Thursday, November 24, 2011


My daughter and her husband, both excellent chefs, invited me for Thanksgiving dinner. On my arrival, much to my delight, three of my grandchildren, ages 4-to-9, surrounded me as I sat on the couch. They talked non-stop. Each one had multiple tales to tell. I partook of their loving bounty.

As all three of my children know, I am not much in the cooking department. However, following the meal, I am great in the clean-up crew. In dish washing, I believe in a sink of hot, soapy water, another of rinse water and a dish towel. Today, my seven-year-old granddaughter, Azriela, pulled up a stool and helped me.

As we worked and talked together, I thought nostalgically of my childhood, the holidays and large family gatherings, with their accompanying meals and dirty dishes.

I fondly remember those times, standing around the kitchen sink, washing and drying the dishes with my Grandmother Ollie, my aunts and my mother. It was the time the women chatted and caught up on the family news.

Women commune together as they work in the kitchen, the quintessential hearth. There, they return to their primal essence, the giver of life and sustenance.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Recently, Chris, my art teacher's son-in-law, photographed fifty of my completed paintings. Earlier Chris had seen some of my work and appeared enthusiastic about it. After Chris saw more of my pieces, he seemed excited about showing them to his friend, who owns an art gallery. I am smiling inside.

In my art's process, be it writing or painting, I must release any expectations of the outcome. My job is to surrender to the Divine Source and follow the path that opens before me. When I release all of my expectations, the Source takes me on grand adventures, which are beyond my wildest imagination.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I awoke on the morning of 11/20/11, which was actually noon, with a painting dancing in my mind's eye. I saw one bold, central, dark color flanked by a bright color. The painting occupied my mind throughout the day. One by one, the canvas size, 24"x30," and its colors, turquoise green and orange, were revealed to me.

It is currently 2:00 a.m., my time, on 11/21/11. The bare bones of the painting is on the canvas. I know the piece will require several layers. However, I can now rest. Whether it is writing or painting, I know, when the muse sings, I must dance.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I look for the good in all beings. Lying is foreign to me, and those who use lying as a means to navigate in the world is almost incomprehensible to me.

Yesterday, I received information verifying my suspicion that one of my patients had lied to me on numerous occasions. I am deeply saddened and disappointed by his behaviors. His ability to look me in the eye and lie is uncanny. In his perfidy, his performances were of Academy Award caliber.

Because of his lies, over the past eight months, he has significantly increased my stress level and wasted a great deal of my uncompensated time. At this stage in my life, my energy to help others in therapy is very limited. Perhaps another could have benefited from my time. It remains to be seen if he, on some level, has benefited by our work together.

I see a great deal of potential in this individual. At this point, I am unsure if he truly wants help and is willing to work to change his behaviors. Only God knows the answer. Time reveals all. I may not be around to watch his story's conclusion, but I am certain God brought us together for a purpose. It is not necessary that I know the reason.


Horace has been with me two weeks. The bark collar has worked its magic. He sits down to receive food and is in the process of leash training. Horace is a big, bouncing, lovable kid.

However, for me to survive Horace's puppy hood, I must teach him a few manners such as:
1. It isn't polite to pounce on or knock over your source of home and sustenance.
2. Breaking any of your owner's bones is considered very poor form.
3. Sniffing your owner's privates is exceptionally rude.
4. And, of course, you don't belch or fart in polite company.

Today, I worked in the backyard to put the garden to bed for the winter. The two little dogs, Bodhi and Sophia, stayed inside. Since they are yappers, their absence gave Horace and me a little peace.

As I clipped, weeded and mulched, I discovered Horace is a very thoughtful gardening companion. As did one of my previous pit bulls, Greta, Horace protectively lingers nearby and surveys his domain. He occasionally oversees my work, which can be a strain on his manners. However, I see in him a budding gentleman, scholar and gardener.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Recently, I took a movie escape break and saw Clint Eastwood's superb movie, J. Edgar Hoover. The man's tyranny was well known. The movie portrayed many complex psychodynamic elements, particularly the psychopathology of Hoover's relationship with his mother. However, the most memorable theme for me was Hoover's homosexual relationship with his second in command.

Again, like Memphis, the movie portrayed the trauma of society's condemnation of people for their sexual interest or orientation.

There was the very poignant scene of Hoover's conversation with his mother regarding his fear of dancing with a woman. His mother reminded him of their relative, Daffy, who dressed in women's clothes and eventually committed suicide.

Very pointedly, Hoover's mother said to him, "I'd rather my son be dead than be a Daffy."

Another powerful scene was after Hoover's mother's death. He put on his mother's necklace and dress and allowed himself to grieve.

The debate, of the movie's fact or fiction and its various psychological themes, could go on ad infinitum and are of no importance to me. However, what saddens me most about the story, which is based on social reality, that any form or expression of love is forbidden in our society.

We, the members of the human race, must realize love is just another word for God.


Over the years, I have seen many people imprisoned by their fear. No matter how miserable they are in a job, relationship or situation they refuse to change. They are terrified of the "unknown."

I have seen individuals paralyzed in marriages. The only freedom they will know is death, unless their spouse bails out first. In the latter case, as painful as that is for them, their spouse is doing them a favor. They are being forcibly evicted from their self-imposed prison.

The only true solution I know to fear is prayer, prayer and more prayer. The Divine Source will reveal the path. If they resist, their pain usually intensifies. Some will explore beyond their bars. Others, will huddle in the corner of the living death of their cell.

Enjoy the adventure of life. The wide-open expanse of all that is invites you to the dance. Check your fear at the door.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yesterday, in Oklahoma City, I saw the Broadway Musical, "Memphis." The traveling play was on its first national tour. The music, singing, choreography and staging were superb.

Set in the 1950s, the story is based on the life of Huey, a white, Memphis disc jockey, who introduced the Caucasian population to the music of his "soul," the Rhythm and Blues of the "Negroes." In addition to the music, the story revolves around segregation and the forbidden love between a white man, Huey, and a black, female vocalist, Felicia.

At that time in our nation's history, there were anti-miscegenation laws, meaning laws against interracial sex or marriage. Hidden behind closed doors, Huey and Felicia were lovers and desired to marry.

To forbid love between two people, because of skin color and/or race is incredibly sad. I rejoice when I see racially diverse couples and their offspring. With racial blending, perhaps someday our planet will know harmony and peace.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today, six of my art works were photographed for participation in my first art show. When told of the opportunity, I was ambivalent. I wasn't sure that I wanted to sell any of my first born, especially those most dear to me. After some thought, I decided to charge what I felt they were worth. If viewers were not willing to pay those prices, they didn't sufficiently appreciate them, and they didn't deserve to own them.

When I began writing, almost 15 years ago, the words poured out of me onto paper. I am experiencing the same phenomenon with art. With visions of colors and forms, paints are exploding onto canvas. As some would say about independent souls such as myself, she dances to her own drum. From celestial origins, I love the beat of my drum. It soothes and heals my soul.

ANNOUNCMENT: The first showing of a small portion of my work can be seen on 12/9/11, 6-9 p.m., at the Shevaun Williams Photography Studio located on Norman's Main Street, between Peters and Crestwood. This event is in conjunction with Norman's Art Walk.

Eventually, my art work will be available on my website. I invite you to experience the healing power of color.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I decided the big boy was not to be named "Ulysses," a hero of Greek Mythology, even though I am sure his character qualified him for such a title. The name, "Horse," came to mind, but it was not sufficiently dignified. Then, his name plummeted from the sky, "Horace." Horace, (c. 65-8 B.C.), was a scholar and author. The big boy has intelligent eyes. I am sure he will grow into his name.

Yesterday, one of my neighbors approached me with a fierce look on her face. Apparently, Horace's bark was destroying her serenity. I responded that I would give the situation some thought and proceeded to my art class.

I shared my dilemma with my artistic compatriots, who are also animal lovers. Patti, our teacher, saved the day. Patti has five dogs. She introduced me to her "bark collar." The device has been worn by each of her dogs and has minimized their barking. The device is placed over the dog's vocal cords. Each times he barks, it shocks him.
After class, I headed straight to the pet store. Horace is now the proud owner of a $50 collar and leash and a $60 bark collar.
I hated to subject him to the latter. He had already been traumatized by his new surroundings. However, if he was to stay with me, he and I had no choice.

Well, the collar works. I am sure Horace has been stressed today, but the neighbors are happier. I have to admit that I am also enjoying the silence.

Horace, Sophia and Bodhi have eaten their evening meal, and it is dog bone time. With food in hand, perhaps Horace will forgive me for his discomfort.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I live in a modest home in the older part of the city near an area that one might call "the hood." I am told the hood has chop shops, drug dealers and prostitutes. Individuals of those occupations often have dogs chained to and/or roaming their places of business. Judging by the length and caliber of his chain, I suspect my new and biggest dog escaped from such a domicile.

He seems blissfully happy to have found a home with food, shelter, kindness and no chains. I suspect he is just a big puppy. He certainly acts like one. The veterinarian will soon enlighten me on that topic.

I have also heard that pit bulls, often crossed with Great Danes, are frequently groomed to fight, sometimes to the death.

When finding their way to the pound, dogs of this breed may not be adopted and are exterminated. "Putting them down or asleep" is much too polite of a phrase for such activities.

I'm glad the big guy found his way to me. Perhaps, his name will soon follow. Perhaps his name is Ulysses? We'll see.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


For the last four days, I have been submerged in the nonverbal world of color, form and movement, and the paint has been flying around me.

Add to this mix, my furry friend population has expanded. During my morning walk in April of 2007, a yellow, Manx cat adopted me. With behaviors of a mighty female warrior, she obviously hailed from that ancient Greek lineage of Amazons and bears the name of that sisterhood.

In August of 2009, I heard barking emanating from behind my trash barrel. Upon investigation, I discovered a hungry, thirsty and tattered Pekingese. He immediately
followed me onto the porch and into the house. There was no doubt he planned on staying. His big, brown eyes could melt the most hardened of hearts. Mine was immediately mush. The Pekingese are of Asian origins. I knew his name was to begin with the letter "B." I questioned if his name was Buddha, but it didn't fit. Finally, a friend mentioned Bodhi, like Buddha under the bodhi tree. Bodhi has a contemplative spirit.

In April of 2010, I decided Bodhi needed a playmate. I scoured the paper for a listing of Pekingese puppies and found a litter in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Bodhi and I were on our way. I thought Bodhi might decide which puppy was to be his new running mate. When we arrived at the breeder's home, we found six puppies occupying a dry, child's swimming pool in the middle of the family room. Bodhi immediately deserted his duty in pursuit of the family cat. Beforehand, I decided our new family member was to be a female. The owners placed three black females on the floor near me. One was disinterested and wandered away. One was timid and fearful. The third female promptly walked over and climbed into my purse. Her name became Sophia, after the Goddess of Wisdom. She has yet to live up to her moniker. However, she is the smallest and dominant alpha of the three animals.

In the past two weeks, a beautiful, black cat has frequented my porch and the feline food bowl. She is shy and has lovely green eyes and a sweet disposition. For now, I call her Sweetie. Time will tell if she will continue to inhabit my life.

Then, I came home last Friday, to find a dog, dragging a 10-foot chain, on my front porch. Good-hearted neighbors were concerned for his safety and attempting to soothe him. He was obviously a mixture of pit bull and possibly Great Dane. I decided to take the situation in hand. I tied his chain to my porch railing and went into the house for a quilt for bedding and bowls of water and dog food. Presented with sustenance, he immediately settled down. The neighbors were relieved that he was safe and were free to return home. I was tired and figured the solution the situation would come to me in a day or two.

I checked on big fellow throughout the night. The next day he gained access to the back yard, with his chain secured to the metal fence post. He showed not signs of aggression toward Bodhi or Sophia, and he and Bodhi became fast friends. He is a big, happy, lovable galoot, who whines when he wants attention. The third day, all three dogs were free to roam the fenced yard. The little dogs have a dog door into the back porch. The big guy can only maneuver his snout and eyeballs through the door. It was cold and wet last night. I cleaned the tool shed and secured it for his bed. He was appreciative.

He has been here for five days, and I don't want to part with him. He is a brindle and reminds me of my dog, Greta, who was a pit bull. While living on the farm, Greta died from a snake bite. I have long mourned her. She was such a special spirit. I always thought she might return to me. Maybe she has. I have yet to receive his name. It will come.

This evening, all the animals are fed and bedded down for the night. I think I'll do the same.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have been estranged from my parents for over twenty-five years. Following my inpatient trauma treatment and memory retrieval, I was emotionally devastated and terrified of allowing them near me. I wrote them a note and stated, "A child remembers everything. Do not contact me again."

Over the years, I prayed for my parents. My fear of them and my anger toward them had largely abated. My pain had diminished, and I felt compassion and love for these two souls.

In 2010, I became aware of my need to see my parents. Before they crossed to the other side, I wanted to tell them that I loved them.

I sent them a card requesting to visit them. My mother responded. Over time and several correspondences, she invited me to visit. We planned to share lunch. I was to stay in nearby lodging.

In October of 2010, I made the journey to my childhood home. The distance required for me to travel far exceeded the mileage on the trip meter.

Having moved from the farm, my mother arranged for me to meet her at their new home in town. My father refused to see me. He had vacated the premises for my arrival.

At 86, my mother looked well. Her hair color and style were unchanged. Her face, due to cosmetic surgery, was as I remembered it. I was glad she had the means to meet her needs.

We had a very stilted conversation, as we sat at my parent's kitchen table. I inquired about her health and the various people in the community. With little visible emotion, she spoke of her health and reported the local news. She told me of her church activities and the monetary contributions she and my father had made to the church.

Throughout our time together, my mother avoided eye contact and made no inquiry into my life.

At an appointed time, she announced we were going to the farm where I was reared. My nephew, his wife and their two daughters now lived there and continued the farming operation started by my parents.

With my mother in the passenger seat, I drove to the farm. On arriving, I noticed little had changed. The house, barns, granaries were as I remembered.

As I gazed upon the various structures, I attempted to appear normal. However, I was experiencing a movie reel of flashbacks of the abuse that I had sustained in those buildings. The same was true when I entered the house. In vivid color, I was reliving my trauma.

I had not seen my nephew since he was a small child. I was struck by his resemblance to his father, my brother. My nephew and his daughters, ages two and seven, were filled with energy and delightful. I was unable to meet his wife, who was working out of town.

My nephew began to inquire about my life, profession and world views. To our surprise, there were many parallels in our journeys.

For lunch, we took my mother into town. Afterward, my mother was tired. I drove her home and returned to the farm. My nephew had invited me to spend the afternoon with him and his daughters.

At the day's end, I was exhausted, feeling emotionally fragile but glad I came. During the evening, on my return drive, I listened to the radio broadcast of the day's events. To my surprise, it was Halloween. Unknown to my conscious mind, my subconscious mind and Higher Source had coordinated the scheduling. During the subsequent four months, I was depressed and in emotional pain. The trip reopened my wounds. I had more work to do.


I am a survivor of satanic abuse. As a child, Halloween was a time of horrific cult rituals. Twenty-five years ago, my repressed memories exploded into my consciousness.

Until the past two years, Halloween has created angst in my life. Last night, I wanted to turn off my lights and pretend I wasn't home. However, four of my grandchildren had other ideas. After school, with parents in tow, they arrived on my doorstep in full costume. I enjoyed their anticipation of their upcoming candy hall and relented.

After the children were on their merry way, I drove to the grocery store and purchased a large bag of assorted candies. My attitude had changed, and I looked forward to seeing the children in their regalia.

Soon, my doorbell was ringing. Often, accompanied by parents, there were small, timid children, of Spanish, Asian or African descent. I relished their diversity and the obvious effort the parents had expended for the event.

Making a big haul, the pre-teens were having a whooping, good time. They had yet to be jaundiced by puberty.

After the last reveler had vacated my street, I was smiling. The children's joy was catching. I was glad I had joined the party.


I needed a respite from the world, so I unplugged it for a few days. I sought to disconnect from the chatter of patients and their interminable needs, but a few insisted upon intruding into my space.

Eighteen months ago, I was emotionally depleted, and my health was hovering on the brink of dissolution. I sent sixty patients letters stating, "For physical and personal reasons I must markedly decrease my practice and will no longer be able to see you." I saw this group of patients on an annual basis, and their medications had not changed for a number of years. In the envelope, I included 6-to-12 months of their medication refills, which gave them ample time to locate another psychiatrist.

Of this group of sixty, only one person contacted me with concern for my well-being. Most of them, when their refills expired, I received requests for renewal. Apparently, they mistook me for a free, psychiatric 7-11.

Over the years, I have seen patients who were very needy and self-absorbed. They consumed my energy. At times, I felt like they had an I.V. in my arm and were draining me dry. If I laid dying on the floor, I felt these people would step over me and keep on talking.

A few years ago, one such individual reported to me, with no sign of emotion, that her massage therapist, of many years, had died. His death appeared to be an inconvenience to this person. However, I was assured they had already found a replacement therapist, who was even an improvement over the recently departed.

Needless to say, to preserve my sanity and health, my work requires me to set firm boundaries and, on occasion, to pull the plug on it.

For several days, I have painted, read and rested. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time for me and plan to make it a regular habit. I encourage you to do the same.