A reply to: A letter from Dove
Thank you for agreeing to be part of my support system! It means so much to me.
I hope that I can reciprocate. I’m not always sure that I have the skills that make a good support person. I’m discovering that I tend to approach life through analysis, analogy, metaphor, synthesis, and pattern-discovery, rather than necessarily feeling my way through life.
I guess I’m a thinker. I never actually realized that! I always feel so deeply on the inside that I assumed I was an emotional person. But the more I work with and interact with others, the more I discover that I am a thinking person. If someone who thinks her way through life can be a useful member of your support team, then I’d love to be on it!
I do think that I might be developing new skills, though–skills with feelings and emotions!
You see–this is so exciting that I get chills as I write this–I’m going back to school! I’m going to get my master’s in art therapy. Actually, my specific focus will be integrating folklore, art therapy, counseling, and trauma studies so that I can work more effectively with those who have experienced domestic violence and with refugees.
At first, I felt it was just being indulgent to even consider going back to school: I mean, I already have a PhD in folklore. But the PhD was entirely for me: it was my passion, and I knew all along that, since I’m not required financially to get a job, I’d work as a freelance scholar in folklore. And I tried telling myself that this was enough–it was misusing my privilege to get more education, especially now that I’m a mom.
But I kept thinking about trauma, resilience, and healing. I find this path of study fascinating–it seems to touch everything: everyone I know, everything I’ve experienced and witnessed, all of human life, especially in these challenging times.
Then, Micah–she’s my uncle’s organ teacher. I think I mentioned her to you in my last letter, and I was saying how, since she was in the group I led through HoH, she couldn’t be on my support team, but guess what? She and I are now leading a workshop together through HoH, which means we can be friends and on each other’s support teams! I’m so excited! Anyway, Micah told me she was going back to school.
“I want to study music therapy,” she said. “There’s all this exciting work being done on the spikes in the Schumann resonance, music, and the promotion of the brain’s capacity to heal from trauma!”
She said I should look into the program, and when I did, I found the art therapy path, which seems like it is tailor-made. In a way it is, because University of Windenburg is set up to allow students and professors to create their own paths of study.
Anyway, HoH received a grant to incorporate music, art, and folklore therapy, and so now that Micah and I will be enrolled in degree programs, we can receive grant-funding for the work we do. I’ve talked with the refugee program coordinator, too, to see if they might apply for the same grant so we can also do work there.
It’s such a good thing that my support system is growing! I’ve been reading that counselors really should get their support in place first, before diving into the work.
Do you remember me writing about the repair person who came to fix my stereo? Mizuki Suzuki has become a great friend. She drops by often. We always wind up talking for hours before we even realize that we haven’t even moved out of the foyer!
My brother likes her, too. Of course my brother is in a place right now where he likes everyone and everything. Things are going so well for him and Ira and Ira’s daughter, Aaradhya, that he can’t stop smiling. It’s like a lifetime of smiles are finding their expression on his face.
With school starting up for me next month, I decided it was time to add another person to our support system: A nanny.
The nanny referral group sent Youssef over to meet us. At first, Jena wasn’t sure what to think. He has a big gray Afro, and I think he reminded her of a scary clown we’d seen in the city.
He suggested that I give them a trial run for half-an-hour, and then we could talk about how it went and decide if we felt we would be good matches for each other.
I headed off to the library to pick up a few journals that I’d ordered, leaving him and Jena at home together.
When I returned, Youssef and Jena were playing, and she looked delighted! He’s her new best friend.
We decided we’re a perfect match! He’s starting right away, and he’ll come by on the same days that I’ll be having my classes. Sometimes, I’ll stay home while he’s here, and sometimes, I’ll head out to do errands or lead my groups at HoH or visit with Mizuki and Micah.
He says that by having Jena get used to the schedule of his visits now, it will make the transition smoother when I return to school. And we’ve agreed that once I’m in school, he’ll come by every day, so that even when I don’t have class, he’ll be here when I need to study.
Oh, dear. This whole letter’s been about me again. See what I mean about my not having the skills yet to be a good support person?
I think I can learn them, though.
I’m so fascinated by the thought forums you mentioned in your letter. Tell me more!
I’m also really interested in the exchange of emotions that you experience. I’ve read that this is part of Buddhist psychotherapy, also, and it’s something I hope to learn more about. I’m interested in everything you have to share!
Your girls sound so wonderful! Imagine the resilience and creativity they’re able to develop through having the city neighborhoods as their playgrounds!
Thank you for the advice on picking up Taste of Diet! I was wondering why my skirts were starting to feel a little tight after eating Weight of the World.
I hope that your current research projects are also bringing a sense of discovery and accomplishment, and I’d love to hear anything you can share!
My brother is making big changes to the family business, but that’s something I’ll have to save for another letter. It’s getting late already, and I’ve got the house to clean and laundry to fold before heading off to bed!
Jena wanted to eat a picnic supper in her bed, so I’m expecting to have some crumbs to clean off her blankets before tucking her in.
I feel like we’re both so lucky, INWk. You, me–and our families, too! And look at all the good things you’re doing with your good fortune. I want to use mine to help others, too.
All the best to you and yours! Thank you more than you can know for letting me share my enthusiasms with you!
Lots of love,