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.
Marion Pritchard, a gentile whose shock at watching Nazi soldiers storm a home for Jewish children in Amsterdam and load them into a truck for deportation inspired her to enter a clandestine world of rescuing Jews, died on Dec. 11, 2016 at her home in Washington, DC. She was 96.
Please read her moving NY Times obituary. It's inspiring to be reminded of true heroism. This woman's brave and quiet work is a candle in the dark.
"Helen Bamber, whose volunteering to comfort broken survivors of a Nazi concentration camp when she was 19 inspired her to devote her next seven decades to helping more than 50,000 victims of torture in 90 countries, died on August 21, 2014 in London. She was 89.
"...she worked with many patients herself as a psychotherapist — which she became through experience, she said, rather than an academic degree.
"At Bergen-Belsen, where she spent 2.5 years after WWII, Ms. Bamber felt helpless in alleviating suffering, she told The Observer in 2008, but she realized that she could contribute simply by listening to people tell their stories. She promised them she would not let their stories die. 'It took me a long time to realize that that was all I could do' she said."
Hers is an important and moving life. Helen Bamber touched scores of thousands of individuals across the globe Full NY Times Obituary.
Nicknamed the Chosen One by his peers, Jay Adams in the 1970s pioneered an outlaw image and new approaches to shateboarding that was at the time associated with roller skating. Taking his skateboard down steep hills and up the walls of an empty swimming pool — and, finally, over the walls’ edges — Adams helped usher in the aerial, or vert, style of skateboarding.
Adams died on a surfing trip to Mexico on August 15. 2014 at the age of 53.
The NY Times had two interesting articles about him in the August 18 issue.
Sam Berns, a Massachusetts high school junior whose life with the illness progeria was the subject of a recent documentary film, died on Friday, January 10, 2014 in Boston, age 17.
The full length documentary, Life According to Sam, has been produced by HBO and should be available on NetFlix one of these days. “What is aging in Sam Berns, is aging in all of us. But in Sam’s body, the process is rapidly accelerated." For more on the documentary, see MedFlix.
Seamus Heaney: Poet of ‘the Silent Things’ By The Editorial Board (NY Times) Published: August 30,
Seamus Heaney was sipping bourbon during a Boston snowstorm
30 years ago, trying to explain his poetry as an escape from a terrible fear of
silence that always haunted him. “What is the source of our first suffering?”
he asked, quoting the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. “It lies in the fact
that we hesitated to speak.”
The poet, who died Friday at the age of 74, mastered that
fear magnificently in five decades of lyrical composition that earned him a
Nobel Prize. But that night in Boston he kept it front and center as a dark but
“wonderfully resonant” prod, topping off our glasses while fielding questions
for a newspaper profile. “If I could make poetry that could touch into that
kind of thing, that is what I would like to do,” he said, stoking his resolve
to pursue “the silent things within us.”
Friendly and open, Mr. Heaney did not talk down from a
poet’s perch. In his workaday searching for “images and symbols adequate to our
predicament” he included all of life, not just the Troubles of his Irish
homeland. He was anxious that his lyrical gift not cushion hard truth. He
exulted in his origins as a farm boy who savored the ring of the BBC weather
forecast towns (“Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Shetland...”) as much as the family’s
recitation of the Blessed Virgin’s litany (“Health of the Sick, Refuge of
Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted...”). He sipped and smiled at “summoning
the energies of words.” He described “the actual pleasure of feeling something
under your hand and growing,” a new poem “full of voices, full of people.”
Decades after that snowy night, Mr. Heaney is remembered for
the power of his joy in working the language, and in the spirit of his
elegiacal salute to his friend Robert Lowell: “The way we are living,/ timorous
or bold,/ will have been our life.” FRANCIS X. CLINES
We need dreamers. Mott Green built dream castles in the air and put real foundations under them.
"He tended to flit about as a child, but with
focus: he built go-karts using lawn mower engines; he ran the New York
City Marathon when he was 16; he dropped out of the University of
Pennsylvania just months before graduation — accepting a degree, he
felt, would be capitulating to a corrupt social structure...He was eventually drawn to Grenada.
Mr. Green founded the Grenada Chocolate Company in 1999. Its slogan was “tree to bar,” but that did not capture the breadth of the endeavor."
One reads his NY Time obituary with awe and sadness. Mott Green found his calling. Lived his dream. Sadly, an accident cut his amazing life short. Honor him by reading his obit, visiting the Grenada Chocolate Company website -- buying a chocolate bar. Indulge yourself, mon.
One of our C2S members lived on Grenada for two years, and we will ask her to comment.
you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius,
power, and magic in it. Begin it now." J.W. Goethe
May 20, 2013 – NY Times:
Barbara Brenner, Breast Cancer Iconoclast, Dies at 61. by Denise Grady
Barbara Brenner, who led the group Breast Cancer Action and
shaped it in her own combative image, pillorying the medical establishment,
industrial polluters and even other cancer research advocates, died on May 10
at her home in San Francisco. She was 61.
Dr. Jacquelin Perry, a physician and researcher who shed light on the complexities of walking, and was a leader in treating polio victims in the 1950s and again in the 1980s when the symptoms of some returned, died on March 11 at her home in Downey, Calif. She was 94.
Virginia Tanji sent us this a couple of months back and she and her husband, Andy, graciously allowed us to publish it.
My brother-in-law Ed, the youngest of four brothers, passed
away in home hospice care in early September and we were there. He was cadaverous when we arrived, but
amazingly lucid. He would sit up for
about an hour at a time three to four times a day working on his columns,
reading, checking email, etc. We arrived on Labor Day, but by the weekend he
was considerably weaker...he was taking very little by mouth...his wife, an
amazing woman and a retired nurse, administered drugs from the hospice
"comfort care" box. It was a
privilege to be there to see the loving care that he got from his wife, son,
and two daughters. Another brother and his wife also came. Andy and I ran the kitchen...Andy cooked, I
helped with the shopping, menu planning, and was one of the willing scullery maids.
Edwin had throat cancer, and even with treatment it
continued to metastasize.
He left letters for his seven grandchildren, instructions
for his services, and a couple of final columns. He was a retired journalist and was beloved by
the Maui community he covered so well.
It was quite a beautiful experience, and I told his wife
that it was really a privilege to be allowed to stay and be there for his final
days on this earth.
I thought you might enjoy the last Haku Mo'olelo column he wrote for the Maui News.*
Author: Virginia Tanji has been a membver of Cell 2 Soul for eons. You can reach her at V. Tanji.
*The link to the Maui News column gives you access to Edwin Tanji's final "Haku Mo'olelo" column. It is the parting words of a writer contemplating his own death. Ed Tanji was a former city editor of The Maui News. "Haku Mo'olelo,"
"writing stories," is about stories that are being written or have been
written. Ron Youngblood, Ed's colleague at the Maui News, wrote this moving obituary. Lucky too live and maki on Maui!