Tag Archives: pain

Reviewer holds Songs from the Well “Close to (her) Chest”

The newest review for my latest book, Songs from the Well. If you haven’t read it, this reviewer thinks you should.

I’ve just finished Songs from the Well by Adam Byrn Tritt and I’m in awe. At the moment, I’m sitting on my recliner, holding my kindle close to my chest because I can find no other perfect place to have this story other than close to my heart. My heart is swelling with love and breaking at the same time, my eyes are tearing from admiration and sadness and I am finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than this book. This book is, hands down, 5 stars. Wow.

From the very first page of Songs from the Well, I was in love. Adam Byrn Tritt’s story about his wife’s life, family and contribution to the world and everyone around her placed me in his shoes and showed me exactly why he was- and still is- absolutely head over heels in love with her.

This story is packed full of sweet sentiments, hilarious stories of Adam and Adam’s wife- Lee’s- adventures, heart warming family connections and tissue worthy poetry.

This book is not very long, but I’ll admit to you all, my faithful readers, that it took me three days to read. Not because it was difficult to get through, but because I wanted to savor the story. I wanted to take my time with Adam’s recollections of Lee’s life, their experiences of grief and mourning and wonderful insights for ways to look at life.

Adam also writes a letter to his granddaughter about his family and their ancestors and past, which makes me envious for that rich of a family history.

This author and Songs from the Well will capture your heart and fill your emotional bucket with love, friendship, laughter and sorrow.

Rebecca Tyndall –  The Literary Connoisseur

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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Books, Writing


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The Feather and the Weight

Someone asked me if I remembered the good times. Why I could remember the details of the bad times, but not recall the specifics of all the good ones. I answered.

Because the good times are so much more ephemeral. Evanescent. Even among the grandness of life, the good, the joyous, is found in the seemingly insignificant, made up of moments, small kindnesses, sincere unbidden smiles, the touch of the hand, a glance. Whispers. They possess an ineffability that affects us deeply but leaves its mark on our inner world. Like religious experience, they are hard to grasp, but exist no less. Over time, they add up to goodness. Each not so different than another, but with a feeling of being filled with goodness though one may cast about for specific examples.

And the bad times. They come like startling punches to the gut amid the good moments. So surprising, the shock embeds the details in memory.

Some days we get up, look outside at the gorgeousness of the day. And we feel filled with joy and delight. But what particular sunny day do you recall? How many? But the storms amid them? The horrific storms we remember, blow by blow.

The good becomes ubiquitous. The bad embeds in space and time.

The good does not diminish but persists even though we cannot point to it.

And the bad can fade, unless it is refreshed. Unless the storms come again, and again. Punched too often, one becomes sore and shy.

It doesn’t minimize the goodness at all. But our memory treats them differently. Joy and trauma do not process the same way. Pleasure and pain are not remembered alike.

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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in philosophy, psychology


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How Much More Sad the Music is Today

This may be the most inelegant writing I have accomplished. Usually, I will write over a period of days, put it away for a week, revise, put it away again, write something else, come back to it when It is no longer is my head, revise and edit as though it wee someone else’s work. I want the writing to sing, sway, build images, make motion. I want to write music. It looks like words.

But not tonight. I will finish this tonight. I may revise, I may not. It will be rough, incomplete, dissonant, shaky. It will mirror how I feel and I will leae it at that.

I attended a concert a month ago. Coyote Run. It was at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale. Coyote Run is a high energy band with some high energy fans and the outpouring of emotive support was evident and loud.

I had not counted on that.

When I was in high school, I used to hide in the library during pep rallies. Once I was found and made to attend. I was not allowed to read quietly but was told I must cheer for the team, whatever team or sport it was. I was escorted to the auditorium and the bleachers, given a seat. The roar started, the whistling, the clapping, the pounding and the yelling and I fell over, onto the bench, unconscious and silent. Woke up, did it again and again.

As a teacher I would trade out of auditorium duty even of it meant watching the indoor suspension. Once or twice, I was ordered to a post in the auditorium. I would hold on to a railing, cover my ears. With warning I would bring ear plugs. Without warning I would hold tight.

At Coyote Run, I remember when I started to feel exhausted. Then started to rock slightly, then became withdrawn, quiet, dull. Shaking. That night I was famished. That night I barely slept. The next day I hated myself. I was depressed. Slow, shaking, twisting, seizing, wanting out of amy skin and able to see, only with effort, the wonder my life is, those things others see in me that makes me the adored friend of people I hold dear, the beloved of those with whom I am lucky to share my life. The husband of the most wondrous woman in the world and the father of the Earth’s best children. I could see that wonder that is my life intellectually, but felt none of the joy in it, only weight and hate, my own and my own.

It passed in a few days.

I heard John McCutcheon was coming to town. A rare event. Six-time Grammy nominees do not have to play small churches. It was a benefit concert and I was going to go.

It was at a Unity Church I have attended from time to time for events and talks. Half the size of the UU at which I saw Coyote Run. I knew many of the people there. I sat next to Craig. He asked what to do if I start to seize. Nothing, I said. He asked if he could point and laugh. Absolutely.

I waited a long time to hear John McCutcheon play and I paid as close attention as I could, even as the rocking started directly with the first too-loud applause, the sharp whistling and the lingering camera flashes. I quelled it and my right foot started to sway back and forth instead. The my head, twisting sharply at the neck. Afraid I’d give myself a concussion, I tried to slow that and hold tight, letting the shoulder and neck muscles pull suddenly but giving them no space to move, ending with a head and neck ache. The diaphragm started to spasm as well.

People often ask me if I have the hiccups. I just answer no.

It started at eight. By eleven I was withdrawing, quiet, in pain, exhausted, famished and inwardly hateful. I still took my CDs up to John to have them sighed, to talk a bit, hoping to hide my discomfort. I always hope to. I always fail.

I fell asleep at two from exhaustion despite the blinding lightning, the constant flashing behind my eyelids. I was woken at four by spasms in my trachea and bronchi. Flutterings and beetlewings in my throat and chest. I stayed awake breathing, trying not to shake so I would not wake my dear one.

This morning, I feel fat, heavy, ungainly, slow. I feel tired, taught, tense and tortured. I am depressed and despondent. I am wasted and washed-out. I have been famished all day no matter how much I eat and then no matter how much I stay away from food. Good choices seem the furthest thing from good.

Meditation does not come. My perception is off. I try not to drive.

And I can feel nothing that is positive though I can point out every blessing that fills my life, every talent I am told I possess. I can point the myriad directions whence love comes but feeling none. It all goes out but none makes it in. Least of all for myself. I think not feeling this anymore would be good. I think never eating again would be fine and think thoughts envious toward those who have the will to eschew food for days and days, those who find the ways to stop. Stop eating, moving, breathing, being.


In a few days this will leave. Maybe by tomorrow even. I’ll return to rhythmic work and the seizures will leave for a while. I’ll stay away from loud sudden noises, watch nothing violent and, as long as I am careful, controlled, cautious, the lightning will be sparse, the thoughts will return to joy, the hunger will subside, the pain will be kept away.

Until a door slams or the TV is too loud or I forget and buy a ticket for another concert.

The music was wonderful last night. How much more sad it is today.


Posted by on December 14, 2008 in psychology


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