Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST March 8th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for this session was “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write about where you’re from.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

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

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday March 10th at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Where I’m From
By George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I am from fudge and eyeglasses,
         from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
         and the pass-it-ons,
         from perk up and pipe down.
I'm from He restoreth my soul
            with cottonball lamb
            and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
           fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
            to the auger
      the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures.
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments --
snapped before I budded --
leaf-fall from the family tree.

Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 6 de marzo, 13:00 EST

¡Gracias a todos los que nos acompañaron en esta sesión! Tuvimos participantes desde Argentina, Colombia, España, y varias partes de los EE. UU.

Nuestro texto fue EL NIÑO AL QUE SE LE MURIÓ EL AMIGO de Ana María Matute. Dos lectoras leyeron el cuento en voz alta. Inmediatamente la conversación se enfocó en lo que ocurre cuando un niño tiene que enfrentar la muerte, sobre todo cuando su madre no tiene ternura en darle la noticia de la muerte de su amigo. La autora repite los juguetes y objetos con cual juega el niño. ¿Cuál es el significado de los objetos? La autora usó símbolos para demostrar la transición por la que tiene que pasar el chico; el cambio que pasa cuando los niños aprenden de la muerte. La madre ordena al chico que olvide a su amigo y entre a cenar, pero el niño no cruza el marco de la puerta. En lugar de eso, se va a buscar a su amigo llevando los objetos con los que jugaban, pero su amigo no aparece. El niño bota los juguetes, incluyendo el reloj que ya no funciona. Una participante notó que el reloj que se detuvo significa la muerte. Y cuando el niño regresa a la casa con hambre y sed, esto representa la vida. La madre declara que el niño ha crecido mucho y necesita un traje de hombre. La transición está completa. El texto provocó múltiples interpretaciones, vivimos las diferentes perspectivas que nos aportó.

Para la escritura escogimos “Escribe sobre una puerta.Varias participantes compartieron sus escritos, inspirando una rica variedad de respuestas de los oyentes. Como es común, los textos fueron escritos “a la sombra del texto original,” pero muy curiosamente, también tenían como tema la muerte. Una declaraba que hay que tomar la decisión de estar en un lado o el otro de la puerta, pero no quedarse en el marco. Otra exploraba la yuxtaposición de aspectos de la vida; señalando la línea delgada entre la vida y la muerte. Este tema se siguió en los otros escritos, incluyendo la posibilidad de ver o hablar con Dios.

Se alienta a las/los participantes a compartir lo que escribieron a continuación (“Deja una respuesta”), para mantener la conversación aquí, teniendo en cuenta que el blog, por supuesto, es un espacio público donde no se garantiza la confidencialidad.

Por favor, únase a nosotros para nuestra próxima sesión en español, sábado, 27 de marzo 2021 a las 13:00 (inscríbete aqui), con otras sesiones adicionales en otros idiomas (inglés, italiano, griego y polaco) en nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales en vivo.

¡Esperamos verte pronto!


EL NIÑO AL QUE SE LE MURIÓ EL AMIGO

Ana María Matute (España, 1926-2014)

Una mañana se levantó y fue a buscar al amigo, al otro lado de la valla. Pero el amigo no estaba, y, cuando volvió, le dijo la madre: “el amigo se murió. Niño, no pienses más en él y busca otros para jugar”. El niño se sentó en el qui­cio de la puerta, con la cara entre las manos y los codos en las rodillas. “Él volverá”, pensó. Porque no podía ser que allí estuviesen las canicas, el camión y la pistola de hoja­lata, y el reloj aquel que ya no andaba, y el amigo no vi­niese a buscarlos. Vino la noche, con una estrella muy grande, y el niño no quería entrar a cenar. “Entra, niño, que llega el frío”, dijo la madre. Pero, en lugar de entrar, el niño se levantó del quicio y se fue en busca del amigo, con las canicas, el camión, la pistola de hojalata y el reloj que no andaba. Al llegar a la cerca, la voz del amigo no le llamó, ni le oyó en el árbol, ni en el pozo. Pasó buscándole toda la noche. Y fue una larga noche casi blanca, que le llenó de polvo el traje y los zapatos. Cuando llegó el sol, el niño, que tenía sueño y sed, estiró los brazos, y pensó: “qué tontos y pequeños son esos juguetes. Y ese reloj que no anda, no sirve para nada”. Lo tiró todo al pozo, y volvió a la casa, con mucha hambre. La madre le abrió la puerta, y le dijo: “cuánto ha crecido este niño, Dios mío, cuánto ha crecido”. Y le compró un traje de hombre, porque el que llevaba le venía muy corto.


Laboratori Di Medicina Narrativa: sabato 6 Marzo dalle 16 alle 17.30

Siamo stati molto lieti di avervi qui con noi!

Abbiamo studiato la foto “Francoise e Joaquim all’isola di Stromboli” (1987) di Bernard Plossu (allegato al termine di questa pagina)  

In seguito, abbiamo proposto due prompt: “Descrivi un momento in cui hai messo a fuoco qualcosa…” e “Descrivi un momento in cui qualcosa ti è apparso sfuocato…”.

Condivideremo ulteriori dettagli della sessione nei prossimi giorni; vi invitiamo a rivisitare questa pagina nei prossimi giorni!

Invitiamo i partecipanti del laboratorio a condividere i propri scritti nella parte “blog” dedicata alla fine della presente pagina (“Leave a Reply”). Speriamo di creare, attraverso questo forum di condivisione, uno spazio in cui continuare la nostra conversazione!

Stiamo raccogliendo impressioni e breve feedback sui nostri laboratori di medicina narrativa su Zoom!

Questo breve questionario (anonimo, e aperto a chiunque abbia frequentato almeno un laboratorio) è molto importante per noi, e ci permetterà di elaborare sul valore dei nostri laboratori e sul ruolo dello spazio per riflettere e metabolizzare il momento presente. Vi preghiamo quindi di condividere le nostre riflessioni con noi!


“Francoise e Joaquim all’isola di Stromboli” (1987) di Bernard Plossu


Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EST march 3rd 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for this session was “The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” by Tracy K. Smith, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write about your soundtrack.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

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

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday March 8th at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
BY TRACY K. SMITH

The first track still almost swings. High hat and snare, even
A few bars of sax the stratosphere will singe-out soon enough.

Synthesized strings. Then something like cellophane
Breaking in as if snagged to a shoe. Crinkle and drag. White noise,

Black noise. What must be voices bob up, then drop, like metal shavings
In molasses. So much for us. So much for the flags we bored

Into planets dry as chalk, for the tin cans we filled with fire
And rode like cowboys into all we tried to tame. Listen:

The dark we've only ever imagined now audible, thrumming,
Marbled with static like gristly meat. A chorus of engines churns.

Silence taunts: a dare. Everything that disappears
Disappears as if returning somewhere.

Tracy K. Smith, "The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" 
from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith.

Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST march 1st 2021

Thirty-two participants gathered tonight, hailing from Argentina, CA, NJ, NY, ME, OR, PA, Portugal, TX, and WA. We watched a video of “Found/Tonight” (a mash-up from two B-way musicals Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen), then took a minute to read the text with the lyrics.

One person commented on the dedication of the song being “For the Children.” A new grandfather said that resonated for him, because “much of what we do is for those coming long after us.” There was attention given to the lyrics “look up” and “reach out” and that “those who want to be found” need to believe another will be there.

One participant observed “This is what we do here in Narrative Medicine. We find each other.” Another commented that the music we had just listened to sounds like an anthem and reminds her of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and, perhaps, the fight within the musical Les Miserable.

Another person thought of a Biblical verse, remembered as “He who loses his life will find it.” Two participants said that the listening was not comforting and/or reminded them of those who are alone due to COVID-19. The shields in the singing music booths took on new meanings in the context of the plexiglass we’ve been seeing go up to enforce social distancing in a COVID-19 world. One other participant said “the song transcends time and people.”

Another shared about hugging her grandchild, which she had not done in a long time, and realized how much she has missed doing that. Another person responded, saying that our texts, in this space, are like hugs.

Most people related the medley to COVID-19 and, as one said, “the fight of this last year.” A participant said it made her think of the healthcare workers “whose every shift this past year was a fight” and wanted to thank them. Another chatted in, in response, that she had contracted COVID at her hospital and appreciated the recognition and expression of gratitude.

We wrote for 4 minutes to the prompt: Write about your part in the fight.

The first reader aligned himself with Don Quijote jousting with windmills as he fights the good fight with systems that he “cannot let taint our beautiful profession” as he continues to train young physicians and care for patients. He invites others to “keep telling the stories” as he battles for writing and health justice. 

The second reader began by calling her actions “small” and then told of rescuing a dog, the many ways she keeps her mother connected to the outside world, in these days of Covid-19. She teaches and mentors students, and particularly students in their last year of medical school.  She said her part is “to give something positive to focus on.” Those of us listening reflected to the reader that we did not hear the numerous things she does as “small,” but rather as a celebration of the “many roles we play” in the many worlds we inhabit. To prove this point even further, a participant shared a quote by Mother Teresa: “It is not the magnitude of our actions, but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”

Our next readers shared questions about whether “fight is even a metaphor I feel my own” or about “what is the fight”. We saw empathy as “incubating in warriors” and hope “shedding” along the way, reimagining the “shedding” of the virus we’ve heard so much about over the past year. One reader’s part in the fight was putting together seemingly fragmented pieces of hope, while another reader’s was to acknowledge the road we’ve traveled so far and celebrate the pioneering women who indeed have “won the fight” of their lifetimes.

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

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday March 3rd at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Found/Tonight - Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt

We may not yet have reached our glory
But I will gladly join the fight
And when our children tell their story
They'll tell the story of tonight
They'll tell the story of tonight
Tonight

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
All we see is light
'Cause maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay
For forever
'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh
Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
Oh
No matter what they tell you
Someone will coming running
To take you home
Raise a glass to all of us
Tomorrow there'll be more of us
Telling the story of tonight
Out of the shadows

The morning is breaking (they'll tell the story of tonight)
And all is new
All is new
All is new
It's only a matter of
Time

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you're broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found

And when our children tell their story
You will be found
They'll tell the story of tonight
Whoa
No matter what they tell you
Tomorrow there'll be more of us
Telling the story of tonight
The story of tonight