Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST April 3rd 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

58 participants joined us from all over the country and even the world: from San Francisco to NYC, from Canada to Texas,  from Seattle to West Virginia, and even as far as Greece!

The text we read together was Days by Philip Larkin. In reading the poem out loud more than once, we noticed how we paid attention to different parts of the poem in virtue of our readers’ different voices and expressivity. In our discussion, we pointed to the ways in which time and space converge in the text, aided by the author’s stylistic choices (even just beginning from the punctuation!). We reflected on the ways in which “the days are where we live”, particularly from the perspective of the multitude of roles and identities we each brought into our space. 

After 20 minutes of discussion, we wrote to the prompt “Write about the day that brought you here”. We were amazed at the talent and beauty we heard in the writings shared, each offering insight into the variety of paths that make our community such a rich space. We discussed the presence of time in our responses to the piece: in the recognition of the “precariousness of each precious day” or in the “weight of the variety of responsibilities” accompanying our journeys to the present.

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below, to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Please join us for our next session: Sunday April 5th at 12pm EST, with more times to be announced shortly.

AND PLEASE NOTE: in an effort to make these sessions more secure, starting next week we will be having individualized registration for these sessions which will be accessed from the Live Virtual Sessions page of the blog.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


What are days for?
Days are where we live.   
They come, they wake us   
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:   
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor   
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Philip Larkin, "Days " from Whitsun Weddings. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin.  Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd.

Narrative Medicine Book Club: April 3, 2020

The meeting of the doctors at the Prefecture is fascinating. If they declare that the disease is the plague, “then they will have to take stern measures,” so they hesitate to declare it. Rieux argues that it doesn’t matter what you call it – “all that matters is that you stop it killing half the town.” Impossible to read this scene today in America and not think about the language that has and has not been used to describe and warn the public, to lead (and of course to mislead) action and inaction. Is public “panic” a thing that can be avoided? Rieux is rightly concerned with halting the disease, no matter what it is called, which can only be done through preventative health measures – though how interesting that early in this pages he says “‘perhaps we should make up our minds to call this disease by its proper name.'” #camustheplague #nmbookclub

FOR TOMORROW: Read to the end of Part 1!

And don’t forget to join our FIRST ZOOM CALL on Sunday at 2pm Eastern on the Narrative Medicine zoom —