourishing and standing up for themselves.  I think it’s more complicated than that.  I think many people who have trouble supporting people who are thriving, have been raised by parents who had fears about no longer feeling needed, and fears of  losing their small children’s affection and attention  once  their children began to grow up.  Some people who have trouble supporting others when they are strong, have been raised by parents with borderline personality disorder, a condition that is related to  extreme fears of abandonment.  These people themselves were NEVER supported by their parents when they went outside of the parents own  comfort zone.  So they are only perpetuating the pattern that was passed down  to them. It’s unconscious, and often automatic.  Many  people are not even aware they are doing it and when asked become defensive and accuse the other of being paranoid.  It’s not intentional.   Nonetheless it can hurt. Sometimes the pattern simply involves people who thrive on feeling   needed by others, a very normal situation.  We all like to to feel important, needed, and in less danger of being abandoned.  Watching loved ones succeed can trigger feelings of fear that the person doing the growing will no longer need us, and that they might move away from us  emotionally and no longer be available when WE need them! But whatever the reasons, and there are as many as there are people in the world, ,  if you find yourself ‘playing small’ in order to feel loved, to seem nonthreatening, to belong within your social group,   think again.  Crippling yourself solely for a relationship/s is not a good decision. In the long run it will bring you and the people around you down.  Allow yourself to stand strong, and to find supporters who support you  when you are strong, when you are  vulnerable, when you are HOWEVER you might be feeling, who NEVER abandon you no matter WHAT! Those are the people you want in your court!! That way the range of your own and others emotional experience will grow, and growth and change is essential for staying  in touch with a meaningful exciting  life (as well as a way of  avoiding depression).

READING anyone?

IMG_4298I am reading this novel.  I make myself read ten pages at a sitting; otherwise my mind wanders to my cell phone and i search for people who have liked my latest political post on Facebook (not good). What I like about this book is the author’s voice and here are some examples from page 36.  The context is a young woman describing the world around her.

“So I left him to it, not wanting to shame chef out of his imagination, for there was an awful lot of shaming for playing, shaming for letting your guard down that went on in that place.”

“That was why everybody read minds-had to, otherwise things got complicated. Just as most people here chose not to say what they meant in order to protect themselves, they could also at certain moments, when they knew their mind was being read, learn to present their top most mental level to those who were reading it, whilst in the undergrowth of their consciousness, inform themselves privately of what their true thinking was about.”


57817735585__A801BB4A-2DDF-482B-A19F-3E76CE5B080DDo you play a musical instrument?   Do you want to learn how to play a musical instrument?  Music involves traversing new neural pathways.  Music is a language. It helps the spirit, it helps transcend trauma, and it supports the brain.  Music is energy.



We have had a cold and rainy spring.  Now and again the sun shines.

Like today for instance.  What a shock it was to take the umbrella as usual

and not have to use it!.. Feelings are like the weather.  They come and they go.

We like some of them, loathe others, and yet if we wait long enough they always give

way to change, to transformation, and life is tolerable, even enjoyable, at times. IMG_4130