A Nested Story: Transformative Healing

The following article was recently published in Psychologica Magazine’s special edition on Trauma.  I’ve included a link to the full magazine, lots of great articles on trauma treatments, both from a clinical perspective as well as personal.  Hope you might find something that resonates.

http://www.oaccpp.ca/assets/Psychologica%20Vol.%2041%20Final%20(DIGITAL)%20compressed.pdf
Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged)Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged) 1

when there are no words

when there are no words

silent spaces…pause between words…shaping time…making art.

There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the floor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.

Billy Collins (2007).
The trouble with poetry: And other poems. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

how wings work

the firsWhen I returned from so many journeys,

I stayed suspended and green

between sun and geography –

I saw how wings worked,

how perfumes are transmitted

by feathery telegraph,

and from above I saw the path,

the springs and the roof tiles,

the fishermen at their trades,

the trousers of the foam;

I saw it all from my green sky.

I had no more alphabet

than the swallows in their courses,

the tiny, shining water

of the small bird on fire

which dances out of the pollen.

by Pablo Neruda, from Fully Empowered, 1962

translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid

tree of life

collage illustrationOur modern and hectic daily life

is usually far removed

from the cycles and forces

of the natural world

and it can often seem empty

of any real purpose.

The ash is a key to healing the loneliness

of the human spirit

out of touch

with its origins

it can provide a sense of being grounded

and of belonging.

The ash reminded the Celts of the interlinking

of the Three Cycles of Being.

Likewise we are encouraged to consider

the role of the past in creating the present,

so that we can better appreciate

the many ways

in which positive thought and action today

can help to create a brighter tomorrow.

Through a constant process

of balancing and marrying opposites,

we, like the ash,

can achieve harmony

within ourselves.

from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

 

if this were a map

collage illustration

In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand

there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see

or the child’s older self, a poet,

a woman dreaming when she should be typing

the last report of the day. If this were a map,

she thinks, a map laid down to memorize

because she might be walking it, it shows

ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert

here and there a sign of aquifers

and one possible watering‐hole. If this were a map

it would be the map of the last age of her life,

not a map of choices but a map of variations

on the one great choice. It would be the map by which

she could see the end of touristic choices,

of distances blued and purpled by romance,

by which she would recognize that poetry

isn’t revolution but a way of knowing

why it must come. If this cheap,

mass‐produced wooden stand from the Brooklyn Union Gas Co.,

mass‐produced yet durable, being here now,

is what it is yet a dream‐map

so obdurate, so plain,

she thinks, the material and the dream can join

and that is the poem and that is the late report.

Dreamwood

a poem by Adrienne Rich

October/November 1987

to be like a tree

collage

“When you go out into the woods

and you look at trees

you see all these different trees.

And some of them are bent,

and some of them are straight,

and some of them are evergreens,

and some of them are whatever.

And you look at the tree

and you allow it.

You see why it is the way it is.

You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light,

and so it turned that way.

And you don’t get all emotional about it.

You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans,

you lose all that.

And you are constantly saying,

‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’

That judging mind comes in.

And so I practice turning people into trees.

Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

Ram Dass a.k.a. Richard Alpert (b. 1931)

American spiritual teacher and author

Bird Time

Slippery Elm

a children’s book…

3 young sisters

plant a small elm tree

in their backyard.

Through the years…

the three sisters begin to realize

that the elm tree,

is their home.

The sisters see…

that the elm tree

remains with them…

watching over the 3 sisters

marking milestones

and holding time…

a tree of life…

As the 3 sisters grow

old…

with their tree.

a synopsis of a story by Nora Sommerdorf

“An Elm Tree and Three Sisters”

Time to go

time to gosilence

.is
a
looking

bird:the

turn
ing;edge, of
life

(inquiry before snow

E.E. Cummings

worth knowing

illustration collage

Black

Above

Scribbled trees.

Shiningly silver…

A mercurial balloon.

Inside Oval’s home

wait 2…

speaking in silence.

One Eye Knows…

what’s worth

Protecting.

Days Inn

back in the day

Days

What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Philip Larkin

“Days” from Collected Poems.

Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Philip Larkin.

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)

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