- Fall down seven times stand up eight.
Katie - 17 - premed
(Left to Right): Peter Buffett, Jimmie Briggs, Joe Ehrmann, Tony Porter,
Dave Zirin and Moderator Eve Ensler.
We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.
They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.
Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave."
- ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.
From The Moth podcast, ‘Notes on an Exorcism’. (via jacobwren)
I find it ironic how the least expensive forms of entertainment here (for me, at least) is partying or having really long and deep late night conversations. In terms of depth, these two activities are definitely on the opposite sides of the spectrum. At first I wasn’t very sure if I wanted to drink or party, but it’s actually really fun when I’m with good friends who aren’t judgmental or uncomfortable in that kind of setting. But I do want to have a balance between partying and conversations, leaning more towards the conversation side. It’s just something about the night that makes people more open and willing to express their thoughts and talk about their lives and ideals. And this kind of stuff can’t really be forced - it just sort of happens. What I like a lot about college is how the less I worry, the easier these kinds of experiences come. It’s nice.
Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.
Kafka offered to help her look for the doll and arranged to meet her the next day at the same spot. Unable to find the doll he composed a letter from the doll and read it to her when they met.
"Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write you of my adventures." This was the beginning of many letters. When he and the little girl met he read her from these carefully composed letters the imagined adventures of the beloved doll. The little girl was comforted.
When the meetings came to an end Kafka presented her with a doll. She obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “my travels have changed me… “
Many years later, the now grown girl found a letter stuffed into an unnoticed crevice in the cherished replacement doll. In summary it said: “every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”"
For me there are two wise lessons in this story: Grief and loss are ubiquitous even for a young child. And the way toward healing is to look for how love comes back in another form. - May Benatar