10 Comments
Jun 16Liked by Julia Macintosh, Steve Thorp

What a beautiful piece, Julia.

I too have struggled with impulses to offer support that get lost in a tangle of other impulses, including to not intrude in someone's private world. I can also think of times when I was the upset person wanting to be alone in my feelings, as sometimes the support offered to me drowns out my own feelings (especially if advice is being offered) and I feel an obligation to support the supporter rather than to continue feeling my own feelings.

Meanwhile I continue to work on my capacity to respond to others even when I am unsure what would be the "best" response. Once my analytical mind kicks into action, I can get very lost.

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Jun 16Liked by Steve Thorp

I like to think of the ecosystem of our actions. This grieving woman both received the gift of space for her grieving and the comfort of strangers. I love what you uncovered here in the shadows of yourself and that you listened to the call to share it, in-spite of the great risk of rejection and shame. As a reader, we both got the benefit of being moved by someone who can act on their impulse to love, connecting and sharing in a strangers pain as well as being enriched by someone who was willing to be chillingly honest and courageously share their insights with others. Neither was more right than the other because both were deeply resonant. Thank you so much for your reflection and sharing.

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Jun 16Liked by Steve Thorp

I like to think of the ecosystem of our actions. This grieving woman both received the gift of space for her grieving and the comfort of strangers. I love what you uncovered here in the shadows of yourself and that you listened to the call to share it, in-spite of the great risk of rejection and shame. As a reader, we both got the benefit of being moved by someone who can act on their impulse to love, connecting and sharing in a strangers pain as well as being enriched by someone who was willing to be chillingly honest and courageously share their insights with others. Neither was more right than the other because both were deeply resonant. Thank you so much for your reflection and sharing. πŸ™πŸΌ

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thank you Megan - I love the image of an ecosystem, where there is both growth and decay, with both being essential to overall health. Remembering that the human condition involves a rich soup of mistakes and suffering and learning and redemption. xxx

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This piece is so courageous, Julia. And so different from the ideas driven world out there right now. After the Second World War, there was a response that acknowledged experience and the ways evil appeared in the human psyche. Now it's all about trying to unravel the 'matacrisis' or some such.

I'm guessing you reflect a lot of peoples' hidden realities - that we can all turn our face and enable evil to carry on its ordinary horror. All it takes is fear...

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thank you Steve xxx your comment here refers to courage and makes me wonder what that is. I think many people who we think of as courageous would say that their actions came to them as inevitable; they don't consider themselves as such because they did what seemed and felt right to them at the time. As you know, we talked behind the scenes about whether this piece should be edited to temper its starkness, and I declined - the words I wrote were how they came to me, and were inevitable in that sense. There is a real tension, isn't there, between what comes to us and what we choose. Neurologists would perhaps say that choice is an illusion; that we make our decisions unconsciously within seconds. I don't know - my dilemma in the museum felt enormous at the time and highlighted to me how easily we may slip into the gap between right and wrong. xxx

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Beautiful piece. Thank you.

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thank you Vanessa xxx

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Plenty of courage and compassion here, , haunting and honest πŸ™Julia.

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thank you Sally xxx

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