Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Meeting a blog-reader in a California book store

I don’t study site stats. I write because I need to and try not to let numbers interfere with my work. Whatever I’m doing, whether earning a BA, MA, or Ph.D. while raising my children, whether I’m working at Sears or a social service agency, or teaching, or being Grandma, I write because my mind goes to the page. It lands there — in someone else’s words or in my own. I don’t know who reads my writing.

So I was pleasantly surprised this weekend when I met a woman who actually reads my blog. Both her parents have Alzheimer’s. She found my site a couple years ago while looking for on-line resources. We became face book friends and discovered that she lives in the same town as my son; and, eerier still, she and Ian had worked together in a teachers’ summer writing institute. read more

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poeming the Silence at Greenwood Senior Center

I have added a second "Poeming the Silence" writing class for women at the Greenwood Senior Center Thur. Oct 13-Nov 17, 10 am-noon. Hope to see you there!

To register, call the center at 206.297.0875.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Of Yoga, Poetry, & Alzheimer's

This morning I did some yoga with my friend, Andrea. With her, the process of breathing the silence of self led me back to poetry, to the quiet between words that allows me relaxation and thinking time. To writing in poem.

The ending in this poem surprised me. I thought that when Abe’s arms reached out to me, I would return home to where I am actually living, but then the ground swelled up – with the connotation that I was going “home” (to the grave with him), certainly not a conscious thought. Perhaps other widows and widowers, and grievers in general, contain such feeling somewhere in their beings.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Grief counselors as metaphor

Witnessing Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's View update: I've been posting to the Alzheimer's blog sporadically. There are a few more entries since I was here last, including:

Grief Counselors: I hate when you tell me he’s not dead

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of foot rubs, graduate school and dreams

I thought I was finished with the topic of Alzheimer’s but obviously it’s not finished with me. So much for thinking I have a will to write what I want. Not that I ever have. In every phase of my academic life, WRITING – in reality or in my head – held me back. In both college and in graduate school, all the while I was supposed to be writing “papers” I was scrawling in my journal. I got my Masters degree because Abe stayed up all night with me so I would finish a sole paragraph on what my thesis was about. He sent it to my graduate advisor by special delivery at 4 am.
Read more

Friday, February 25, 2011

The 36-hour day revisited

by Esther Altshul Helfgott

Why it took me eight months to realize I was re-experiencing the 36-hour day* is beyond me. For some reason I thought that after a few months of rest I would be able to hop back into the world as if nothing had happened. My body knew better. I may not be Witnessing Alzheimer’s anymore but my psyche sure is, which tells me I need to cultivate a better understanding of what the I is, what the Self is. At least my I and my Self.

As those of you who have followed me here know, I have gone back and forth with this medium. Read more

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reading with Esther and Ann

RASP 7:00 pm. in Room 105
At the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center (ORSCC) at 16600 NE 80th Street, Redmond, WA 98052

Jan 28, 2011