Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 31st 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session our text was the poem A Braid of Unknowing I Tie Before You by Bob Hicok, posted below. 

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

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 Friday February 4th at 12pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


A BRAID OF UNKNOWING I TIE BEFORE YOU
by Bob Hicok

Eight minutes, almost nine. I’ve been seeing a star
to the east in the morning. It’ll be hard
not to give four or five students Ds this semester.
Are optimists fools? For eight minutes, almost nine,
one man knelt on another man’s neck. A star or planet,
I don’t know. Many have stopped turning in poems
or coming to class, more than ever in my twenty years
of teaching, during this third semester of COVID.
Obviously there are more problems than solutions,
more shit than Shinola. A white cop kneeling
on a black man’s neck. I’ve been meaning to ask the internet
what the light is so I can refer to it in the first person,
Dear Vega, Dear Saturn, when I’m grateful for company
from so far away. They expected to be going to parties
and football games, to be drinking and dropping acid,
to be rubbing against space and time, but the friction
of bodies and growing older, into adults,
has been replaced by fear of breathing
in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To think we can change or get better at changing
our oil or not clear-cutting forests or listening
to opinions we don’t hold or sharing our wealth
is insane in an evidence-based system of analysis,
if you look at the data, if I remember back
to five minutes ago when I scanned the headlines
and Chicken Little was right: the sky is falling.
How is it not murder, clearly and simply murder
to kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes, almost nine,
and what happens, what rot overtakes our hearts
when we can’t admit this, can’t white admit to black,
old to young, sane to the crazy world in which one man
tries to justify kneeling on another man’s neck
after subdued, after compliant, after hearing him
call for mama and say sixteen times that he can’t breathe,
that this is wrong, so obviously and clearly immoral
that we’ll step from this cruelty in unison
and cast it in steel and touch it every day
for the rest of our lives to remind ourselves
of what we’ll never do again. Dear Vega, Dear Saturn,
tell me something I don’t know about the universe,
that as it grows we grow, that as light leaves us
more arrives, that entropy is actually patience
in disguise, that love is the only way to explain
why atoms cling to each other and something more than the zero
exists. Is it kind to set aside their failures,
what they haven’t done or said, the stones they’ve channeled
with their silences in class, and how do we ask something
of each other, or give, in ways that lift and teach,
how can we lay this period of time on a blanket
and wrap it, roll it in softness and concern
and make our way to the other side? Optimism
is the source of karaoke, light bulbs, mosh pits, kissing
and fucking and birth and thinking a man’s pointless death
can have a point, can be a fulcrum or lever or both.
How do you a lift a world already afloat in space
or convince people that we’re surfers and gliders
called to be animals of grace, that we cling to speed
and grand motions and need each other to hang on?
I am lost in every way except my certainty
that the only true mirror is each and every other face.
Eight minutes, almost nine. It’ll be hard not to sit
in an actual room with their actual eagerness
to overcome gravity and time. Optimists are oceans
and skies at heart. A star or planet touching me with light
I want to deserve.

Ζωντανή συνεδρία αφηγηματικής ιατρικής: Κυριακή 30 Ιανουαρίου, 7:10 μ.μ. EET

Σας ευχαριστούμε που συμμετείχατε σε αυτήν τη συνεδρία.

Ζωγραφική: Παναγιώτης Τέτσης, Λαϊκή Αγορά (1979-1982). 

Θέμα: Γράψτε για ένα τόπο εργασίας / συνάντησης. 

Σύντομα θα μοιραστούμε περισσότερες πληροφορίες σχετικά με αυτήν τη συνεδρία, γι ‘αυτό επιστρέψτε ξανά.

Σας προσκαλούμε να μοιραστείτε τα γραπτά σας μαζί μας παρακάτω.

Καλούμε όλες και όλους που συμμετείχατε να μοιραστείτε όσα γράψατε κατά τη διάρκεια της συνεδρίας μας παρακάτω (“Leave a reply”) και να κρατήσουμε αυτή την τόσο ενδιαφέρουσα συζήτησή μας ζωντανή, υπενθυμίζοντάς σας, βεβαίως, ότι αυτή είναι μια δημόσια πλατφόρμα και η πρόσβαση ανοιχτή στο κοινό.

Θα θέλαμε να μάθουμε περισσότερα  για την εμπειρία σας με αυτές τις συνεδρίες. Αν το επιθυμείτε, παρακαλούμε αφιερώστε λίγο χρόνο σε μια σύντομη έρευνα δύο ερωτήσεων!

Ακολουθήστε τον σύνδεσμο: https://tinyurl.com/nmedg-survey


Παναγιώτης Τέτσης
Λαϊκή αγορά (1979-1982)
Λάδι σε μουσαμά, 249 x 1215 εκ.

Νέα Εθνική Πινακοθήκη

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 28th 2022

This session we celebrated our 200th Virtual Group Session held in English since we first launched the sessions to connect and grow community virtually during difficult and isolated times. We are so amazed and honored at the community that has grown around these sessions, the new faces we continually get to meet, and the dedication and generosity of our facilitators in donating their time to keep these sessions active and open for all of us as we continue into 2022! Thank you to everyone who attended today, and to everyone joining us at any point to share in this virtual space!

For this session we sat with an untitled photograph by AJ Cincotta-Eichenfield, posted below. 

The prompt for this session was: “Write about taking a chance.

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

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 January 31st at 6pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Untitled by AJ Cincotta-Eichenfield

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 26th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our this session!

For this session we watched a clip from the film Songs My Brothers Taught Me by Chloe Zhao (available on Amazon Prime, time-stamp 1:27:54 – 1:30:30).

The prompt for this session was: “Where we live, things usually look…

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

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 Friday January 28th at 12pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


This is the trailer for the film, not the clip viewed in the session. The film is available on Amazon Prime, and the clip is time-stamp 1:27:54 – 1:30:30).

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 24th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our this session!

For this session we close-read the poem The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens, posted below.

The prompt for this session was: “In the wind…

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

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 January 26th at 12pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 21st 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our this session!

For this session we close-read the poem January by Nancy Schoenberger, posted below.

The prompt for this session was: Write about what was or what will be.

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

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 January 24th at 6pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


January by Nancy Schoenberger

Two-faced god, looking fore and aft:
Do you really belong to past 
glories, boredoms, indignities?
Impossible to look forward to one's own death
so dwell on complaints, pleasures, disappointments.
Small things really: the taste of an apple  
from an orchard abandoned
thirty years earlier, when there were apples, 
there were trees, the disheveled orchard thrumming with yellow jackets.
 
But the January snow
has piled up, and even now 
the boggy  cottonwoods 
litter the hardened yard 
with detritus,
or rich harvest,
depending on your point of view, 
or diet.

You weep, Janus! Or is that laughter,
 though you have no daughters
in this, this baleful start 
to a new beginning,
a new life? You seem to be guarding 
something, brothers. One at each door.     
Is it the little secret of the new year:
 
that everything waiting for us up ahead       
will be exactly as it was before?

Live Virtual Group Session: 5PM EST January 18th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our this session!

For this session we close-read the graphic medicine piece Solidarity by Luis Manriquez and Simon Gentry, excerpted from COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology edited by Kendra Boileau and Rich Johnson. Piece posted below.

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 Friday January 21st at 12pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


excerpted from COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology edited by Kendra Boileau and Rich Johnson
excerpted from COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology edited by Kendra Boileau and Rich Johnson

Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 15 de Enero, 13:00 EST

Nos acompañaran nueve participantes desde Nueva York, España, Argentina, varios otros lugares.

El texto que escogimos para hoy fue “Entre Irse y Quedarse” por Octavio Paz. El poema se leyó dos veces y después tuvimos un rico debate con diferentes interpretaciones del mensaje del poema.

Se notó que el poeta habla de dos tipos de tiempo—todo lo que es objetivo (la duración del día) y lo que es subjetivo (latir del tiempo que en mi sien repite la misma terca sílaba de sangre). También hablamos sobre la “pausa” en que hemos vivido desde que empezó la pandemia. Hay una sensación de querer regresar al pasado; creemos que ese pasado nos espera. Pero el problema es que no podemos volver a ese pasado. Hay que vivir en el presente. Si nos modificamos por lo que hay una continuación de la vida. El poema nos muestra que hay que seguir el ritmo de la vida.

La propuesta de escritura fue “Escribe sobre un tiempo de incertidumbre”. Las respuestas fueron variadas y en la sombra del texto. Alguien escribió sobre la certeza que somos inciertos. Otro texto personal sobre la muerte; un cuento universal porque todos vivimos con la mayor certeza que eventualmente nos vamos a morir, pero aun hay tanta incertidumbre en la enfermedad. Otro texto tenía que ver con el cambio del cuerpo, con la aceptación del las nuevas limitaciones.

Aquí, ahora alentamos a los participantes que si así lo desean, compartan lo que escribieron a continuación. Deja tu respuesta aquí, si deseas continuar la conversación sobre el poema de Octavio Paz. Pero antes, les recomendamos tener en cuenta que el blog es un espacio público donde, por supuesto, no se garantiza la confidencialidad.

Por favor, únase a nosotros en nuestra próxima sesión en español: El sábado 5 de febrero a las 13 hrs. o a la 1 pm EST (hora de Nueva York). También, ofrecemos sesiones en inglés. Ve a  nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales en vivo.

¡Esperamos verte pronto!



Entre irse y quedarse por Octavio Paz


Entre irse y quedarse duda el día,
enamorado de su transparencia.

La tarde circular es ya bahía:
en su quieto vaivén se mece el mundo.

Todo es visible y todo es elusivo,
todo está cerca y todo es intocable.

Los papeles, el libro, el vaso, el lápiz
reposan a la sombra de sus nombres.

Latir del tiempo que en mi sien repite
la misma terca sílaba de sangre.

La luz hace del muro indiferente
un espectral teatro de reflejos.

En el centro de un ojo me descubro;
no me mira, me miro en su mirada.

Se disipa el instante. Sin moverme,
yo me quedo y me voy: soy una pausa.


Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 14th 2022

Happy Thank you to everyone who joined us for our this session!

For this session we close-read the poem Constantly Risking Absurdity (#15) by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: Write about a highwire of your own making. 

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 Tuesday January 18th at 5pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Constantly Risking Absurdity (#15) by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Constantly risking absurdity
                                             and death
            whenever he performs
                                        above the heads
                                                            of his audience
   the poet like an acrobat
                                 climbs on rime
                                          to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
                                     above a sea of faces
             paces his way
                               to the other side of day
    performing entrechats
                               and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
                               and all without mistaking
                     any thing
                               for what it may not be

       For he's the super realist
                                     who must perforce perceive
                   taut truth
                                 before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
                                  toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
                                     with gravity
                                                to start her death-defying leap

      And he
             a little charleychaplin man
                                           who may or may not catch
               her fair eternal form
                                     spreadeagled in the empty air
                  of existence

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 10th 2022

Happy New Year, and thank you to everyone who rejoined us for our first session of 2022!

For this session we close-read the poem New Day’s Lyric by Amanda Gorman, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: Write about mending. 

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 Friday January 14th at 12pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

New Day's Lyric by Amanda Gorman

May this be the day
We come together.
Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,
Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.
Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.
We steadily vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.

This hope is our door, our portal.
Even if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.
So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.

What was cursed, we will cure.
What was plagued, we will prove pure.
Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.

Come, look up with kindness yet,
For even solace can be sourced from sorrow.
We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,
But to take on tomorrow.

We heed this old spirit,
In a new day’s lyric,
In our hearts, we hear it:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
Be bold, sang Time this year,
Be bold, sang Time,
For when you honor yesterday,
Tomorrow ye will find.
Know what we’ve fought
Need not be forgot nor for none.
It defines us, binds us as one,
Come over, join this day just begun.
For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome.