Respond to these lyrics


Get your pen and paper out.

Substitute "girl" for "boy" and send me the pages.


Breathe deeply until you feel relaxed. When you're ready, open your eyes, read the next sentence, and write what you're feeling.

1. From Billy Joel's song "The Night is Still Young":

I'm young enough to see the passionate boy that I used to be, but I'm old enough to say I got a good look at the other side.

2. Then take a break, breathing in slow and steady breaths before taking to the page again. Respond to this from Lenny Kravitz's song "Can't Get You Off My Mind":
 I’m old enough to see behind me, young enough to feel my soul.
3. Repeat the breathing exercises and respond to this from  John Mellancamp:
    Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.

    Going Home to Heal

    Hi Em,

    Thank you for the lovely note. It means a lot to know that you're thinking of me at this challenging time.

    I did what you suggested and spent the day baking and cleaning. On days like today, this is as comforting to me as friendship. It does, however, feel like "going home."

    As you know, I left my childhood home in 1986. Your hometown wasn't really mine. I've always considered the city of my birth, the city I returned to.

    That is, until I went back for a visit.

    With the connections that I have there--family and friends and memories--these are the things that make me think of it as home.

    At first, I was as much an outsider here as when we moved there. But once I felt assimilated, after I rediscovered the lay of the land, I began to feel at home, again.

    You ask if I think that one can go home to heal.

    The answer is a resounding "Yes!" I did. I did, without knowing that this was my intention; it coincided with a renewed interest in my writing career and I took my young daughter with me so that he and I could share the experience. My son never saw it.

    Whatever wounds I had been carrying were healed during that visit.

    I'll send you a personal essay I wrote about the experience. You might want to write about yours.


    Hi again, Em,

    I forgot to include this, from the movie "Syliva":

    Sometimes I dream a tree and the tree is my life one branch is the man I shall marry and the leaves my children another branch is my future as a writer and each leaf is a poem another branch is a glittering academic career but as I sit there trying to choose the leaves being to turn brown and blow away, until the tree is absolutely bare.