The Soft Galaxy (Eulogy for a Chicken)

I’m still thinking of what was happening in Roadrunner’s mind the other day, standing five feet from the back door to the house, on a stoop two steps above the ground, facing the door as if wanting to come in. Every time I think of it, I feel sad – sadder than someone raised in a culture of scientific materialism blended with Catholic ideas about the specialness of humans is really supposed to feel about a chicken.

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The Mother of All Attunement (August 2016)

Walking the sandy path through the woods by Dyer’s Pond in Wellfleet, Massachusetts – with dried pine needles crackling under my bare feet, and late afternoon sun warming my bare upper body, and droplets from the sandy-bottom pond still meandering down my skin – I remembered that a body larger than my own or my mother’s had carried me like this throughout my life, and that this body had a name I could hear, a face I could touch, and an empathic resonance that could soak into the cells of my being, if I let it.

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Stillness Rises

Lately – amid the unfolding catastrophes of climate change, white supremacy, potential nuclear war and physical, emotional, psychological and institutionalized violence of many kinds – I’ve been spending hours of what free time I have lying down in a grassy field among pine cones and dry brown needles from last Fall, amid the deep and imperfectly-perfect harmonies of Highland Park, watching clouds drift, picking seeds from the open cones, soaking in sun and doing as much nothing as I possibly can.

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Memory’s Curve

Sitting outside the ice cream place in a small New England college town you ate strawberry ice cream and remembered the man everyone said was insane – the one you met before you ever met your father – who took you to get your first bowl as a child in another country and another world – and your tears openly shined.

I dropped for the moment any pretense of trying to interject evidence-based interventions into our time together (though I value the crystallized care they can be the expression of), and said what seemed obvious to us both:  “Maybe he wanted to send you a message today.” To which you replied, “Maybe he did.”

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Spark

It was strange to walk out of all that stone and wool, the many kinds of cloth and reverberating footfalls, Latin chants and icicles dripping, that deep silent well in which people rarely spoke (unless to read in Latin about the nature of God’s oneness or the strict rules of their order) and even more rarely looked at each other, and then, unexpectedly, to behold the carnival.

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The Radiant Coexistence of Starlings and the Sky

The first thing I felt was the stark blue light that permeated the sky
interpreting my body as a fragment of time and space
as I sat in a cloud of enamel fumes inside my car, parked in a random lot
off Route 5 and 10 near Greenfield
pondering once again the cold
glowing obelisk of my phone
and wondering if I’d have time to read Whitman or Anne Frank
before the tow truck arrived.

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The Constellations We Borrow

Recently, I borrowed five cars from five friends
over the course of four weeks
while mine was at a shop in Northampton
with everything broken.
Yesterday, I finally got my car back
it smelled like nail polish
and I felt myself wrapped in a metal blanket
crocheted by capitalism
back in control
“All-American”
and distorted by the separating lenses
of space, time, and money.

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Outgrowing the Mechanism (Envisioning a Natural, Relational, and Creative Paradigm for Psychotherapy)

The Medical Model as the Tin Man in Oz

I wonder if psychotherapy loses its heart in the medical model, by being defined within a mechanistic paradigm of fixing, controlling, or manipulating a machine rather than of an essentially-mysterious and relational experience of nature and creativity.

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