A friend of mine has suddenly turned to writing screeds of confessional poetry, and while I want to encourage her, I go through agonies of vicarious embarrassment — not unlike scorching belchy heartburn — to hear everything begged, borrowed or blue hurled out in unscanned lines. Some people ‘get’ form and hidden music in poetry, and some don’t, they move to another urgency. I admire what she is doing in her wild abandonment and can see it has a bracing cathartic effect on her — she rages, weeps, vomits onto the page and moves forward. It is just hard to listen to the torrent, read that hectic scrawl. I have done something similar in diaries of the midnight hours and then torn up the pages, despaired of ever reaching the deeper places or finding a voice in the flood. Too much stayed unsaid and inexpressible.
Via whiskey river:
So much of what we live goes on inside –
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.
Think of the letters that we write our dead.
– Dana Gioia
Changes in thinking around the nature of addiction — is it time to stop using the disease analogy? Author and developmental psychologist Mark Lewis argues for addiction to be redefined as a behavioural problem:
Different types of rehab programs are needed for different types of drugs, for example it might take someone longer to get off ice than say, heroin, and therefore programs should be tailored to recognise that. But given what you’re saying, would the model of treatment be relatively the same across all drugs, because it’s more about willpower and setting goals than the type of drug being abused?
A good question. I don’t think so. Even though it has those goals in common, people are very different and there are many ways to quit. Some people will need to focus more on cognitive tricks to self-program to modify their behaviour, others will need to change their environment to make sure they don’t drive home past the liqour store, and for other people it’s much more of a motivational thrust, more mindfulness and meditation. For others, it’s about deeply connecting intimately and honestly with loved ones. Those are really different ways of getting better, even though what they all have in common is that theme of empowerment of self-motivation.
The greyness of an overcast dawn on Sunday, dogs sniffing their way around the garden to find out what has gone on there during the night. The closer we live to — what? — trees, wilderness, the ocean, gardens, rough earth, nature’s rude awakenings, the more packed with meaning it becomes, the more complex, magnetic, layered and beyond naming. Moss on brickwork, snapped twigs, piles of leaf becoming mould, red-stemmed jasmine threatening an explosion of fragrances and white blossom, new leaf breaking out of dead wood. Renewal, the cyclical, the turning of a season, consciousness altering in a glance, what is passing and what is beginning. Light scattering in opal. Watching my dogs play together, a line from Paul Valéry: “Animals, who do nothing uselessly, refuse to contemplate death.”