The Sleepless Ones

November 15 2014

Hello Listserve!

My name is Erin, I’m 33 years old, and originally from Kansas, USA. (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) Despite the unfortunate current political landscape of my state, I have to say it was a pretty nice place to grow up and most definitely has the best sunsets of any place I’ve ever seen (no trees or hills has to be good for something, am I right?!).

Anyhow, now I live in Brooklyn, New York and currently work as a trauma therapist at a domestic violence agency. Unfortunately, domestic violence continues to be an extremely prevalent social problem across all races and classes, and is not well understood in our society. In my clinical work, I am most interested in the complex, yet subtle ways that trauma is transmitted inter-generationally. I think that if we can better understand this dynamic on a larger scale it can help prevent future generations from repeating pain from the past. If you have any thoughts on this, I am all ears!

As a human being interacting with other human beings in this world, I have noticed that when we are suffering, feeling sadness, anger, or completely alone, even though it feels scary, it is often when we open up and make ourselves most vulnerable to express that pain to another that we find the deepest of human connections and healing. On the other hand, sometimes you just need to hide under the covers and watch reruns of Cheers (still so hilarious and has the best theme song ever) with a bottle of wine till it all starts to feel better. I think there is a balance somewhere...

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Nichol, who introduced me to the Listserve, who is one of the best human beings I know, and who is a great friend. He is also an amazing writer and drink-orderer. I owe him about a bazillion rum punches.

I'll leave you with a poem that speaks to me. It is called The Sleepless Ones

Would love to hear from you,
[email protected]
Brooklyn, NY

The Sleepless OnesWhat if all the people
who could not sleep
at two or three or four
in the morning
left their houses
and went to the parks
what if hundreds, thousands,
went in their solitude
like a stream
and each told their story
what if there were
old women
fearful if they slept
they would die
and young women
unable to conceive
and husbands
having affairs
and children
fearful of failing
and fathers
worried about paying bills
and men
having business troubles
and women unlucky in love
and those that were in physical
and those who were guilty
what if they all left their houses
like a stream
and the moon
illuminated their way and
they came, each one
to tell their stories
would these be the more troubled
of humanity
or would these be
the more passionate of this world
or those who need to create to live
or would these be
the lonely
and I ask you
if they all came to the parks
at night
and told their stories
would the sun on rising
be more radiant and
again I ask you
would they embrace

~ Lawrence Tirnauer

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