I really enjoyed this book and want to share my excitement with anyone who might be interested. I have a good familiarity with Gregory Bateson’s later work from the 1970’s and this book gave me the deep background from his prior years to fill in what I didn’t know and give me greater context for understanding what I did.

His work was a seminal part of my thinking as I developed my method of counseling/art psychotherapy and was lucky to have known a former student and friend of his, Janie Rhyne, with whom I collaborated for presentations at conferences of the American Art Therapy Association, and Rodney Donaldson, Bateson’s archivist, who  I knew though the American Society for Cybernetics. Any of you who heard my talks at conferences, took a class with me, or saw mw for therapy, might recall how frequently I mentioned Gregory Bateson.

The author provided a great deal of information about Bateson’s place in the changes that took place in science, psychotherapy, and even politics from the 50’s through the 60’s. The author, Anthony Chaney, showed how Bateson’s theory developed and held strong through the years and changing contexts.

I came away with a greater appreciation for Bateson, someone who I even greatly admired before. And I appreciated the authors attention to detail which, mostly, was not a drag on the flow of the reading experience. At a later point in the book Chaney writes that to go on into Bateson’s later years would double the size of the book, so he stopped where he did. I, for one, would love to see the sequel.

If any of you do go and read this, please return here to comment and let me know your experience or your discussion about Bateson.

www.youtube.com/watch

I sang two original songs at an open mike benefit for suicide awareness. I was nervous, and it showed. But it was received well and was great fun. Just the beginning for me!

Fireplace Tiles by Sandy and Bob 1:29:2018

This is our most recent art project completion. It is a pair of fireplace tiles made of Premo Sculpey, 9″ x 9″ x .25″. Sandy made the underwater otter on the left and I made the calling crow on the right. Placed on the mantle only for this photo so they could be next to each other, they will be mounted on the left and right front of the stone fireplace over the now unused heatilator vents. Fun.

This is Krista Tippett’s wonderful interview with the poet/philospher John O’Donohue from August 6, 2015- his last interview before his death. It is a deep conversation into beauty, life, love, language, and the imagination. Enjoy.

 

“So I believe that deep in the heart of each of us, there is this imagining, imaginal capacity that we have. So that we are all doing it.” John O’Donohue

O'Donohue on On Being

Image by Anders Mohlin/Flicker
JOHN O’DONOHUE
The Inner Landscape of Beauty

The Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue was beloved for his book Anam Ċara, Gaelic for “soul friend,” and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling. In one of his last interviews before his death in 2008, he articulated a Celtic imagination about how the material and the spiritual — the visible and the invisible — intertwine in human experience. His voice and writings continue to bring ancient mystical wisdom to modern confusions and longings.

Find the link to this interview HERE.

 

Or copy and paste this:

https://onbeing.org/programs/john-odonohue-the-inner-landscape-of-beauty/

 

 

A New Moment

July 2, 2017

I have finally reached that moment where when I awoke today I could think that I had no more clients. Not for today, tomorrow, or the foreseeable future. I had a feeling of relief and joy yesterday as my last appointment came to an end. It has been a bit sad and a bit sweet to experience the conclusion of the therapy relationship with client after client. As each was so different in their therapy- their needs, thought patterns, feelings, style of learning- so have they been different in closure which had begun some time ago and ended yesterday.

I will miss those people, each of whom was so different and with each of whom I shared a unique relationship. Some I had seen for years. They were the easiest with whom to say goodby- the most ready to go, although not necessarily wanting to let go. Some I had seen for only weeks. I was a little harder to say goodby to them. While they were appreciative for what they learned in our short time, we were both aware of the potential that will be lost.

Some I expect to hear from in the future, after some time passes, to sit over a coffee or tea more like old friends. No expectations, no demands. Some I will not hear from and they will eventually fade from my memory.

There are still many tasks to be done to close my 46 year career and 37 year independent practice. Offices to close, papers to organize or trash, furniture to redistribute, professional organizations to contact and modify my memberships, shifting in budgeting concerns, modifying tax obligations, etc.

But the biggest adjustment of all will be with regard to how I use my time. This is a mystery to be solved, or at least understood, only with experience. I need time to understand my new relationship to time. I expect to no longer have the constraints of the appointment day to day schedule. I imagine that, over time, I will settle into a rhythm of activity which will be more consistent with myself and less deferent to the demands of the professional world and the management of client contacts. I think there will be days when I forget about time and just attend to whatever I am doing. And I think there will be other days when I my attention is wide and spacious and not focused on any outcome.

Many years ago, a close friend and colleague once told me that I was ambivalent about money. I rejected the idea but, upon contemplation, i discovered that I was, indeed, ambivalent about time. While I wanted to build a prosperous career, I also did not want to give up my more personal time. This realization helped me to focus my imagination on the form and construction of my career with a minimization of conflict over loss of time.

So now I have arrived at a new moment. My calendar is cleared of repeating appointments and therapy sessions. I walk into my studio/workshop feeling such a wide breadth of opportunity and possibility that I stand there in awe with no specific form to my next move and many raw possibilities gathering to be brought to form. Stay tuned. This is what I hoped for. And so it begins.