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Doll baby

Over the weekend my mother and I put a puzzle together out in the common area of the memory unit where she lives. A couple of other women were sitting at a table right in back of us. As Mom and I chatted, I became […]

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Leaving your mark

There is a lady who walks her dog on State Street in Portland every day. When she gets to Mercy Hospital, she takes a little detour so she can place a painted rock on the hospital’s front entrance steps or the guardrail going down to […]

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Scene 6 — the playbook

I’ve been promising the steps of a self-leadership playbook for thousands upon thousands of words now, spanning across 7 long stories. In an act of unprecedented brevity, here they are in 4 numbers and 4 words: Anchor Identify Integrate Act Logically progressive. Beautifully efficient. And […]

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Misunderstanding

There has been a misunderstanding. I thought the object was to be better, thinner, faster and richer. I see now I was confused. The object is to hold my seat so that I can know and be who I truly am.

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Welcome to my mountain

I was in a situation I couldn’t see my way out of short of calling in the ski patrol, however you do that. The problem: the bottom of the mountain was very different from the top. What had been manageable down below on my amateur […]

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A silly lunch

I could hear the laughing getting closer and closer before they busted through the door of the drama lab, shouting out, “Ms. Clayton, do you want to know how to eat a peanut butter sandwich in one bite?” They tumbled in like puppies, these two freshmen from […]

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Inspirito

“I got the breath of life put in me.” He said it slow, unable to get over the wonder of it. “There was an accident. I’ve been to the county home.” Christine and her friend Kathy had been walking across an old bridge on a […]

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Just kiss him

“If you can drive safely while kissing a girl, you are simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” — Einstein. Reportedly.     Photo credit: Lanakila MacNaughton

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Flag girl, part II

A classmate and her mother were murdered in their home when I was a sophomore in high school, first her mother, who was shot in the basement where they were both were watching tv, then Karol, who was chased up the stairs into the garage […]

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Housekeeping, part II

His cowboy boots were the first thing I noticed, how they didn’t really go with the ordinary khakis sticking out from under his white, knee-length doctor coat. I was there in his neurology office to find out why I was seeing jaggedy lines in my […]

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The hand-off

It’s always struck me as kind of awful to be grateful for what I have because someone else has it so much worse – a viewpoint often referred to as perspective. For instance, when I was told I would need to start wearing a lift in […]

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Cocoa Restaurant, part II

After our fun, we get down to business. We are working in the modality of Internal Family Systems (IFS), the only approach that has ever gotten close to truly straightening anything out. All the others — cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, straight-up talk therapy, biofeedback — […]

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