Our knees are calloused from praying – we do not want our hearts to be.
We will not run out of tears. We will also not run out of bullets. We have practiced getting around bans for millennia.
We will not run out of compassion for those grieving. We can also choose not run out of wisdom.
Creating empathy in the human heart begins with the stories we tell. The best stories are not about “others.” They are about us.
#Istanbul #Orlando #Paris #London #Yemen#Kenya #NewYork #Somalia #SanBernadino#Tunisia #Brussels #Egypt #toomanymore
A piece I wrote for Women Who Submit
by Diane Sherlock
While working on my MFA at Antioch University, Los Angeles, I started my fourth novel, Wrestling Alligators. My primary mentors for the book were Rob Roberge (Liar: A Memoir, Crown 2016) and Gayle Brandeis (Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write, HaperOne 2004). I finished a first draft for my thesis project in May, 2009, and continued to polish it to the point where I was confident about sending it out to agents. At the time, my daughter was an assistant to a lit agent in Hollywood, and he read it and recommended an editor he’s worked with for many years. I sent it to her and she peppered me with hard questions about the material, pointing out that some of the imagery was in conflict. She was pessimistic about my solving those problems. That lit a fire under my inner…
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Love this piece by Karrie Higgins.
The day Prince died, I was walking to the audiologist office to pick out hearing aids, Purple Rain playing on my purple iPod, my lipstick-red walking cane tapping its drumbeat on the sidewalk, vibrating through my wrist bones to my elbow bones to my shoulders to my clavicles to my brain, telling me: I am whole. Without my cane, without that drumbeat, my brain gets confused: Where is my musical limb?
The cane makes music just for me. When I walk to the beat, I drum to the beat. Doesn’t matter about my hearing anymore. I am a walking musical instrument.
Except it does matter, because certain music saved my life. Certain music still saves my life.
Maybe I can hear Prince like I did when I was a kid, I thought. How much of his music am I missing? What frequency is his voice?
I wanted a purple hearing aid to match my pastel…
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We all need help from time to time and you never know who you might help. Even those who are and will always be strangers. Robin Williams and David Bowie had no idea they helped save my life as a teen and adult. That is part of why your story is important. Whether through business, art, writing, acting, filmmaking, ceramics… you just never know what you put out that might inspire or save another. So yes, create for yourself first without judgment. More importantly, put it out there. We are all meant for relationship, even those of us who are shy.
And if you are so inclined, we could really use the help with festival fees and the balance of post-production costs. Donate now!
The first time I heard David Bowie, I was a suicidal teen alone in my room listening to the radio. His music and his artistry changed me. His songs kept me alive when most of my plans involved figuring out how best to end my life. He showed me how much more there was in this world and that there was a place for invention, imagination, reinvention. The voice, the presence, talent, personas, fashion, all of it, made an enormous impression on me. He was the only musician I saw in concert more than once. I prefer new territories to revisiting and that was part of his genius – there was always new territory. The news of his passing was a gut punch. I’d just watched Blackstar a couple days before and it didn’t seem possible he’d leave us so soon. I loved the way he folded all his curiosity about the world and ideas into his art; I love it that as he faced death, he created Blackstar to say his goodbye; I love it that he was smiling and gracious right to the end. Rest in peace and thank you.
This is my annual repost and part of Project 2996
Robert Halligan Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 15, 2001.
- Robert Halligan, Age: 59
Residence: Basking Ridge, NJ
Two WTC, 99th Floor
Aon Corporation, Vice President
SHOPPING ACROSS THE POND
To a proud Englishman, America is a country of vexing insufficiencies. Its supermarkets know not of H.P. (House of Parliament) sauce and tins of steak and kidney pie. Marmite, sadly, remains a mystery.
Several times a year, London-born Robert Halligan, 59, a vice president at Aon, an insurance brokerage firm, would cross the pond to stock up on such indelicacies. He would cheer on his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs, visit his sprawling family, including five adult children, and drop by a specialty shop to add to the locomotive steam engine models he had been collecting since his trainspotting boyhood. Every weekend he brought the old country to his…
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First, if you have not read the brilliant Rob Roberge’s essay, Crazy, go do that. I’m going to keep promoting it until everyone does.
Last days of crowdfunding to cover the post-production costs: an extra day of shooting and those crew members, insurance, camera rental, editing, color correcting, titles, score, film festival entry fees, etc. You may have noticed I have fallen down on the job a bit. Things like getting rear-ended and having to deal with reams of paperwork took up way too much time. Gah! Back to my point…. The anniversary of Robin Williams’ suicide is coming up in a week. Last year, it changed my life. I have been in and out of therapy most of my life. Turns out I have dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder. So you see THE GREEN BENCH isn’t just some bit a fiction I wrote. It isn’t only about other people. I have a stake in this. Given the statistics, we all do really. I’m writing a memoir about it, particularly about its origins, but more on that another time.
Heather Gordon Young has a good piece about Cecil the Lion and her brother Jimmy’s mental struggles and why not only do we need to reduce stigma, but why we need all of us, including those of us who struggle with mental illness and depression. We grow poorer when we lose people like Jimmy or Robin Williams to suicide. I will say this much now about my own depression: I used the same reasoning Robin Williams did – I would never do anything to harm myself once I had children. I have two. He had three. And it didn’t matter. That woke me up and I went to a psychiatrist for the first time. I’m a textbook case. I told her what was going on and she read it right back to me out of the DSM. 2 of the 6 need to be present for diagnosis:
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Low energy or fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness
I had all 6 including poor appetite, insomnia, and both poor concentration and difficulty making decisions. I thought that was me, but what a difference with an anti-depressant. Old obsessions melted away, I can sleep, I rarely skip meals any more, I don’t always feel hopeless and when it hits, I can fight it off and have healthy self-esteem for the first time.
If you want to celebrate my coming out of the mental illness closet, help us get to $12,000 by Thursday. Your donation is tax deductible. We have a ways to go, but I know there is a patron out there somewhere, an angel who will help this project get out to the festivals, then into the hands of the mental health community. Let’s stop the stigma.