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No shame in needing to heal

August 11, 2014

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Got a call from my best friend Angela during intermission, and she had some good stories to tell about a workshop she attended last week on something called "equine assisted psychotherapy", a form of therapy where horses help people understand things about themselves and their emotions. Yes, I know it sounds a bit off the beaten path, but most good things are, and look at what dogs have done for us for thousands of years. My gosh, why not horses?

Did a bit of research after we talked, and learned that "counseling" is defined as "advice and support given to people to help them deal with problems, make important decisions, etc.", while the word "therapy" comes from the Greek therapeía, meaning "healing." Now that I look back, I see that I've had the need along the way for both, and likely will from time to time as life rolls along. Seems I often seek counsel, and it's helpful and good to get a different perspective on something from an objective person. And healing is an important thing, and it takes time, and everyone at some point has a need for it. Nothing to be ashamed of, ever, and why not have a little help?

Upon further research, I was somewhat amazed at all the kinds of therapy out there. Aromatherapy, infrared therapy, megavitamin therapy, occupational therapy, chemotherapy, thermotherapy, refrigeration therapy, immunotherapy, speech therapy. Long, long list. If you've a particular need for healing, there's a therapy for it. There's even heliotherapy, which is about exposing people to sunlight. I love that. If it weren't raining today, I'd go stand in the sun.

Come to think of it, seems about anything that lifts you up is therapy. Think about it. Some people go for a run every day. Some people cook. Some paint. Some do yoga. Some walk dogs. Some go to work. Mr. Sundberg takes long walks in the forest, and cuts and stacks wood. My daughter is a proponent of "cake therapy." "You just bake a cake, and frost it, and cut a big piece and eat it. And boom - you feel better." Though I do see, when she consumes a big handful of sweet peppers, she experiences the same effect. I have come to believe, with observation over time, that a small amount of video game playing after a long stretch of studying has a therapeutic effect on our son. Same as reading awhile. And our youngest daughter finds a kind of healing in working out, and walking the beach with her friends.

My nieces and nephew, all ten and under, are here for a few days for what they call "Writing Camp." Not my original plan a few years back. My intent was to have them spend a few days with us (cousins are a big deal), and to relax awhile together for a few days before the start of school and its crazy schedule. On Day One, there was bickering after a while amongst all the kids, and to shut it all down I gave them each paper and asked them to write a story. Lo and behold, they did, and that was that. It's "Writing Camp" now, and they're coloring at the moment, but later today we'll write awhile, together, and they'll want to read aloud what they wrote and I'll want to listen. Children have a way of reminding us about the things we might lose an appreciation for along the way, like naps and adventures and how good a fresh cookie tastes. And how good it feels to sit down with a blank page and a pen, and tell a story about wild horses and dogs and jaguars, or guinea pigs, or a fantasy about something you don't know yet but will figure out after a few lines about biking, or jumping on trampolines. A kind of healing in itself, if you ask me.

Lot of berries around still, outside and in the freezer, and one of summer's best treats is among the most simple: a slice of pound cake topped with berries and some freshly whipped cream. Delightful.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

Cream butter and cream cheese with your favorite wooden spoon. Gradually add sugar, and then add eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears. Add vanilla and stir, then add the flour a cup at a time, and the salt, too. Blend it all together, and pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Fill a 2-cup, ovenproof measuring cup with water and place in oven near the tube pan to keep the cake moist. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T milk, to consistency

Mix together till desired consistency is reached, but keep it thin. Add more milk one teaspoon at a time to get it right. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Enjoy!

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