Cousins, aunts and uncles

August is generally the time when families bundle up the sleeping bags, tents and firewood and head to the hills for a reunion.

As a kid, I didn’t enjoy them very much; I’m sure there were a variety of reasons: I didn’t feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, insecurity of what all those people may be thinking about me (because of course they were ALL looking at me, right?), or I just didn’t feel a connection with these people who lived lives so different from the one I lived.

And then of course there was the whole camping thing and spending time in the outhouse. I guess that could have been enough right there.camping3

I was always an alien landing on a new planet and not knowing the language.

My wish was to just close the camper door again and turn around and head back to our own familiar galaxy.

But we didn’t.

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The parable of the baby chick

A few days ago a wonderful neighbor shared some of her experiences with chickens. The parallels to our own lives were pretty profound.

I think the message is worth passing on to you.

It’s a rare treat to see an egg that has been cared for and watched over and kept warm for so long, to at last begin to crack and open. So often the metamorphosis from egg to baby chick happens seemingly unnoticed by the world, with only broken eggshells and a new, tiny chick to tell the tale.

We usually witness the before and after parts of this baby chick’s journey, but we miss the during part if we aren’t careful.

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Are we in a cosmic game of chicken, waiting to see who will blink first?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

We can blow our minds trying to grasp the intricacies of that one. But at the end of the day, does it really matter?chicken and egg

I mean, we have chickens, and we have eggs. To me, that’s just a win-win.

Okay, let’s dig a little deeper.

Which came first, the administration or the congress in creating a quagmire?

We can blow our minds in listening to the passionate arguments about just whose fault it is.

So far, though, I’m only seeing a lose-lose.

Let’s think some more.

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Are we simply painting mental illness with one broad brush stroke in the end?

It’s starting to feel a little like any violent gun crime is being linked back to a shooter who is labeled as mentally ill. I readily admit that I certainly have no way to know if each individual recently arrested or still awaiting trial after many years is or isn’t mentally ill.

So who does?

That would be the $64,000 question, wouldn’t it?

art-1532092-1279x957Ann and I flew back several years ago to the National Institutes of Health to participate in a recommended study by our neurologist. It was here that the mental illness was discovered and we began our personal journey of just what it means to travel through life with a mental disorder.

This included educating ourselves.

Continue reading Are we simply painting mental illness with one broad brush stroke in the end?