It is Time: Thoughts on My New Relationship with Time

It is Time: Thoughts on My New Relationship with Time

All of my adult life, I have wished for more time. I dreamed of a life where I only did what I wanted when I wanted. I would read and write as many hours as I wished. I would prepare only healthy food, go for nice, long walks in the country, time being a smorgasbord laid out in front of me, just as it might seem for this fellow, ready to rest all day after a successful kill. But I never really believed I would have this kind of time in my life. Two weeks ago Thursday was my last day as a practicing psychoanalyst. I feel good about the 36 years I have spent doing this work. I have been fortunate to have had wonderful training and excellent consultation. I have also been lucky enough to have had some patients who have blossomed in ways I could not have imagined. I...

Just For Fun: Best Christmas Gift for Django

Just For Fun: Best Christmas Gift for Django

After my “bah humbug” blog, I thought it only fair to share about Django’s Christmas. He does have the most fun, because he spends Christmas Day (as do we) with the Firestone Clan and all of their musically named dogs. “Django” is for Django Reinhardt, the French gypsy guitarist. When we named him, we decided to follow in the fine Firestone tradition, as our dogs form a pack. Django was so looking forward to all the dogs he would be seeing there on Christmas Day; I’m never quite sure how many! Last year Django acquired an additional toy, as we got one too many. A blanket with a kiss This incredibly soft blanket is gifted to Django by Lynn and Lynda Miller, who have two small ones for their little dog, Tillie. All the proceeds go to rescue dogs. The other side of...

At bosque launch, I read from ‘Neighbors’

At bosque launch, I read from ‘Neighbors’

The support of this community sustains my writing life, and I am grateful On Dec. 6, bosque launched its eighth issue at Bookworks in Albuquerque. What began as a tiny seedling has grown into a rich and committed writing community, and this photo taken at the Bookworks reading shows that. Seated behind me in front is Hilda Raz, poetry editor. On the other side behind me is Jill Root, nonfiction editor. And on the end, next to Jill, is Lynn C. Miller, bosque editor and co-fiction editor with Elisabeth Sharp McKetta (who was not present). We have the perseverance of Lynn C. Miller to thank for the continuation of bosque. Despite the unfortunate death of her co-founder and co-editor, Lisa Lenard-Cook, Lynn persevered to gather the best of editors to keep bosque...

Bah Humbug

Bah Humbug

The holidays are upon us once again, and I will take this moment to express how I feel about Christmas gift giving. First of all, in my home, I do not celebrate Christmas. I am Jewish, and I did not grow up in the South where it is more common for Jews to celebrate Christmas. We never had a Hanukkah bush. We always lit the menorah every night. I would have Christian friends over, and my mother always had little gifts for each of us, along with the traditional potato latkes.  As an adult, I prefer to buy a gift when I see something that I think a friend would like and give it to them whenever I see them (the element of surprise is always nice), or perhaps on a birthday. The frenzy of Christmas shopping just is not my thing. We do have our traditions, though, and...

The Joy of Reading My Work Aloud

The Joy of Reading My Work Aloud

Why You’ll Be Hearing More from Me The first time I read for an audience, I was shaking like a palm tree in hurricane winds. Writers are by nature more introverted folk. We tend to enjoy being with ourselves and our characters, and only with much hesitation and the painful necessity of book sales, do we step up to the podium to speak. These days, after several years of appearances here and there, I have learned to enjoy reading my work to enthusiastic audiences. And it is true that most audiences at readings are enthusiastic, or they would not attend in the first place. After all, it is not Cirque du Soleil or Hamilton. However, it does take much practice and preparation to do a good reading. The Fabulous World of Audio As I was chatting with a dear friend one...

When There Are No Words

When There Are No Words

In the aftermath of a mass shooting of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue, my sorrow and outrage lead me to ask: Where is the safe place? When there are no words, I breathe. I take in deep breaths, let them out slowly, until the words come. They come to me reluctantly, and then I have to breathe again until they flow more easily. When they cease to come, I breathe again, and finally, I take a break to make çay (Turkish tea) and drink it while I breathe. People often ask me what I do to keep on writing. Am I ever at a loss for words? Often, I am these days and in these dark times. When the letters scrolled across my television screen, coldly breaking the news that 11 people were shot to death at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I thought of my father’s...

Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

These are crazy times in a world gone mad, but fear does not have to control our lives, our speech, our manner of being in the world or how we respond to our fellow human beings. Let me use an example. I cannot know about you, but I was quite disappointed in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s publicizing of her DNA. She let Trump’s insanity occupy her and caused her to behave in ways that echo Trump himself. We have to try our best to continue a spiritual state of mind before and after meditation or prayer, whatever it may be that we do. Praying or meditating and then going off to commit murder will not bring any of us to paradise either in this life or in the next. Frankly, while journalists, writers, teachers and innocent people are being imprisoned without hope, while a...

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