Virginia Woolf says in her famous essay that in order to be a writer, a woman needs 500 pounds a year (cash) and a room of her own. For the low-low price of just under 500 dollars a month, I got a room of my own today. Aside from my house, in which I share several rooms of my own with my daughter, I now have this.
It is a small room. It is part of the Women's Wellness and Education Center. It is immense to me because it represents my movement, as poet, into several new realms. The first of these is my own "private practice" as writing teacher, editor and creativity coach. I have been moving toward this through a series of fits and starts--and peculiarly strong signals from the universe--that it's time. But the other realm is that of medicine. Women's Wellness and Education Center is a women-run holistic care center for women who are pregnant, women who want to be pregnant and women who have little interest in pregnancy but love a great massage and yoga or pilates class.
Way, way back, I was born into a family of doctors on my father's side (going back three generations) and teachers on my mother's (going back also three generations). As a kid, I expected that I would become a doctor. But by the time college began, it was very clear, and my freshman year chemistry 101 teacher would vouch, medicine was not my path. At least not, I see now, Western medicine. I signed on for literature and never looked back. That is, not until my masters thesis semester of grad school. With only one month left to write a brilliant essay on poetry and three reams of rough draft with no solid thesis anywhere in the mix, I called my father and told him I was dropping out of poetry school and becoming a doctor. I said, "To be a doctor all you have to do is memorize things people already have names for. In poetry, you have to name things no one else has been able to." My father argued against my decision. I couldn't believe my ears. "Don't do it, honey," he said. "Poetry is the better means to finding the truth."
So, here I am taking an office in a wellness center, returning to the roots of two family trees. And little has ever made more sense to me.
Looking back through this blog and all the exploration of alchemy and poetry and how they relate to my deafness and my healing, I see this new part of my life interlace perfectly with all that has come before. I am stepping into myself as poet and healer.
I envision this as a beginning of something wonderful. Perhaps soon, all holistic healing centers will include a poet/memoirist among their staff. We will begin then to heal our minds while we heal our bodies and our spirits.
So, Virginia, and others who find me here musing. . . come by my office at 24 Arlington just off of Charlotte St. Or call for an appointment: 242-7372. It's a beautiful day to begin a new chapter.
Popular posts from this blog
In the two days that presented us with celebrity suicides, I have been quiet. I saw the posts and acknowledged the tragedies. The fame and fortune of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain--and also the charm each possessed--nestled in with the personal notes from friends and relatives to script fragments of stories together that will never be whole. Like the poems of Sappho salvaged from ancient ruins, this is all we are left with. I had nothing to say, and I'm often one who can say something. My silence indicated to me that it wasn't a reflection of not feeling anything or not having anything to contribute to the communal grieving and raising of awareness. It indicated that there was a block in me. I was blocking the grief and even the witness. Back in the 1990s, I was engaged to Tom Andrews, the beautiful poet. The story I tell most often about this fait-incomplit of an engagement is that at his memorial service a friend of his turned around in his chair and asked me
When a friend asked me while we dined on salads what I thought of the busking situation in Asheville, I almost choked on my salad. "We have a busking situation?" He told me he'd seen the article in the New York Times . Again: almost choking, "New York Times is writing about buskers in Asheville?" I love this so much for so many reasons. The fact that we are in the 9th most food insecure city in America, the fact that people can walk around this town and not know we have a large African-American population scuttled away on the outskirts as a result of demolishing 2000 homes in the city center, the fact that we don't have affordable housing in town, all this aside: we make the Times for our "busking situation." This is why I love Asheville. This is why you really should move here: we have a busking situation. We have music everywhere. We have music outside t-shirt shops that print quotes by great songwriters on their organic cotton and
An aerial photo of immigrant children at a recently opened facility in Tornillo, Texas. (Reuters/Mike Blake) Courtyard of the Happy Way 樂道院 (le dao yuan) – picture and corresponding map – courtesy of Weihsien-Paintings From the job description to work for Southwest Key: Must be prepared and physically able to respond with appropriate protocol in a variety of dynamic supervision situations with clients of 0-17 years in age. In a sudden or emergency event. Several letters from the British Crown urged him to return to England from China. My grandfather had been living in Hong Kong, Swatow, and Tianjin since the early 1930s, working as a physician for the Kailan Mining Administration. News of Japan's seizure of Nanking and Shanghai in 1937 did not motivate him to leave. During the bombings of neighboring Swatow, he worked with locals to build makeshift hospitals in the streets to treat the wounded, and still he did not leave China. His colleagues had boarded th