… we know you’re lying. I’ve been experiencing an awkward state of unease for close to 50 years now. And I hadn’t been able to put my finger on quite what it was until I heard an interview on Radio NZ National’s Nine to Noon programme. Lynn Freeman was talking with Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy about body language, and especially about the significance of dissonance between words and actions.
Donald Trump provided her with a good example. She’s identified that he tries to adapt his body language to match his words. But it doesn’t work and that’s why he seems inauthentic.
Like a shorter, slower version of the great All Black John Kirwan, I have decided to speak up about depression. My life is fantastic and I get immense pleasure from my love of sport, travel and the amazing people around me. But here’s a simple statement of medical fact: I have experienced major episodes of clinical depression since the age of 18. I don’t know how that works, how the same mind that allows me to drink in life like an intoxicating nectar can also turn dog on me and drag me to the depths of emotional hell, but that is the truth of it. I do know that depression can afflict anyone, regardless of how good or seemingly enviable their life is, just as cancer, heart disease or any other illness can strike anybody, regardless of how happy, famous or wealthy they are.
Dr Tree Cocks
Disorder: Textile Junkie
Definition: Finding a length of fabric at the bottom of your stash, feeling it and falling in love with it all over again. You bring it to the top of the stash, sure (all over again) that you will find the perfect project to use it in.
Cure: There is none
A baby, the family’s tenth and last child, is born in 1728 to a Scottish couple farming at East Kilbride, south of Glasgow. He is named John, with the hope that he will survive infancy, unlike a previous baby, also named John. The family is described as “struggling”. So it is likely there was no servant help for the substantial daily work load. I will imagine that near the house is a ‘kail yard’ to hoe, to grow kail (kale) the most commonly cultivated green. Close by are hens and a milking cow. On the farmland itself grow oats, and sheep and cattle. At lambing/calving season those farm animals require intense tending. I’ll bet that often the wind’s maw is bleak and cold. Animals are culled and butchered for home use, and sheep shorn for wool to spin then weave. Regularly the men tramp on and beyond the farm to hunt or snare wild game such as salmon, trout, rabbit, hare and grouse. Domestic tasks include milking of the cow, and from that milk the making of butter and cheese. There are clothes to stitch, candles to make, floors to sweep, a kitchen table to scrub, fires to tend, meals to cook and of course the physically demanding job of filling tubs with water for the hand washing of clothes. Why am I describing this? [Read more…]
Dr Leah Kaminsky
A physician works at the border between science and the soul … the wise doctor probes not only the organs of his patient but also his feelings and emotions, his fears and hopes, his regrets and his goals. And to accomplish that most important task of applying wisdom, the physician also needs to take his own emotional temperature.” – Jerome Groopman, in the foreword to Writer, M. D., a collection of works by doctor-writers edited by Melbourne GP and writer Leah Kaminsky.
Kaminsky writes: Writing for me can be a kind of thermometer, where I check the rising mercury of my own beliefs, biases and uncertainties. It is not a place I hope to find answers—rather, I use the blank page to try and understand what kind of questions a doctor needs to ask. My medicine has always fed and informed my writing. But more importantly, literature has, I hope, made me a better physician.
Novelist Laurence Fearnley walks on Dunedin’s Signal Hill every day, and as she walks she creates a map of the scents she encounters.
Paying attention to scent has resulted in a more intimate response to landscape, one that grows stronger with each change of season as my daily walks nurture my familiarity with the ground I cover. Every day Signal Hill grows more interesting and more beautiful.”