Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST January 30th 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Brave World” by Tony Hoagland, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Take us to an unknown shore.

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 3rd at 12pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


"Brave World" by Tony Hoagland

But what about the courage
of the cancer cell
that breaks out from the crowd
it has belonged to all its life

like a housewife erupting
from her line at the grocery store
because she just can’t stand
the sameness anymore?

What about the virus that arrives
in town like a traveler
from somewhere faraway
with suitcases in hand,

who only wants a place
to stay, a chance to get ahead
in the land of opportunity,
but who smells bad,

talks funny, and reproduces fast?
What about the microbe that
hurls its tiny boat straight
into the rushing metabolic tide,

no less cunning and intrepid
than Odysseus; that gambles all
to found a city
on an unknown shore?

What about their bill of rights,
their access to a full-scale,
first-class destiny?
their chance to realize

maximum potential?-which, sure,
will come at the expense
of someone else, someone
who, from a certain point of view,

is a secondary character,
whose weeping is almost
too far off to hear,

a noise among the noises
coming from the shadows
of any brave new world.

Credit: Tony Hoagland

Ζωντανή συνεδρία αφηγηματικής ιατρικής: Κυριακή 29 Ιανουαρίου, 7:30 μ.μ. EET

Σας ευχαριστούμε που συμμετείχατε σε αυτήν τη συνεδρία.

ποίημα: Αργύρης Χιόνης, “Χέρια” (από τη συλλογή Λεκτικά Τοπία, 1983).

θέμα: Γράψτε για κάτι που έμεινε στη μέση.

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


Αργύρης Χιόνης, «Χέρια» (από τη συλλογή Λεκτικά Τοπία, 1983)

Οι άνθρωποι το πιο συχνά
δεν ξέρουν τι να κάνουνε τα χέρια τους
Τα δίνουν – τάχα χαιρετώντας – σ’ άλλους
Τ’ αφήνουνε να κρέμονται σαν αποφύσεις άνευρες
Ή – το χειρότερο – τα ρίχνουνε στις τσέπες τους
και τα ξεχνούνε
Στο μεταξύ ένα σωρό κορμιά μένουν αχάιδευτα
Ένα σωρό ποιήματα άγραφα.


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)


 

Ζωντανή συνεδρία αφηγηματικής ιατρικής: Κυριακή 15 Ιανουαρίου, 7:30 μ.μ. EET

Σας ευχαριστούμε που συμμετείχατε σε αυτήν τη συνεδρία.

Ζωγραφική: Μαρία Φιλοπούλου, “Κολυμβητές κάτω από το νερό” (2016)

Θέμα: “Γράψτε γι’ αυτό που βρίσκεται κάτω από την επιφάνεια”

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


Μαρία Φιλοπούλου
«Κολυμβητές κάτω από το νερό» (2016)

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


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.