Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT July 7th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session our text was the poem I Will Be My Mother’s Apprentice by Carmen Giménez Smith, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about being the remedy or the anchor.”

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 July 12th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


as if I were a hunger because
it is our bleak and common future
to reverse the sphinx. I study the meander
of her logic for context. Sometimes it is
like a poem that is not quite realized
filled with hollows and bursts,
a stranger’s grief and rage. She asks
for home when she’s home. She screams
for the purse we haven’t hidden from her.
Sometimes we circle the same spots,
and I try to be as I know she was with me
once: remedy and anchor. I’m a fair
to poor replica, yet still her proxy.

That you didn’t know her is your
misfortune: a hot planet’s core,
late summer’s best light. As metaphor
I evoke a pink, vulnerable jelly,
translucent and containing the past.
I hold it in my hand and against a lamp.
This is our intimacy now. My nails trace
the brown spots that mark her losses.
Beautiful and sad and strange, I say,
because I’ve made her into something else.

“I Will Be My Mother’s Apprentice,” from Be Recorder. 
Copyright © 2019 by Carmen Giménez Smith

4 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT July 7th 2021

  1. About being the remedy or the anchor~~~

    My children, I am here,
    I will be here for you as long as I breathe and beyond.
    This world is ever-changing and is filled with so much chaos, so much fear, so much hate.
    But always remember the love and respect I have for you.

    There is joy and contentment to be had in this world around us.
    Be determined in your search.
    Hold on tightly to the ties of love that bound us together as a family.
    They will serve as an anchor as your life journey may take twists and turns and buffet you about.

    As the North Star is a constant in the nighttime sky,
    you will always have my support and encouragement as you make your journey.
    Live life vibrantly, live life fully.


  2. al3793

    [Since I had to leave early I wrote this after the session and took some liberty with time. Andre]

    Prompt: Write about being the remedy or the anchor.

    She looked at me wondering, “Do I know him?”
    Gears were turning, but slowly as they were clogged by tangles and plaques
    that preclude memory.

    In her day she delivered paper charts so we could care
    for our patients on the wards,
    Always dressed for tea, perfectly postured,
    her snow-white tightly bunched bun
    was a herald of her dignity.

    Now all I can do is listen carefully
    for a clue from her answers that
    make no sense at all and
    hope to hear some sense of
    her affect – anger, sadness, joy,
    so I can conjure some engagement
    that will leave her a bit better upon
    my departure than
    she was when I arrived.

    I’d try a few things; it was a process of trial and error-
    “No wonder you are angry that someone took your keys”.
    “You bet I am and if they don’t give them back, I will call the police.”
    The power of her voice had waned with her memory.
    It had a slight tremor mirroring her hands.
    My suggestion that,
    “Susan will be here shortly, and she always cheers you up,”
    was met with, “Well I have some things to say to her.”

    Eventually, some utterance would resonate,
    “I have missed seeing you making your rounds in the hospital delivering your charts.”
    The furrow of her brow would relax along with her lips and
    she would smile a delicate smile and a little spark appeared in her eye.
    As I headed toward the door of her room, she closed the conversation,
    “I almost forgot,” she said, “Thank you.”


    • I sometimes wonder what is the greatest tragedy… when disease strikes the body or when it strikes the mind. I think the loss of cognitive function is the most far-reaching since those pleasurable and memorable experiences which help buoy the patient during life’s tests of endurance are gradually and permanently evaporating from the mind and spirit of the individual. The individual is left trying to make sense of his thoughts which have become faint echoes of what they once were.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.