Thursday, March 29, 2007


This posting is about friendship. I lost two friends this week, one through death and the other through a choice made, although not mine.

I learned from my best friend today that a mutual friend of ours from college died of unknown causes. My friend learned of it through an e-mail sent to her at work; the father of the friend who died was a professional colleague. The funeral is this Sunday.

As for the other friend I lost, I feel an equal amount of grief because the reason the friendship ended makes no sense at all. The result is that I feel horribly misunderstood, and suspect she might feel the same way. At the heart of the conflict that led to the demise of the friendship is a personal decision I made, one that my ex-friend disagreed with. I did what I had to do and it makes no sense that someone who truly loves me and wants what is best in my life would object to that. But she did. She wrote me an e-mail saying her mental health was being affected by our friendship; in other words, being my friend was becoming a threat to her state of well being. Realizing that a person has to do what s/he has to do, I accepted her decision. But isn't it ironic that what killed the friendship (her decision) is the very thing she couldn't accept in me, the fact that I did what I had to do. It's all a matter of conscience. It is also ironic that what appears to be her weakness (something in me that brought out something unhealthy in her) is what is breaking up the friendship. She is one of the strongest people I know, and this is what attracted me to her in the first place: her strength. I still love her and wish her well; I also hope one day she comes to accept me for who I am and stand by me once more as a friend.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Opposites Attract Redemption

I am trying to figure out what that is, the meaning of the word redemption. When you lose stature in someone's eyes, someone who you care about, someone whose opinion matters to you, the need to be redeemed emerges. Somehow, you need to explain yourself (to the person, in particular, but also to the audience in general) in such a way that the person knows that you are who you are and not the projection of you shown on the screen of his or her consciousness.

I am peopled.
You're all inside of me;
one soul,
with many
Good company,
we're all in it.
Standing so close,
I see you're more
like me
than I had realized.
If you don't want me
so close,
make me go away.
Close your eyes,
or shoo me with
your hands.
Will my heart
away from yours;
and when it breaks
wide open
from loneliness,
we both can
fall in, together
or separate.
Don't be afraid.
I don't want to
hurt you.
I just want you
to understand
that I hurt
like you
I do.
Pushing away
is only an

If my vulnerability is unattractive (it is repulsive), this is only because you see yourself in it, too. You're not all pretty either; our shit stinks, if not equally at least equivalently.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"An artist who is not working is a miserable creature, and the best way to cure that misery is to work. We do not have to work a lot. We do not have to work a long time, but we do need to work. The itch to make something is an itch that only making something will scratch. It doesn't need to be a good something - although it often is - it just needs to be something: a paragraph of prose, a rough sketch for a later painting, a stanza of poetry, the first verse of a song. In order to work freely, we must be willing to work badly, and once we are, we are often able to do good work indeed."

Julia Cameron, from The Sound of Paper

Monday, March 05, 2007

I'm not finished with this yet but wanted to capture this work in progress, a watercolor painting I am working on!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Next Right Thing

William C. Moyers wrote: "I am honored that you mentioned my book in your blog. But more than that, your appreciation for the decisions I had to make relative to doing the next right thing for the sake of my own recovery, affirms that others also know how difficult and necessary such choices are for those of us trying to find our way on the journey. Regards,William"

That is so true! Difficult and necessary. This book will be a great help to many people in that it clearly demonstrates how healing occurs only when we are "strong at the broken places" (Ernest Hemingway).