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Emails to my Therapist:
On God, Sex, Death, Love, Life Changes, Fears, Desires, Writing, and Anything Else on My Mind

step-grandmother, grandparents

How Do You Say Step-grandmother in Polish?

July 27, 2018
Well, Nicholas, I was already an ex-step-great-grandmother, through my early first marriage, though I’ve never met the most recent generations. Now I hear I’m to become a step-grandmother. Golly! My extended family grows more extended, especially since the parents-to-be live in Poland. What Brought It Home Didn’t seem real until the sonogram arrived in an […] Read More

being and doing obstacle course children

Being and Doing: Do We Have to Choose?

July 18, 2018
Dear Nicholas, Here’s how I choose between being and doing in a given situation, if it seems there’s a choice to be made. I go by Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer.” The one that AA relies on. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom […] Read More

war on aging

Positive News in My War on Aging

July 15, 2018
Dear Nicholas, Three encouraging developments in my small personal war on aging: *Had my hearing tested and was told I have the ears of a “young adult” *Had a hilarious talk with friends of a similar vintage this week about how forgetful we’ve become *Was getting a trim when my hairdresser suggested I go back […] Read More

My Yoga Sabbath Problem

July 5, 2018
    Dear Nicholas, I’m taking a relaxing break from supposedly relaxing yoga and from my recent experiment in observing the Sabbath as a day of rest. My yoga Sabbath problem is that I’m finding both stressful. My Sabbath experiment is only a few months old and the third Sunday was wonderful. With no work […] Read More

Finished Another Draft of a Novel: The Aftermath

June 25, 2018
Dear Nicholas, Once upon a time, when I finished another draft– first, second…fifth…tenth… –of a novel, I would have what I called a post-draft nervous breakdown. The Symptoms It consisted of extreme sensitivity; sounds were too loud and irritations were infuriating. This would last about three days. I likened it to driving a car that […] Read More

Anthony Bourdain

Depression Distorts

June 8, 2018
Dear Nicholas, This is short and troubled. I know I am unqualified to speculate. Still, I have this to say about the suicide of Anthony Bourdain: Even mild depression distorts thinking and causes scalding pain. Given how much he self-medicated for many years, his depression was surely a lot more than mild. In the decisive moment, […] Read More

Inadequacy Dream: Creative Frustration

June 6, 2018
The test assignment, Nicholas, was to write a story sparked by the sight of  a blob of goopy clay on a piece of paper.  In my dream, of creative frustration, I was late for the test but then began my story brilliantly: Miss Coco Luna loved to go to Raleigh to shop. She ate lunch […] Read More

Getting Old: Full of Little Surprises

May 30, 2018
Well, it has happened again, Nicholas. More signs of getting old.  Each time I notice some new change, I go through a series of thoughts: There’s been some mistake. This can’t be right. How do I fix this? What did I do wrong to cause this? I promise I’ll never do it again. This approach […] Read More

Jung and Me: Gnosis, Hypnosis and Writing Novels

May 4, 2018
  Dear Nicholas, Here’s a piece I wrote a while back about Jung and me–Carl Jung being patron saint of most artsy-dreamy people. Given your own work with hypnosis and writing, I thought you might be interested.   To write a novel is to sink repeatedly into a waking dream. A trance experience I had […] Read More

Sabbath day

Sabbath Day Backlash

April 28, 2018
Dear Nicholas, It has been seven weeks now since I began my Sabbath day observance experiment, Sundays of rest, reflection, fun, and no work. Week Three was a revelation: a feeling of timelessness overtook me, an astonishing freedom. These last two weeks, though? Well, I feel I have a deadline to finish every imaginable task […] Read More


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