Friday, July 11, 2014

Intentions for David Daniels ...

Hello, everyone,

A few posts ago, I wrote about the new Enneagram website at Enneagram Worldwide. In that post, I mentioned Dr David Daniels, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford School of Medicine, one of my beloved Enneagram teachers and mentors, and the author of The Essential Enneagram.

This evening I received an email from Terry Saracino, President of Enneagram Worldwide, sharing the news that David will be having a mitral valve replacement on Tuesday July 15th, his second open heart surgery in two years.

Terry has asked for our prayers and positive intentions for David and his family and I echo that request here. David is enormously grateful for the support already beginning to pour in from around the world. His family have requested that those of you who know David follow his progress in the journal entries on CaringBridge rather than contacting him directly. Just use the CaringBridge link and type in David Neil Daniels to reach his private webpage. (There are two David Daniels webpages so be sure to type in his middle name.)

David has touched many, many lives over the years through both his writing and teaching. Those of us in the Narrative Tradition community of Enneagram teaching have benefitted beyond words from his quiet wisdom, wry sense of humour and consummate skill at interviewing panel participants. Having had the honour of being a participant on two of his panels, I can say that they are nothing short of life-changing. We need many more years of his warm and loving presence among us.

Thank you so much for your support for David and his family,


ps I think the whole core team at Enneagram Worldwide - Terry, Helen Palmer, Peter O'Hanrahan, Marion Gilbert and Renee Rosario - could do with our warm intentions as well. David is one of the co-founders of Enneagram Worldwide and an important component in the glue that holds the team together.

Summer Camping for Family Caregivers ...

Hi everyone!

I'm back from a wonderful two weeks at the cottage and am beginning to take on the tasks of real life again. While standing in line at the grocery store this morning, I heard the mom of a disabled child commenting to a friend that camping was great but not exactly a rest for moms. Then, later in the morning, I received an email containing the following poem written by Luci Shaw from her book, Water Lines:


The river rushes along in a hurry
to get somewhere. Our tent is pitched close;
above the oxymoron of its noisy hush
we, in folding chairs on the bank,
wait to slow down, to let the mind wander,
to to turn primitive. Simplicity
is what we say we want - the current's
single-mindedness, even its monotony.

A week goes by. It would be so good
to be aimless. To be content to be aimless.

But we are mothers, keepers of homes.
At the campsite we work to keep the firewood dry,
the butter cool, the food secure from bears.
the tent zipped against mosquitoes,
the water heating for coffee.

We are caught - neither civilized or wild.
Even in the deep forest the houses in town call us,
the families, the phone messages, the bills to be paid,
the laundry; our guilt is alive and waiting.

Out in the centre of the riverbed a single boulder,
embedded in a pebble shoal, sun-washed, gleams.

The message I took from the busy mom's comment, and the poem that followed, is that trying to maintain a normal life for families while caring for an ill or disabled loved one is hard work, even - or especially - during vacation and holiday times.

The picture above was taken of my goddaughter and her mom while we were camping at Porteau Cove many years ago. Her mom, a carepartner extraordinaire, managed to do everything mentioned in the poem and more, but I'm sure that, given half a chance, she would have hired a caregiver's caregiver to come along and allow her some time to taste the simplicity and monotony she was creating so generously for us.

So, if you're camping with a family caregiver this weekend, perhaps you could offer to cook a meal or cut some firewood or do a round of dishes so she can rest awhile in one of those folding chairs ...? She (or he) certainly deserves it!