Sunday, March 27, 2011

Notes from the Pew

Reverend Judith talked today about a couple of famous New Englanders...John Winthrop and Anne Hutchinson.  John Winthrop got a little agitated when his direct conduit to God was challenged by Ms. Hutchinson who claimed that she was also chatting with God.  So agitated that he excommunicated her and she had to leave the state.  She and her family were killed by Native Americans in New York.  This was all a backdrop to the idea that we are in charge of our religious communities and our relationship with our God.  Back in the day, this was a pretty radical idea.  Now it seems we are too distracted to think about what God is. 

One of the things I like about Sundays and the structure of church is that it forces me to unplug, and become contemplative, at least for an hour.  There is always music and some readings to think about.  For me, that it is pretty damn close to hanging with God.  Today's reading talked about remembering "our highest resolve."  I am so good at lofty resolutions, to whit:
--for every Justice purchase (local kid's store), I will force my daughter to do a real act of justice
--no more canned soda after reading "the history of stuff"
--help a local crafter in need get her goods in the appropriate stores
--renew composting
--get the Eminem song off  my daughter's itouch
--more yoga, more meditation
--less buying
--maybe get the Eminem song off my Ipod
--read some articles on censoring

And so it goes.....our highest resolve, however much we fail should always be our guide.  Every time I pop the top of a can, I need to be reminded of the excessive nature of that act.  Start somewhere and fail because one day, you won't.

Speaking of resolve, Cliff over at is running a  marathon in a couple of weeks.  The cool part of this story is that he wasn't really a runner 9 months ago.  An example of "higher resolve".  I like his blog because I think the Brits have way better curse words.  They sound slightly bemused when in point of fact, they could be going postal.  Happy trails Cliff!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Texans came to town.........

Life is all about the timing.  Last week, I was diagnosed with pneumonia which I never realized you could "catch".  I thought pneumonia was something waiting in the wings for a good cold gone bad:
Pneumonia:  Hey you, you in the trachea....come check out the lungs
Cold:  I'm not supposed to go into the lungs, I'm not sure I could find my way back
Pneumonia:  Just follow me......
So the nurse thinks I picked up pneumonia in one of the nursing homes I have been visiting for work and this happened right before the Texans headed up north for a ski vacation. 

 We soldiered on.....
Kat adopted the Heidi look, very appropriate for the mountains of Central Mass
Next year's Christmas card, perhaps

Isak is a natural boarder, I'm sorry to say.  We tried our best to talk him out of knuckle-dragging, but he would have none of it.  This is a picture of his very first jump.  It ended poorly but it's all about the glory, even if you take a hard fall  It was a great visit, including meeting the french boyfriend.  He was very gracious and did not compare Mt. Wachusetts to the French Alps, even once:
Sometimes you see your family through a stranger's eyes.  I like what I see.  Older cousins who watch out for their younger ones, sisters who reconnect over the miles, and so much laughter, you have to be careful not to pee your pants.  Nothing foreshadows a joke like 40 years of history.  The Texans came to town and it was a great visit.  Happy trails, y'all

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dr. Drew

As a therapist, I try not to think about Dr. Drew all that much.  On a good day, I feel compassion for his narcissism and on a bad day, I am surprised that he doesn't lose his license.  This week, he was the talking head on all the talk shows commenting on Charlie Sheen's disintegration.  Charlie Sheen, rightly so, felt outraged that he was being analyzed from afar.  Lindsey Lohen, Britney Spears....Dr. Drew feels he has the right by lieu of his credentials to go on national television and speak about the addictions or mental health issues of celebrities.  He also fights the good fight on celebrity rehab.  Really?  How is any of this healing for anybody?

When I was in my twenties, I was the president of the Massachusetts Association of Rape Crisis Centers.  I was asked to go on a local talk show as an expert on rape and comment on a case against Mike Tyson.  My "opponent" on the show was a feisty defense lawyer.  What I remember about the taping was that the interview pitted us against one another and the actual facts of the actual case mattered not one bit.  Additionally, in retrospect, I did not know the people involved and really had no business commenting at all.  It is enticing to be thought of as an expert, but it is a false path.

So, Dr. is some advice from one therapist to another.  Put the camera down and get back to slogging through the mud.  You do not honor the stories or victories of your clients by breaking their confidentiality, even with their blessing.  One of the biggest emerging drugs in our culture is the incessant need for fame and exposure.  I don't think you are facilitating lasting recovery without tackling that addiction, both in yourself and in your clients.