12.08.2016


6.28.2016

medical anthropologist dana walrath uses graphic medicine to chronicle three years of caregiving for her mother alice in her new book aliceheimer's: alzheimer's through the looking glass:
I started making “Aliceheimer’s” comics before I knew that graphic medicine existed. Watching Alice — a lifelong reader who was finding straight prose too hard to track — eat up books like “Maus,” “Persepolis,” “American Born Chinese” and “Fun Home” when she lived with me, made me certain that to tell our story I wanted to use a form that a person with dementia could access. 
My father had read [Alice in Wonderland] it out loud to us as kids, and during dementia Alice and I often recited parts of it together. But the day I cut up a cheap paperback copy of “Alice in Wonderland” to depict Alice’s bathrobe, her favorite garment, I knew I had found the voice for the story. Life with dementia is filled with alternate realities and magic, both scary and uplifting. Accepting wonderland as our baseline made day to day life an adventure.

The dominant zombie story of bodies without minds strips people with dementia of their humanity and interferes with creating new kinds of familial connections. How many of us have the privilege of knowing our parents as children? Through connection we heal. Comics lead us to light because, subconsciously, we associate comics with laughter, and we need permission to laugh at sickness and not just describe it in medical terms. Laughter is respite. It opens new possibilities for how to cope. 
(from the nyt interview by nancy stearns bercaw)

6.22.2016

kintsugi is the japanese art of repairing something with gold, silver, or other material.  though there is apparently commercial appeal in this technique right now - it is all over home design websites - the beauty of it is in its practicality.  we so often throw things away when they become imperfect, rather than celebrating the beauty of age, wear, and breakage.  but only in the last few decades have we become so obsessed with status and buying and displaying wealth that we can just toss something and move on, rather than create memories or histories.











3.06.2016

imagining a world the people have the power...

1.04.2016

i heard a lovely question on the radio this morning that i've been pondering all day: when was the last time you were so happy you screamed out loud?  it was a question posed by radiolab this week for their episode on bliss.  and the episode starts with the delightful screams of polar adventurer aleksander gamme when he finds candy in one of his provision caches at the end of a 3-month south pole trek:


i'm going to have to think about this for a while - which isn't sad as much as it is an explanation of my personality.  i don't scream for just anything, only the good stuff.  so what was it?