The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
autumn splendor The dying leaves drift down To cloak the dead, While overhead The hunter’s moon casts Her misty shroud On fallow autumn fields. About Brian T. Maurer. Brian is a pediatric physician assistant, an essayist and a poet. To see his blog and learn more about his work go to Brian T Maurer's Web Blog.
bright sunshine, clear sky a field of scattered lanterns autumnal prologue
(haiku and photos by Yoon Cohen)
Down Green River Road, in Williamstown, there's a small public park, River's Edge Park, that is rarely frequented. In the late summer and fall a large portion of the ground is covered by Chinese lanterns. Over the years, I have watched this ornamental weed spread over the grounds. Its orange flowers are down-hanging bells of arresting beauty.
Long-time Cell 2 Soul member and Berkshire County resident, Michael Symons, has written a moving essay recollecting his participation in the historic civil rights march of 1963.
Michael Symons: A Chance Meeting Among the Multitudes The Berkshire Eagle, August 28, 2013 It was exactly 50 years ago today when I stood no more than
a hundred feet from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he delivered those
unforgettable words from the steps of The Lincoln Memorial. It was August, 1963 -- summer vacation -- when a teacher’s
thoughts are furthest from the classroom and the minds he presumes to have
touched. I was working in an inter-generational, Jewish culture camp
in upstate New York and, although removed from the outside world, we were very
aware of the announced "March on Washington" scheduled for the 28th.
I struck out along the north shore, heading west along the ancient path now bounded by wire fencing on either side. Periodically, I passed a break that allowed direct descent to the water on large natural stone steps. Mist was rising from the surface of the water, stirred by a slight morning breeze. more»
Brian T. Maurer has practiced pediatrics as a Physician Assistant for 32 years. His "Marginal Notes" column appears periodically in the Cell2Soul Blog. The title "Marginal Notes" is taken from a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "I love a broad margin to my life."
It's summertime in New England -- and all here are struggling to cram the days with activity. REST YOUR FRONTAL LOBE, attributed to Dainin Katagiri, is a koan to mull over.
Administrivia: We have a good group interested in the Nantucket gathering. It's called a "Gam" in homage to Melville who used this arcane word for a "gathering of whalemen" when discussing Nantucket sailors. To whet your nautical soul see: 36 Hours on Nantucket. Think about resting your gray matter on this island in the sea with us in October.
There's a program on our local public radio station called, "The Academic Minute." Sounds deadly. Not always. Yesterday, Amit Kumar, a professor of English from Vassar College spoke about V.S. Naipaul's rules for writers. Just as we are readers, we are also writers. I thought you might enjoy this simple list:
V.S. Naipaul's Rules for Beginners
(It is said that Naipaul's father, a journalist gave these rules to his son, an aspiring writer)
1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.
2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.
3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.
4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.
5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.
6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.
7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it's training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.
The year is 1977 and Art Brownstein, a Southern California surfer dude has just finished his first year of med school on the East Coast. He recently resurrected the journal of his escape to the New England wilderness. Much has changed in the past thirty-three years, but the fastness and fascination of these forests and mountains abides.
His chronicle begins: "At the end of my first year at Jefferson Medical School in Philly, I spent the night before summer vacation making a cardboard sign that said “Maine.” I intended to hold it by the side of the road while hitchhiking, as I had planned a two-week solo outing to the woods of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to celebrate the successful completion of my inaugural year in med school. My initial destination was Katahdin, sacred Mountain of the aboriginal Penobscot peoples, northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail, and the first place where the sun hits the East Coast on its daily transit of America. Read on: Download BarefootThe Woods Brownstein1 .