Kathleen Hirsch | 2016 July
Writing and musings by author Kathleen Hirsch.
kathleen hirsch, writer, spiritual director, boston, ma, spiritual writing
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July 2016

Admissible Evidence

I am keenly aware this summer of how constricted our vision of ourselves becomes in the shadow of crisis.  Innocent people are killed by horrific and heartbreaking abuses of power, and we respond as textbook victims of post-traumatic stress.

We freeze. We blame.  We obsess.  We suggest solutions that salve symptoms, not underlying causes.  Worst of all, we become stuck in the narrative, repeating it endlessly in public discourse.

As a story teller and a teacher of public narrative, I see the ways in which our larger story withers in times of crisis.  It is the most dangerous thing that happens to us, long after a specific tragedy has run its course.


Eternal Dog

Finally, a year and three months after her death, I was ready to lay my sweet daschund to rest.  The plan was to set her ashes high up on a hill overlooking the meadows, at the ridge of our farm.  I would plant a magnolia and some ferns, and find a flea market bench, so that every time I went north I could climb the hill and talk to her.

But what did I know?  She had other ideas.


Simple Attention

My friend Anne, who lives in South Carolina, recently undertook a major simplification project.  She and her husband downsized from a vast antebellum home in which they’d raised their family to a sleek and simple house on the beach, complete with meditation room and art studio.

Her aim was radical attention.

It took her two years.  But in many ways, I think of it as a project of a lifetime.