By Priscilla Long "Your beauty stuns, but / it's static, photographic." So begins my poem "Sister Ghost," addressed to my late sister Susanne. What does art—in this case elegy—do for the grieving person, the survivor? A few lines down, the poem continues: "Your death—your gift / of stones to us. No blame. / Suicides are deranged / with despair…." The elegy keeps the memory of Susanne in the world. She's more than a statistic, more than a newspaper story. She has not vanished without a trace. My Susanne poems and other writings make plain how she died, lost in the woods, a probable suicide (no shameful secret). She who was artistic and creative and funny and beautiful is dead, but the poems hold her memory, who she was, what her story was, her loves, her life, her mental illness, and how she died. "It's the artists that do society's dreaming," said the Swiss artist Méret Oppenheim. But it's everyone who does society's grieving: for grief comes as close … [Read more...] about Grief and Art: A Survivor’s Act of Love
Once you are in the hum of a relationship and things are going smoothly, it can be easy to lose track of spending quality time together. The end result? Someone in the relationship can start feeling neglected. In a previous blog post, I wrote about how to stay connected. This post will cover what you can do to take charge if you're the one feeling neglected. Source: By Stefan Thiesen CC BY 3.0 Feeling neglected in a relationship can happen for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it is because there has been a major step forward in the relationship and with it comes a corresponding shift in focus. Perhaps you and your partner bought a new house and your partner is more focused on taking care of the new nest. Or maybe you’ve just had a child and it’s all about raising the kids. This happens in African penguins too. There is a lot of courtship involved early on. They bow, preen, and call to each other constantly. All of this helps the … [Read more...] about Are You Feeling Neglected in Your Relationship?
Source: Jenny Mealing, CC 2.0 In some of my recent posts, I've been embedding psychological and ethical issues within a short-short story. Today's offering addresses the tension among family, religion, biology, and principle. Priscilla and her husband Zachary, an anesthesiologist, were members of Phyllis Schafly's Eagle Forum, which describes itself as "leading the pro-family movement." They were so happy when, after much praying, Priscilla finally got pregnant and had her first child. John was the perfect child. Not only did he sleep through the night early and get toilet trained just a few days after Priscilla started the process, he was sweet. He loved getting and giving affection. He was patient, sharing crayons with the other children in the church's preschool. Then one day, when Priscilla was picking John up from kindergarten, one of the other parents said, with just a hint of derision, "You know, John is exceptionally sweet." Priscilla's heart leaped. She … [Read more...] about Conversion