Born and raised in Queens, just outside of New York City, my high school education consisted mostly of hopping the subway into the city to explore New Wave cinema, off Broadway theater, and Greenwich Village; not one wasted moment.
After college at Tufts University with majors in English and Philosophy, I stayed in Cambridge and was one of the original authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves. I supported myself in an odd mix of jobs: writing training manuals for incoming employees at Filene’s Department store; restringing and tuning pianos, and at Medfield State Mental Hospital, working with chronic schizophrenics who were slated, after more than twenty five years of incarceration, to be released into the community. Although the program failed, I learned how to listen deeply to others who were struggling to find their voice
I left the East Coast and moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1970, and right on target for my generation, I joined a spiritual community and fell under the spell of a guru. I might have considered these wasted years, except for the fact that even with a head cold now I can smell a phony guru three city blocks away; it’s also where I met my future husband Richard.
We moved to Maui and stayed for three years; our daughter Sasha was born there. When we moved to Santa Fe in 1990, I started a marketing and event production company. Sasha was six-years-old, I was fifty. It wasn’t that I wanted to wait that long to have a child; it was the result of a series of miscarriages over several years. The experience of being an older first-time mother became the basis for my research and subject of my next book, Hot Flashes, Warm Bottles: First-Time Mothers Over Forty. Talk about exhausted.
For reasons I couldn’t explain, my heart began tugging towards hospice work, which meant going back to school for a Master’s degree in social work, the oldest student in my class. For the next ten years I had the great honor of sitting with the dying and their families and letting grief, theirs and mine, become a welcomed, familiar companion.
I’ve been co-facilitating week long writing retreats on Grief, Loss, Uncertainty and Change with Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal, for the last three years. At home, I offer one-day writing workshops for women on Embracing the Shadow, as well as ongoing small writing groups. I have a private practice specializing in grief support, work that is close to my heart.
Life is full. Life is good. Sasha lives in Australia with her Aussie husband Rhys, and runs a successful organic farm. Richard and I celebrated our thirtieth anniversary. These times are what the I Ching call The Darkening of the Light, a time when we are called to hold fast to the vision of peace and justice while nurturing the flame of love within. Shine on.