Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 28 de enero, 13:00 EST

El texto que escogimos para hoy fue “El Hombre es lo que importa, de Leon Felipe (fragmento).”

La propuesta de escritura fue “El Hombre es…”

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. 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 18 febrero a las 13 hrs. o a la 1 pm EST. También, ofrecemos sesiones en inglés. Ve a nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales


"El Hombre es lo que importa, de Leon Felipe (fragmento)."

El Hombre es lo que importa.E
l Hombre ahí,
desnudo bajo la noche y frente al misterio,
con su tragedia a cuestas,
con su verdadera tragedia,
con su única tragedia...
la que surge, la que se alza cuando preguntamos,
cuando gritamos en el viento:
¿ Quién soy yo?
Y el viento no responde... Y no responde nadie.
¿Quién es el Hombre?…


Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 27th 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read an excerpt from the essay “Damage” by Wendell Berry, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about what is enough.

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 30th at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


"Damage" by Wendell Berry

III 

It used to be that I could think of art as a refuge from such troubles. From the imperfections of life, one could take refuge in the perfections of art. One could read a good poem – or better, write one. 

Art was what was truly permanent, therefore what truly mattered. The rest was "but a spume that plays / Upon a ghostly paradigm of things." 

I am no longer able to think that way. That is because I now live in my subject. My subject is my place in the world, and I live in my place. 

There is a sense in which I no longer "go to work." If I live in my place, which is my subject, then I am "at” my work even when I am not working. It is "my" work because I cannot escape it. 

If I live in my subject, then writing about it cannot "free" me of it or "get it out of my system." When I am finished writing, I can only return to what I have been writing about. 

While I have been writing about it, time will have changed it. Over longer stretches of time, I will change it. Ultimately, it will be changed by what I write, inasmuch as I, who change my subject, am changed by what I write about it. 

If I have damaged my subject, then I have damaged my art. What aspired to be whole has met damage face to face, and has come away wounded. And so it loses interest both in the anesthetic and in the purely esthetic. 
 
It accepts the clarification of pain, and concerns itself with healing. It cultivates the scar that is the course of time and nature over damage: the landmark and mindmark that is the notation of a limit. 

To lose the scar of knowledge is to renew the wound. 

An art that heals and protects its subject is a geography of scars. 

IV 

"you never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough." 

I used to think of Blake's sentence as a justification of youthful excess. By now I know that it describes the peculiar condemnation of our species. When the road of excess has reached the palace of wisdom it is a healed wound, a long scar. 

Culture preserves the map and the records of past journeys so that no generation will permanently destroy the route.  

The more local and settled the culture, the better it stays put, the less the damage. It is the foreigner whose road of excess leads to a desert. 

Blake gives the just proportion or control in another proverb: "No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings." Only when our acts are empowered with more than bodily strength do we need to think of limits. 

It was no thought or word that called culture into being, but a tool or a weapon. After the stone axe we needed song and story to remember innocence, to record effect – and so to describe the limits, to say what can be done without damage. 

The use only of our bodies for work or love or pleasure, or even for combat, sets us free again in the wilderness, and we exult. 

But a man with a machine and inadequate culture – such as I was when I made my pond – is a pestilence. He shakes more than he can hold.

Credit: Wendell Berry, Damage, 4 Hastings West Northwest J. of Envtl. L. & Pol'y 71 (1997) 

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 23rd 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem “Lines for Winter ” by Mark Strand, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about the tune your bones play.

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 27th at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


"Lines for Winter " by Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

Copyright © 1979 by Mark Strand. 

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 20th 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read an excerpt from the essay “Damage” by Wendell Berry, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about a time you tried to repair something.

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 23rd at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


"Damage" by Wendell Berry

I

I have a steep wooded hillside that I wanted to be able to pasture occasionally, but it had no permanent water supply. 

About halfway to the top of the slope there is a narrow bench, on which I thought I could make a small pond. I hired a man with a bulldozer to dig one. He cleared away the trees and then formed the pond, cutting into the hill on the upper side, piling the loosened dirt in a curving earthwork on the lower. 

The pond appeared to be a success. Before the bulldozer quit work, water had already begun to seep in. Soon there was enough to support a few head of stock. To heal the exposed ground, I fertilized it and sowed it with grass and clover. 

We had an extremely wet fall and winter, with the usual freezing and thawing. The ground grew heavy with water, and soft. The earthwork slumped; a large slice of the woods floor on the upper side slipped down into the pond.

The trouble was the familiar one: too much power, too little knowledge. The fault was mine. 

I was careful to get expert advice. But this only exemplifies what I already knew. No expert knows everything about every place, not even everything about any place. If one's knowledge of one's whereabouts is insufficient, if one's judgment is unsound, then expert advice is of little use. 

II 

In general, I have used my farm carefully. It could be said, I think, that I have improved it more than I have damaged it.

My aim has been to go against its history and to repair the damage of other people. But now a part of its damage is my own. 

The pond was a modest piece of work, and so the damage is not extensive. In the course of time and nature it will heal. 

And yet there is damage to my place, and to me. I have carried out, before my own eyes and against my intention, a part of the modern tragedy: I have made a lasting flaw in the face of the earth, for no lasting good. 

Until that wound in the hillside, my place, is healed, there will be something impaired in my mind. My peace is damaged. I will not be able to forget it. 


Credit: Wendell Berry, Damage, 4 Hastings West Northwest J. of Envtl. L. & Pol'y 71 (1997)


 

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 13th 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at a performance titled Celui qui tombe” by Yoann Bourgeois, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about falling down OR  Write about a time you took a stand.

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 20th at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


Celui qui tombe” by Yoann Bourgeois


Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 9th 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at the painting The Family, 1988″ by  Paula Rego, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about a moment of power or powerlessness.

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 13th at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


The Family, 1988″ by  Paula Rego

© by MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd


Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 7 de enero, 13:00 EST

El texto que escogimos para hoy fue “Adoración de Los Magos,” de El Bosco.

La propuesta de escritura fue Escribe sobre un regalo.

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. 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 28 enero a las 13 hrs. o a la 1 pm EST. También, ofrecemos sesiones en inglés. Ve a nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales .


“Adoración de Los Magos,” de El Bosco

Copyright © 2022. Museo Nacional del Prado


Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 17 de diciembre, 13:00 EST

Sesión de medicina narrativa 17 de diciembre, 2022. Nos reunimos 6 participantes, desde Argentina, España, Chile, Nueva York, y California.

Comentamos sobre un extracto de la novela “Del Amor y Otro Demonios, escrito por Gabriel García Márquez

Inmediatamente alguien comentó que el último párrafo es hermoso, que llama la atención por lo que tiene que ver con la naturaleza. Uno no puede hacer a los pájaros cantar—hay que tener paciencia y darle prioridad a los ejemplos que da el doctor. Hoy en día, uno vive de meta en meta en vez de vivir en el momento. Es importante estar activamente en el momento. Es el tiempo el que está presente en el cuento. Otro participante notó que, si uno está pasando bien, el tiempo pasa ligero, pero si uno está pasando mal, el tiempo se demora demasiado.

El marqués y los demás tienen una gran responsabilidad, deben hacer feliz a la paciente y para hacer esto, los que la cuidan tienen que conocerla muy bien.

Una participante notóo que la enferma no está; hablan de ella, pero no se habla con ella. Son los otros los que son responsables por hacerla feliz. La indicación se hace al entorno y no al paciente. Esto hizo recordar a otra participante en la diferencia de autonomía de muchos pacientes los cuales están decidiendo sus fines de vida en los estados y países que lo permiten.

Al leer el fragmento varias veces nos quedamos pensando si “y mientras tanto” tiene que ver con la paciente o con los que la cuidan. La ambigüedad del lenguaje deja mucha interpretación.

Antes de escribir, alguien comentó que, “la imaginación es la mitad de la enfermedad”.

La propuesta de escritura fue: escribe sobre un tiempo o momento de espera, sobre un “mientras tanto”. Pudimos compartir varios escritos. Un participante escribió sobre estar en un no lugar. Otro participante leyó una lista de ejemplos de mientras tantos en la vida. Otro participante se despidió de una etapa difícil en su vida. Y otra participante compartió un principio y final.

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. 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 7 enero a las 13 hrs. o a la 1 pm EST. También, ofrecemos sesiones en inglés. Ve a nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales

DEL AMOR Y OTRO DEMONIOS por Gabriel García Márquez

«No podía esperarse menos grandeza de su parte, señor», le dijo. «y no dudo de que su alma tendrá el temple para soportarlo».Insistió una vez más en que el pronóstico no era alarmante. La herida estaba lejos del área de mayor riesgo y nadie recordaba que hubiera sangrado. Lo más probable era que Sierva María no contrajera la rabia.«¿y mientras tanto?», preguntó el marqués.«Mientras tanto», dijo Abrenuncio, «tóquenle música, llenen la casa de flores, hagan cantar los pájaros, llévenla a ver los atardeceres en el mar, denle todo lo que pueda hacerla feliz». Se despidió con un voleo del sombrero en el aire y la sentencia latina de rigor. Pero esta vez la tradujo en honor del marqués: «No hay medicina que cure lo que no cura la felicidad». p. 24


Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST December 16th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade” by Brad Aaron Modlin from Everyone at This Party Has Two Names, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about what you had to learn on your own.

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 9th at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


"What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade" by Brad Aaron Modlin

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,

how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark

After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s

voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—

something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted

Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,

and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.

The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.

And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,

and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person

add up to something.

credit: Everyone at This Party Has Two Names by Brad Aaron Modlin. Copyright © 2016 

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST December 12th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem “Happiness” by Jane Kenyon, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about happiness.

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 December 16th at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.

"Happiness" by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.