The Newsletter of 
May 2016


"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
~Honore de Balzac

  • Write about some of the similarities between you and your mother.
  • Write about a piece of jewelry that your mother wore or wears often. 
  • Write a short biography about your mother's life before and after you were born. 
  • Whether your mother is alive or has passed, write a letter to her.

My kids Regine, Rachel, Joshua and me
For me, the month of May represents a month long celebration. My mother tells me I was born on Mother's Day, but my birthday does not always fall on Mother's Day, the first Sunday each May.

Whether your mother is alive or passed or whether you have a good or bad relationship with your mother, I believe it's important to honor the woman who gave you life-the woman to whom we were connected to through an umbilical cord.

My mother, Eva
Like me, my mother was an only child, but our lives took completely different paths. She was born in Austria and emigrated to the United States when she was seven. She still maintained and passed along to me many European sensibilities, such as the importance of education and dressing well. While I was never the focus of my mother's life, she was responsible for instilling the passion for reading and writing in me by taking me on weekly trips to the library. I will be forever grateful for this gift. 

I was lucky to have been able to pass this gift on to my three children, now aged, 33, 31 and 27. My greatest gift in my own adult life has been to be able to have such wonderful children who have enriched and empowered my life more than ever imaginable. I was on bed rest with each child and when people  ask me what that was like, I honestly say that I don't remember. All I know is that it was worth every second and every scare I had during each of those 9 month segments. I hope my children are as grateful for their lives as I am to my mother for my life

This year my mother turns 86, and while she's slowed down quite a bit and perhaps lost the zest for life, I still want to thank her for giving me my life. Thanks Mom!


The Empathy Exams (essays)
by Leslie Jamisen

This is one of the most original collection of essays that I have read in a long time. Jamison was medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms as a way for medical students to learn how to diagnose. The essays open our eyes to the various ways of feeling and the different ways of looking at pain. 

The book reinforces the need for even more empathy in and out of medical arenas. Not only is lack of empathy a symptom of some psychological problems, but it has become more prevalent during these times of increased isolation. 

The book is a testament to how having empathy can humanize us. Jamisen says that empathy is not something that happens to us, but rather, it's a choice that we make. It's a way of paying attention and extending ourselves. She more precisely states, "Empathy isn't just remembering to say that must really be hard--it's figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can be seen at requires inquiry as much as imagination." And what can be wrong with having some imagination?


"The Secret to Writing Transformative Poetry." (blog). Psychology Today. April 11, 2016.

"Enjoying Poetry as a Teen and as a Boomer." (blog) Huffington Post. April 16, 2016.

"Shaped By Our Childhoods." (guest blog) Black Fox Literary. April 18, 2018.

"Life Becomes a Poem." Firefly Magazine. Issue 6. 2016.

"Bubbles." (poem). Unrequited: An Anthology of Love Poems about Inanimate Objects.  2016.

"Surviving the Narcissistic Mother." (blog). Psychology Today. April 26 2016.

Creatively yours,

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