Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 17 de ABRIL, 13:00 EST (17:00 UTC)

Nuestros textos fueron En un paréntesis por A Ángela P. Méndez.

La propuesta de escritura fue “Escribe acerca de un paréntesis.” 

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, 8 de mayo a las 13:00 EDT (17:00 UTC) (inscríbete aqui), con más veces listadas en inglés en nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales en vivo.

¡Esperamos verte pronto!


Nuestros textos fueron En un paréntesis (A Ángela P. Méndez)

En una eternidad
de 27 metros cuadrados
transita nuestro amor por el espacio.

Se esboza con aliento en las ventanas 
un silencio de muerte, una aséptica 
melodía del tacto y de las pieles.
Y aunque hace frío
guardamos la esperanza en la nevera.

El tiempo pasa cada quince días.
El eco se retuerce en los balcones.
La noche llega muda —no se la oye—
sigilosa ensombrece nuestros ojos
con una herida exangüe,
con una fúnebre aritmética 
		del fracaso.

El cuerpo es una cifra
(afuera —asómate— no hay ni un alma), 
el alma solo existe
en una absurda sucesión
		de decimales.

Orbita nuestro amor en un paréntesis (…)
Alguien ha escrito el signo de esta historia 
con puntos suspensivos.

Narrative Medicine Book Club: Passing, Week 1

Derek: Irene seems sure of herself, but what does “through with” mean, really? So many chapters to go, and already we feel a burden of knowledge and experience that Irene carries, one that she seems unwilling to share with her father. 


Carmen: So far the vacillating curiosity and disdain that Irene has for Clare doesn’t have me convinced that she’s “through with” Clare Kendry, so I do too wonder what she means. I’m anxious to understand the curiosity that Irene has about Clare. Through Larson we learn Irene’s inner thoughts “It was as if the woman sitting on the other side of the table, a girl that she had known, who had done this rather dangerous and, to Irene Redfield, abhorrent thing successfully and had announced herself as well satisfied, had for her a fascination, strange and compelling.” I’m not sure Irene is ready to let go. For me, more breathless tension.


We look forward to seeing you all on Zoom this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. EDT. We will be discussing a close reading of Part 1, Chapters 1 and 2. 

For Week 2, April 18-24th, we’ll be reading Part 1 Chapters 3 and 4!

If you don’t already have your copy, books can be purchased from the publisher, direct from your local indie bookstore, or through indiebound.org or bookshop.org. If you want to join in the book club discussion, you can respond here or on social media using #NMBookClub.


Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT April 14th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Today’s narrative journey started with an excerpt from the NY Times “Opinion” essay You Can Hear the Whistle Blow a Hundred Miles by Margaret Renkl, posted below. “Tell me something about this person” opened up our discussion of the female narrator who seemed to be on a train at night, and possibly in a state of uncertainty. On the surface, “I know you think I’m making this up” and “misremembering” made us consider the narrator’s reliability, and reflect on why/if that was problematic as reader/listeners. We returned to the text and recognized what was there (a book, a light, darkness, a harmonica) as well as what wasn’t there (people gazing at phones, iPads, or laptops). This created for us a sense of nostalgic sight-and-soundtracks that evoked camp songs, train songs, and a respect for the narrator’s imagination. We avoided the temptation to “diagnose” the narrator, although “My eyes suddenly too blurred to read” made us wonder if it was a moment of fatigue, sadness, crying, longing or a combination.

Our prompt for this session was: “Describe an aching kind of sound.”

One reflection was a brief-yet-detailed cinematic journey that started with a door creaking on hinges “as old as our relationship” and then shutting, as a figure lay in the bed under the sheets. We also heard a story that started with the excitement of impending birth and moved us through the fear and anxiety of labor as we heard the long, low, unearthly moan that signifies motherhood. Another reflection explored the aching sound of a childhood memory, being in bed and hearing a distant train whistle — silence that is heavy, broken by sadness and longing; but also feeling like a warm blanket, a time now lost bringing both ache and comfort. Another writer shared a moment while “chopping veggies” that quickly felt like being “cut to pieces” by the blaring sound of a song once “ours” no longer being shared. And one reflection brought us back to our present experience in “lockdown” when a plaintive melody once familiar, is now changed forever to a sound of grief for our losses.

A closing comment in the chat apropos to Narrative Medicine pointed out that each of us is like an individual instrument adding our voice or clear notes to the music, responding to the aching sounds/voices that we hear through our Narrative Work.

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 April 19th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


When they turned off the cabin lights and my seatmate closed her eyes to sleep, I tucked my book under my arm and made my way to the club car. There the overhead lights were off, too, but a single light shone above the table at each booth. A few people were reading. One was playing a hand of solitaire. I don’t remember if nobody was talking, or if the sound of the train moving down the tracks simply masked their quiet voices. “If you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone.”

As I made my way to an open booth, darkness gathered outside the windows and in the corners of the car. Darkness swept across the floor and curled around the ceiling, and that’s when an old man at the far end of the car started to play a slow, sad song on the harmonica. It was the kind of music that fills a silence with longing and gives a voice to loneliness, and without needing any words at all. The aching kind of sound you would swear you could hear a hundred miles.

I know you think I’m making this up, or only misremembering myself as the tragic heroine of a movie where Willie Nelson plays a cameo role. But this part of the story I remember perfectly. Those thin, plaintive notes reached through the shadows and found me as I sat down alone, my eyes suddenly too blurred to read.

Margaret Renkl, You Can Hear the Whistle Blow a Hundred Miles, NYT April 2021


Ζωντανή συνεδρία αφηγηματικής ιατρικής: Τρίτη, 13 Απριλίου, 8:30 pm EEST

Σας ευχαριστούμε που συμμετείχατε σε αυτήν τη συνεδρία.

Κείμενο: Μαλβίνα Κάραλη, «Ιντερμέδιο (και μισό πλάνο)», Έρωτας και άλλες πολεμικές τέχνες (1996)

Θέμα: «Γράψτε για ένα πλάνο που θα θέλατε να απαθανατίσετε»

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


Ιντερμέδιο (και μισό πλάνο)

            Δύο βήματα από το σπίτι μου, στέκομαι στο τεϊοποτείο να πιω ένα παγωμένο σου σονγκ σερβιρισμένο σε βικτοριανό φλιτζάνι. Τι ωραίο ζευγάρι είναι αυτό στη βιτρίνα, δηλαδή στο γωνιακό τραπέζι, δίπλα στη τζαμαρία. Αυτή σαν τη Σίμπεργκ στο πιο μεσογειακό, εκείνος αντιπροσωπευτικός άντρας παλιάς σχολής—και οι δυο τους κουκλάκια. Κοιτάζονταν στα μάτια και φορούσαν όμορφα ρούχα, και στα πόδια τους ήταν ξαπλωμένος ένας υπέροχος Αλσατός σκύλος με μάτια καταγάλανα. Στέκομαι και τους κοιτάζω (και δεν εννοώ πως τους παρατηρώ ) και τότε—καταστροφή, ο σκύλος σηκώνεται, απομακρύνεται, βγαίνει από το πλάνο μου.

            «Ξαναμπές, σκύλε, στο πλάνο», παρακαλάω. Τίποτα αυτός. «Ξαναμπές, βρε μπάσταρδε», σημασία το καθαρόαιμο. Η εικόνα μου πάει, διαλύθηκε, αλλά αυτό το μισοάδειο κάδρο δεν ήταν πολύ χειρότερο από το άλλο: Μια φορά είχα δει ένα καθαρόαιμο σκυλί να συνοδεύει τον πιο ουδέτερο και απροσδιόριστης ράτσας άνθρωπο. Ύστερα παρατήρησα τον κανόνα.


Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT April 12th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text was an excerpt from “Meditations for a Savage Child” by Adrienne Rich from her collection Diving into the Wreck, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about no longer knowing.”

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 April 14th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


II.  
from “Meditations for a Savage Child”

I keep thinking about the lesson of the human ear
which stands for music, which stands for balance-
or the cat’s ear which I can study better
the whorls and ridges exposed 
It seems a hint dropped about the inside of a skull
which I cannot see
lobe, zone, that part of the brain
which is pure survival

The most primitive part
I go back into at night
pushing the leathern curtain
with naked fingers
then 
with naked body 

There every wound is registered
as scar tissue

A cave of scars!
ancient, archaic wallpaper
built up, layer on layer
from the earliest, dream-white
to yesterday’s a red-black scrawl
a red mouth slowly closing

Go back so far there is another language
go back far enough the language
is no longer personal

these scars bear witness
but whether to repair
or to destruction
I no longer know

from Diving Into the Wreck (1971-1972)
By Adrienne Rich


Laboratori Di Medicina Narrativa: sabato 10 Aprile dalle 16 alle 17.30

Siamo stati molto lieti di avervi qui con noi!

Abbiamo letto insieme la poesia “Dopo Marx, Aprile” di Giuseppe Conte (allegato al termine di questa pagina)  

In seguito, abbiamo usato il prompt “Scrivi sulla rinascita delle cose”.

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!



Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT April 9th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text was a page from the manga graphic novel Dementia 21 by Shintaro Kago, posted below.

Our prompt for this session, again, was: “Write about the number one job.”

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


Dementia 21 by Shintaro Kago


Narrative Medicine Book Club: Passing by Nella Larsen, Welcome and Our Reading Schedule

Welcome to the first week of Narrative Medicine Book Club and our reading of Passing by Nella Larsen. We’re excited to begin reading with you! This week, we are starting off by announcing our anticipated reading schedule, and will officially commence next week.

We’ll be reading at a pace of two chapters a week, as follows:

  • Week 1 – April 11-17: Part 1 Chapters 1&2
  • Zoom Discussion: April 17th at 11AM EDT: Register Here!
  • Week 2 – April 18-24: Part 1 Chapters 3&4
  • Week 3 – April 25-May 1: Part 2 Chapters 1&2
  • Week 4 – May 2-9: Part 2 Chapters, 3&4
  • Week 5 – May 10-15: Finale
  • Zoom Discussion: May 15th at 11AM EDT: Register Here!

To get us kicked off into our reading next week, here are our preliminary thoughts on the first pages:

Derek: “The rooftop encounter between Irene and Clare — chance or fate? I felt tension in the knowing and the unknowing.”

Carmen: “For me, the tension was present from the opening sentence and didn’t let up. It seemed every moment in the present and those recounted from the past were capable of leaving me breathless.”

We look forward to diving into Part 1 Chapters 1 and 2 with you next week!

If you don’t already have your copy, books can be purchased from the publisher, direct from your local indie bookstore, or through indiebound.org or bookshop.org.

We hope that you are able to join us, and we look forward to reading along with you!


Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST April 5th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session! In honor of just having passed our one-year anniversary of launching our virtual group sessions, we are revisiting a text that was unfortunately interrupted one year ago.

That text is “The Mailman” by Nazim Hikmet, posted below.

Our prompt for this session, again, was: “Write a letter you’d like to deliver.”

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 April 9th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


The Mailman, Nazim Hikmet  from Hungarian travel notes
Author(s): NAZIM HIKMET, Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk
Source: The American Poetry Review, Vol. 23, No. 2 (MARCH/APRIL 1994), pp. 38-39
Published by: Old City Publishing, Inc.
 
Whether at dawn or in the middle of the night,
I've carried people news
– of other people, the world, and my country,
               of trees, the birds and the beasts –
                               in the bag of my heart.
I've been a poet,
                which is a kind of mailman.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman,
not via poetry or anything
but literally – a real mail carrier.
In geography books and Jules Verne's novels
my colored pencils drew a thousand different pictures
                 of the same mailman– Nazim.
Here, I'm driving a dogsled
                                                            over ice,
canned goods and mail packets
                                                           glint in the Arctic twilight:
I'm crossing the Bering Strait.
Or here, under the shadow of heavy clouds on the steppe,
I'm handing out mail to soldiers and drinking kefir.
Or here, on the humming asphalt of a big city,
I bring only good news
                                                                 and hope.
Or I'm in the desert, under the stars,
a little girl lies burning up with fever,
and there's a knock on the door at midnight:
"Mailman!"
The little girl opens her big blue eyes:
her father will come home from prison tomorrow.
I was the one who found that house in the snowstorm
and gave the neighbor girl the telegram.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman.
But it's a difficult art in my Turkey.
In that beautiful country
                a mailman bears all manner of pain in telegrams
                                and line on line of grief in letters.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman.
I got my wish in Hungary at fifty.
Spring is in my bag, letters full of the Danube's shimmer,
                                                                  the twitter of birds,
and the smell of fresh grass –
letters from the children of Budapest
                                to children in Moscow.
Heaven is in my bag . . .
One envelope
writes:
"Memet, Nazim Hikmet's son,
                                 Turkey."
Back in Moscow I'll deliver the letters
to their addresses one by one.
Only Memet's letter I can't deliver
or even send.
Nazim's son,
highwaymen block the roads –
                                 your letter can't get through.

Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT March 31st 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem Perennials by Maggie Smith, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write about something you praise.

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 April 5th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Perennials by Maggie Smith

Let us praise the ghost gardens
of Gary, Detroit, Toledo—abandoned

lots where perennials wake
in competent dirt and frame the absence

of a house. You can hear
the sound of wind, which isn’t

wind at all, but leaves touching.
Wind itself can’t speak. It needs another

to chime against, knock around.
Again and again the wind finds its tongue,

but its tongue lives outside
of its rusted mouth. Forget the wind.

Let us instead praise meadow and ruin,
weeds and wildflowers seeding

years later. Let us praise the girl
who lives in what they call

a transitional neighborhood—
another way of saying not dead?

Or risen from it? Before running
full speed through the sprinkler’s arc,

she tells her mother, who kneels
in the garden: Pretend I’m racing

someone else. Pretend I’m winning.



Copyright © 2018 Maggie Smith. 
This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.