Monday, December 23, 2019

Remembering Leonard M. Horowitz, 1937 – 2019, Psychotherapy/Interpersonal Psychology Researcher Extraordinaire


Entry for 22 December 2019:

Len Horowitz, my friend and fellow psychotherapy researcher died on 11 November 2019, at the age of 82, in Portola Valley, California. However, my fellow psychotherapy researchers and I didn’t hear about his death until a few days ago, when George Silberschatz sent out an email on the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) list.

Personal reflections.  I met Len in 1976 when as a very green grad student I attended my very first SPR conference, in San Diego.  I have this vivid memory of hanging around with him talking by some large plants in the entryway of the Hotel del Coronado. The conference was over but I delayed leaving because I fell into long and fascinating conversation with him about how the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula could be used to increase the reliability of therapy process ratings.  It seemed like magic at the time and impressed the heck out of me.  From then on he was, to quote T.S. Eliot il miglior fabbro, “the better maker”: the psychotherapy research methodologist who I, as a psychotherapy research methodologist, looked to for inspiration.  Without him it would have been years before I discovered Spearman-Brown, and it would never have occurred to me to use to cluster analysis/multidimensional scaling for my 1985 significant events taxonomy paper.  Like many of my colleagues in SPR I was an early adopter of his wonderful Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP), the items for which he constructed from transcripts of intake sessions with psychotherapy clients, a lovely example of phenomenological test construction.  His case study research on the emergence of previously warded-off mental contents, with the Mount Zion Group in San Francisco, was a revelation for me when I first read it. And so on.    

Here are a few facts about Len:  Len was born 28 Feb 1937. He received his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Johns Hopkins University in 1960.  He started out in Experimental Psychology, landed a job at Stanford University right out of grad school at the age of 23 (no mean feat that, even in those days), and then later did clinical training, working with the Mount Zion Group during the 1970’s, as I mentioned above.  He was president of SPR 1992-93 and president of the Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research (which he helped found) 1999-2000. He received SPR’s Distinguished Career Award in 2010.  He wrote at least two books, including an undergrad statistics textbook (Elements of Statistics for Psychology & Education,1974), and Interpersonal Foundations of Psychopathology (2004).  He is also famous for his work with Hans Strupp and Michael Lambert on a 1990’s APA task force on creating a core battery of standardized measures for evaluating the outcome of psychotherapy (published as Measuring Patient Changes in Mood, Anxiety, and Personality Disorders: Toward a Core Battery, 1997) and for editing (with Stephen Strack), the Handbook of Interpersonal Psychology: Theory, Research, Assessment, and Therapeutic Interventions (2010).  According the Scopus, his most frequently-cited publication (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) has been cited 3758 times; it is one of the key publications in the modern attachment theory literature.

Since word of his death reached the SPR list, there has been an amazing outpouring from a wide range of well-known psychotherapy researchers honouring his many contributions.  What I have found most striking about these testimonials, however, is the portrait of Len that emerges from them: Over and over again, people have written about how Len made them feel welcome from their first SPR conference, how he was gentle, approachable, humble, enthusiastic, generous, warm, creative, throughtful and thought-provoking, wise, inspiring… and brilliant. He clearly felt a calling to support early career psychotherapy researchers and in this has provided a great service to the field and an important role model for the rest of us. I think Les Greenberg summed Len up about right when he described him as an “all round mensch”.

And here is a collection of some of my favourite Len Horowitz references (others will have other suggestions):
            Horowitz, L.M., Sampson, H., Siegelman, E.Y., Wolfson, A., & Weiss, J. (1975).  On the identification of warded off mental contents.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 84, 545-558.
            Horowitz, L.M. (1979).  On the cognitive structure of interpersonal problems treated in psychotherapy.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 5-15.
            Horowitz, L.M., Inouye, D., & Siegelman, E.Y. (1979).  On averaging judges' ratings to increase their correlation with an external criterion.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 453-458.
            Horowitz, L.M., Rosenberg, S.E., Baer, B.A., Ureño, G., Villaseñor, V.S. (1988). Inventory of interpersonal problems: psychometric properties and clinical applications.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 885-892.
            Horowitz, L.M., Rosenberg, S.E., Ureño, G., Kalehzan, B.M., & O'Halloran, P. (1989).  Psychodynamic formulation, consensual response method, and interpersonal problems.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 599-606.
            Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244.
            Horowitz, L. M., & Malle, B.F. (1993).  Fuzzy concepts in psychotherapy research.  Psychotherapy Research, 3, 131-148.

I think that an excellent way to honor Len's memory would be to go back an look at some of these wonderful papers. Just a couple of weeks ago, as part of reviewing an article submitted for publication, I was pleased to be able to recommend the 1975 study to an author. Len was truly one of a kind and certainly a major inspiration for me over the course my career as a psychotherapy researcher.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Singapore Chinese Orchestra

Entry for 8 Dec 2019:

I’ve been in east Asia for the past two weeks: First, 6 days of EFT training in Shanghai (empathy, Module 4 & an intense day of group supervision). Then, I flew to Singapore for another 5 days of training (empathy & Module 1).  It’s been intense and hard work, and I was getting pretty tired by today, my last day.  This morning as I arrived Eng Chuan, who is in charge of CaperSpring, the local EFT institute, asked me if I wanted to go see the Singapore Chinese Orchestra tonight.  You bet, I said, since I’d always wanted to see a Chinese Orchestra performance. 

So tonight we grabbed a quick dinner and headed off for the Chinese Cultural Centre, where the concert hall is.  I was almost the only westerner at the concert. I had a blast.

The SCO is a large orchestra, consisting of about 50 people, playing mostly traditional Chinese folk instruments, with a sprinkling of cellos, bass fiddles, and on this occasion a western concert harp, all organised into sections very like a western symphony orchestra. For example, instead of violins, there were three classes of 1- and 2-stringed instruments: gaohus, zhonghus and erhus.  There were Chinese flutes and weird wind instruments.  There are large and small lute-like instruments and many others that I couldn’t make out but could only hear from time to time in the music because they were in back rows.

The concert started with a rousing overture, Continuous Prosperity, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was followed by a more serious piece called The Memory, from a dance score entitled The Desert Smoke.  This was an intense piece about grief, as the composer mourned for his wife, consisting of a sad melody played on various Chinese 1- and 2-string violin-like instruments such as the erhu, punctuated by loud outbursts of emotion pain.  

After this, we were treated to a series of brief orchestral songs of varying moods, mostly based on Mongolian and Uighur folk music and featuring a young Chinese tenor, Wang Zenan.  The finale was a sublimely ridiculous rendition of the orchestral chestnut O Sole Mio; I can only say that you haven’t really lived until you’ve heard a full Chinese orchestra and tenor ham their way through this piece!

After an intermission, we heard an amazing piece of 21st century Chinese music called Dream Interpretation; this was really a 10-movement concerto or suite for Chinese orchestra and erhu. Each section a particular kind of dream.  The soloist, Xu Wenjing, appeared in a striking white dress, and attacked her two stringed instrument which virtuosity through the series of wildly distinct movements. 

The final piece was a colourful celebration of Singapore’s Dragon Dance ceremony and included an extended section in which eight percussionists banged on a large array of different drums, cymbals and so on, in complex polyrhythms and with great gusto. It felt like a rock concert, and was really loud, to the extent that I found myself hoping that the players were using hearing protection.  

In all, I found the whole experience exhilarating, intense and fun.  I often found myself laughing out loud at the sheer outrageous exuberance of it, and hoping that no one around me would think that I was making fun of their culture.  The sight of 20 or 30 members of the orchestra vigorously sawing away at 1 and 2-stringed instruments to produce such a beautifully raucous and joyful racket carried me away into another world of music and experience, a world both familiar (a large symphony orchestra with a conductor and sections of instruments) and strange at the same time, ful of shifting dissonances and sudden contrasts in volume, tempo.

I haven’t enjoyed a concert so much since I saw Osmo Vanska conduct the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the Sibelius 2nd Symphony at Glasgow City Halls some
years ago. This might seem like a strange comparison, but on both cases the music was authentic, intense, soaring, heartfelt and deeply grounded in folk traditions, played by musicians who truly identify with the music, have great passion for it, and aren;t afraid to show it.  This was the high point for the past two weeks I’ve spent in east Asia, and I’m very grateful to Eng Chuan for treating me to it.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Extended Family

Right now I’m sitting at a table in a restaurant 
on Sentosa Island in Singapore 
Looking out over the tropical treetops
At the incongruous fleets of ships and refinery towers in the distance,
Listening to babies crying in the languid heat of the afternoon
While Christmas songs play in the background.

And right now I’m thinking of Diane just waking up
On a cold frosty morning in Glasgow,
Or maybe dreaming one last dream before she wakes for church.

And I’m also thinking of our son Kenneth not quite as cold,
In the middle of the night, 
Waiting at the Cedar Rapids airport in Iowa in America
to give his roommate a ride home on his return 
From his Thanksgiving trip home.

And right now I extend my mind to our other son Brendan, 
Closest of them all, in Tokyo 
In his study sneaking in some programming on a late Sunday afternoon 
While Mayumi and our granddaughter Mizuki have a girls' shopping afternoon
And Yuki plays a video game.
 
Right now, thinking of you all,
My scattered family, around the world: 
many places, many times, all interconnected.

                                         -1 Dec 2019, Singapore

Sunday, September 01, 2019

ISEFT 2019 Glasgow

 Entry for 31 August

It was a rainy Friday night in Glasgow.  After the conference ended we said our good-byes and hurried home to get changed for the conference dinner.  It had been several years since I last wore my kilt, so it took me a while to sort out all the different bits; as a result we didn’t call the taxi until quarter to seven.  Bad idea!  It took almost exactly 45 minutes for the taxi to arrive.  Lorna had warned the staff at the Kelvingrove Museum that I was running late, so they were waiting for us just inside the backdoor to the place as we arrived.  We rushed in and upstairs, my not-fully-broken-in ghillie brogues clacking on the stone flagging.  I felt rather foolish and embarrassed for being so late to arrive at what was in effect my own party, and also for having forgotten an essential fact about taxi travel in Glasgow in busy Friday nights.  Lorna met us on the stairs, to direct us to our table.  Fortunately, she had held down the fort in my absence, done a welcome speech, and told the venue to start the dinner service.
The large atrium of the Kelvingrove Museum was full of tables, and the tables were full of most of the attendees of the Third Conference of the International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy (ISEFT), finishing off their starter courses. Suddenly the room erupted in cheers.  It was overwhelming.  It turned out later that many of them had somehow gotten the impression that I had taken ill, so the whole thing had become a kind of drama. 

There was then nothing for it but for me to clack up onto the stage and make up my own welcome speech on the spot, which was enthusiastically received.  

*                      *                      *

It had been an intense and exhausting week: Tuesday and Wednesday there was the ISEFT Trainer Meeting, at Renfield-St. Stephen’s Centre here in Glasgow.  In attendance were 100 EFT trainers, institute heads and facilitators.  We spent a very fruitful two days exploring key issues in EFT training, with a particular focus on training in interpersonal processes such as empathy and work with interpersonal difficulties. The Tuesday evening social programme featured the now-traditional Trainer Dinner, which we held at the Scottish Piping Centre.

This was followed by the two-day main ISEFT conference, at the University of Strathclyde’s shiny new Technological Innovation Centre (TIC).  There were 235 attendees from throughout the world: the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East, East Asia, Australia and South America.  This time we were able to offer three plenary sessions and five parallel tracks. 

At the end of Day 1 the attendees were treated to a civic drinks reception at Glasgow City Chambers (=City Hall) which faces onto George Square and is an ornate Victorian building featuring a marvellous marble staircase and a large reception hall with impressive murals depicting key episodes from the history of Glasgow.  The Deputy Lord Provost (=vice mayor) of Glasgow was there to give a welcome speech in which he charmed the conferees with classic Glaswegian humour and warmth.  

Both Trainer Meeting and ISEFT Main Conference were a great success, with presentations that were both highly relevant to practice and also cutting edge developments within EFT. Both trainer meeting and main conference were able to combine research, theory and practice in ways that felt useful and well-grounded empirically and theoretically. The experience was exciting and uplifting.  There has been a noticeable step change since the first ISEFT conference in Veldhoven four years ago, with promising new research appearing or in progress.  The overall effect was highly stimulating and inspiring, as we were told repeatedly by the attendees.
*                      *                      *

Finishing my belated welcome speech, we sat down to eat our starters, which the kitchen had kept warm for us.  Part of the Turkish EFT delegation was at our table, as well as part of the Strathclyde contingent. The atrium echoed with the voices of our EFT friends and colleagues from all over the world.  Between courses, I got up and wandered over to Les’s table, which provoked one of a series of picture-taking episodes. 

I took several groups of folks around to some of my favourite things in the museum: Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross, the Scottish 20th century painters, the French impressionists.   Later, as the ceilidh band set up, Les and I had a wee ramble through an eclectic series of galleries (such as Scottish pre-history, armour & weapons).  We reflected on the strange, unpredictable paths that life can lead us into.  Then the band started up, and the dancing commenced. The earlier emotions of anxiety (what would go wrong?), sadness (at ending and too soon parting) and embarrassment (at being late and various minor gaffes) were gone, and in their place was pride (about the achievement), gratitude (at the good things that had taken place), hope (for the future of EFT), love (for a great group of good people whom I know, respect and care about). 


Onward to the next ISEFT conference: Chicago 2021!


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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Free Shakespeare in the Park 2019: Pleasanton, California

Entry for 29 June 2019:

Shakespeare in the Park is one of my favourite outdoor summer attractions, perhaps less dramatic than 4th of July fireworks but ultimately much more fulfilling.  Years ago, probably in the 1980's, Diane and I went to a play in the park behind her parents' old house near Amador Valley Community Park in suburban Pleasanton. If memory serves, I think it was the Merry Wives of Windsor.  During our current month in California we've been aware of the signs of the season.  One of these is the Alameda County Fair, located right in Pleasanton: We didn't get to this this year; however, we did manage to their big fireworks display last night, almost a full week before the 4th of July.

I'd been wondering about Shakespeare in the park.  Do they still do it in Pleasanteon, I wondered to myself.  Then, yesterday morning I decided to retrace part of an old running route, along the Arroyo del Valle and through the park behind Diane's parents old house. And there, behind the aquatic center, was the unmistakable sight (site?) of an empty stage set up in anticipation of a play.  As I ran past, I spied a poster and deviated from my route just long enough to confirm that there was in fact a performance of Free Shakespeare in the Park this weekend.

So it was that we joined a couple hundred other people on the grass at the north end of the park this evening, the sun still burning on us at 6:40. There were all kinds of people, all different ages and ethnicities, on chairs, blankets and beach towels, eating, drinking and watching the play, the opening night of the current run of Free Shakespeare in the Park, a musical version of As You Like It. 

 Although we were sore from sitting on the ground for a couple hours and had a lot more trouble getting up afterwards than we did 30 years ago, we were delighted with the world premier performance of this version of the play (with original music by The Kilbanes). Most of Shakespeare's songs for the play were included, with new music and a lot of the action and Elizabethan language carried and in some cases updated in musical numbers.  Of course, the original Shakespearean language has its own music and is immensely clever, and there was a fair dollop of that also, but not too much for the diverse audience gathered there. 

I've seen this popular Shakespeare play before, of course, but never really connected with it. However, this version felt more vivid and timely, with the current themes of injustice, refugees and gender confusion. The acting and music (including 5-piece band) were really well done, and kept the whole thing lively, entertaining, but also unexpectedly moving at times.  I found myself tearing up several times, such as at the end of the first part, as the exiles in Arden Forest sang Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind.   Highly recommended!

The play, put on San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, will be in Pleasanton for the next three weekends before moving on to Cupertino.  For more information, go to:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-shakespeare-in-the-park-as-you-like-it-tickets-63805744700
or:
http://www.sfshakes.org/programs/free-shakespeare-in-the-park/free-shakespeare-in-the-park-2019


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Belately Remembering John Haden, 1950-2011


Entry for 1 June 2019:

When I was in Lodi this past April, I ran into Tom Gundershaugh, a friend from school.  He was full of news, but one of the people he mentioned was my best friend in elementary school, John Haden, whom he said had died some years ago.  I felt surprised and a bit shocked, as if I had lost another part of me, in addition to my two best friends from high school, Philip Frey and Margaret Linstrom Weitzel. 

This morning, the day after my 69th birthday, I woke from a dream in which I had been talking to John.  I had not dreamed of him for years.  On waking I suddenly remembered, that today, the 1st of June, was his birthday.  It had always seemed special to me that our birthdays were only one day apart, and both at one end of a month or another.  Somehow my dreaming self – my internal image/memory of John -- had remembered this and was announcing this to me.

When I got back this afternoon from the last day of a very successful day of EFT training here in Lausanne, Switzerland, I talked to Diane and Kenneth on Zoom for a while.  Then my mind went back to John again.  Clearly, my dream was telling me to do something about John’s 69th birthday, falling a day after my own birthday. 

However, I didn’t even know what year he’d died.  (Tom had just said that it was several years ago.)  So I did a Google search and eventually was able to dig up first his one recording and two obituaries, one from The Oregonian, and the other from the Lodi News-Sentinel, the local newspaper for the town we both grew up in.  Today I am marking his passing by reprinting the longer of the two obituaries:

John David Haden, 1950 – 2011: John was born on June 1, 1950 in Marinette, WI and passed away July 4, 2011 in Portland, OR. John was a former resident of Lodi and 1968 graduate of Lodi High School. He is survived by his daughter, Deborah Haden, sister, Carol Arlin, nephews Sean Arlin and Jason Arlin, and niece, Rhonda Elliott. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Beth Haden. John drove for Schwan's and he was a maintenance manager at West Hills Racquet Club in Beaverton, OR for 21 years. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and Oregon Public Broadcasting. He played guitar for the former bay area band, Parish Hall. He was an avid PC gamer and adored his dog, Snappy. His family invites you to a celebration of his life on July 20, 2011 at 11:00a.m. at the Grace Presbyterian Church, 10 N. Mills, Lodi, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 13 to July 20, 2011

John and I met when my family moved across town to Mariposa Way.  I lived about block away from him, at least in 10-year-old boy distance (which involved hopping over the neighbor’s back fence and sneaking down their driveway without be caught).  John was always laid back and friendly, and his house was quiet compared to the noisy chaos of mine.  We played with HO scale toy soldiers and model airplanes.  He introduced me to pop music; I remember that he really liked the Beau Brummels.  We had lots of really interesting 10-year-old boy conversations.  Once I stayed overnight and got sick to my stomach after eating cauliflower.  (I still can’t stand cauliflower…)

After we went to junior high we sort of drifted apart but still kept in touch.  John got into music; I got into more academic things. His parents ran the main jewellery store on School Street; sometimes I’d drop by and say hi to him; when Diane and I got married we had his dad do Diane’s wedding ring for us.  Somewhere along the line he had some trouble with drugs; I was worried about him so once when I was home from university we arranged to catch up with each other, which was nice.  I went to grad school and then moved to Toledo, Ohio. He moved to Oregon.  In 1998 I ran into him at our 30th high school reunion, and we had a really nice visit and even went and saw his family’s old house. That was the last time I saw him.

For me, John was my cool friend; the person who was up on interesting things and wasn’t anxious and uncool like I was.  I think that somehow everyone needs a friend like that.  I know that I certainly did.  I like to think that at least a bit of his coolness rubbed off on me, but perhaps I’m flattering myself.

It turns out the John was the bass player with a “nearly famous” Northern California R&B trio with the unlikely name of Parish Hall (eponymously named “Parish Hall”); their one album was released in 1970 on Fantasy Records (the same label Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded with). I know that I talked to him around that time, but I guess he was too modest to mention it…
 
So I bought a copy of the album and listened to it for the first time tonight; I loved it. There is a page devoted to Parish Hall at:
https://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2011/02/parish-hall-parish-hall-1970-excellent.html
Buried on this page are several comments about John’s passing, and a link to his version of Bob Dylan’s "Knocking on Heaven's Door", which appropriately was played at his memorial service in Lodi, in 2011, including the added verse he wrote for it. It is a splendid musical epitaph: http://www.pacair.com/RHD/Knockin%27%20on%20Heaven%27s%20Door_Mix%202.mp3

 Left to right: John Haden, Steve Adams, Gary Wagner (I'm sure about John but not the other two)

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Marking the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Murray Creek Labyrinth


Entry for 4 November 2018:
 
On this day in 1988, the Murray Creek Labyrinth was constructed by Bob & Ann Elliott and their friends.  Inspired by a visit to Glastonbury Tor, my parents and their friends built a seven-circuit Cretan labyrinth on their property in the Murray Creek Valley in the Sierra Nevada foothills outside San Andreas, California.

In 2002, Ann constructed a website about this labyrinth, which is still online (thanks to my sister anna), the home page for which can be accessed at:  

A pictorial account for the building of the labyrinth can be found on this website, at: http://www.murraycreek.net/labyrinth/labythree.htm

Our family has long been fascinated by labyrinths, and to this day, Diane and I regularly stop for any labyrinths we happen to encounter. Last April, walked a Chartres-design labyrinth in the pouring rain when I came upon it in a courtyard in a courtyard in the Munich Ratskeller or Town-Hall.  On another occasion, we found one near Dunure castle on the Scottish coast between Ayr and Culzean Castle; I wrote about this in an earlier entry on this blog: https://pe-eft.blogspot.com/2013/02/dunure-castle-labyrinth.html

Over the years, labyrinths have been a powerful personal symbol for me, and I’ve written a number of poems about them.  The most developed of these is “Labyrinth Poem”, written when I was 19; I’ve included it in an accompanying blog entry:  

Returning to the Murray Creek Labyrinth, probably the most detailed account of the Murray Creek Labyrinth that I’ve written can be found in this blog in an entry I wrote in 2006, the year we moved to Scotland: https://pe-eft.blogspot.com/2006/12/winter-labyrinth.html

Over the years, the labyrinth has been a focus for and a symbol for the creative energy my parents gathered with the community of like-minded folks in the Murray Creek Valley.  Naturally, this energy has resonated deeply with me in ways that then emerged in poetry. Here is a link to the poem I wrote for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in 1997:  

Along the same line, here is a link to the poem I wrote in 2009 for Ann’s 80th birthday.  It references the Murray Creek Labyrinth and has a couple of photos, including one of her walking it with the help of her hiking poles: https://pe-eft.blogspot.com/2009/04/science-indistinguishable-from-magic.html

And here’s a series of haiku and little poems I wrote to commemorate visits to the Murray Creek Labyrinth at different times of year:

December 2008:
Labyrinth waits, silent
Wet stones settling into earth,
Path littered with oak leaves.

August 2009: The one, from https://pe-eft.blogspot.com/2008/08/poem-picking-blackberries-in-murray.html, begins with a visit to the labyrinth:
Cool morning to a late summer day;
we put our pails down,
walk the labyrinth first.

This labyrinth has a bridge:
we return there, descending
from the rough planks to the dry creek bed.

 












August 2010:
Leave all that behind
Labyrinth knows what matters
Arrive at center.

July 2011, after the stones were re-set:
Labyrinth renewed:
buried stones dug up, re-placed,
gleaming in the sun.

2012, at the end of the year Ann died:
December labyrinth:
Winding path sprinkled
    with oak leaves;
We walk the circle again.

December 2013:
We light the fires, check the wireless network,
Walk your labyrinth in the fading light,
Raise and right the creek-misplaced bridge.

Although my parents have both now passed and the Murray Creek Valley seems empty without them, I try to visit as often as I can and to walk the labyrinth there.  Severe flooding two winters ago wiped out the main access to it across the Murray Creek, so we now need to walk down to the neighbors and cross there (with their permission).  Sadly, the stones are badly in need of re-setting, which needs to be done every 10 or so years. However, it’s still easy to make out and to walk, and doing so re-connects me to my parents, to the earth, and to the overall path of my life.


I the end, I think that the spirit of the Murray Creek Labyrinth is best captured by the words of the famous Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts,” written by Joseph Brackett:

Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be
And when I am in the place just right
I will be in the valley of love and delight

When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed
To turn, to turn will be my delight
'Til by turning, turning, I come 'round right.