Posted by: soulshinemoments | September 23, 2013

“I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Today, see if you can see the chaos, the disorder, the incompleteness in you as steps in your dance with life.”

I was absolutely dragging this morning.  I awoke to the first somewhat chilly day of the year and did not want to get out from under my covers!  Jack and I prepared Jackson for his sitter’s and then had a quick cup of coffee together.  I made it to school early with hopes of getting a lot of reading and school work done…that didn’t end up happening. I did stumble upon this very interesting blog about a hospice social worker ( which I am truly excited about reading and which is very relevant to my studies. I also posted a bunch of pictures of Jack’s glass on his instagram site in hopes that we can make a sell. Everyone keeps encouraging him to put more of his stuff online in order to sell it, so I am trying with instagram.  As is usually the case, he gets a ton of interests, but little follow through.  I will be persistent with the postings though. (Wish us luck! We could use the funds. :))

My first class, Working with Individuals, was slow-going at first, but I did end up benefitting from the class.  We discussed The Girl in the Window which was both interesting and terribly sad.  We touched on the topic of developmental psychology and how 85% of the brain is formed in the first five years of life.  That is, if you are severely neglected and abused as this girl was, your chance of ever meeting the average person’s milestones are practically impossible.  Just awful.

We then did an exercise in front of the class where a couple of classmates had to partner up–one as a Social Work therapist and one as a Client–and work through various scenarios.  I was truly impressed with my classmate’s ability to act like legit professionals!  They were so good at reflective listening and responses, displaying empathy, creating a safe place for the “client” to ventilate, being comfortable with silences. 

Finally, I had my Working with Groups class.  I gain so much from this class.  Yes, I am terrified of groups and public speaking, but still find this class extremely stimulating (after we sift through all the powerpoints, that is).  Today our professor set up a group in front of the class and we analyzed the group process.  He spoke of how important it was to focus on the here-and-now within group therapy.  The group is a social microcosm.  For instance, the way one acts in group is most likely the way one acts in other interpersonal relationship (at least after the initial ice is broken).  The role of the therapist is to hold up a mirror and stimulate all group members to share their feelings and reactions to what is immediately occurring within the group.  I find this whole dynamic very fascinating. 

I am still searching for my own group to join outside of school, but I haven’t found anything that really grabs my attention.  My professor says that he is going to make our class more like a group therapy class because we told him that we gain so much from his doing this. 

Also, there is a month-long meditation group that is going to be meeting every Sunday in October at the place I was doing yoga.  I talked to Rachel and she is interested in being apart of this as well.  Its not really a group therapy session, but I still think it will be beneficial.  I am working on stilling the chatter in my mind and being more comfortable with silence.  I really think to be an effective hospice social worker, I really need to work on this within myself.

(Edgar Lee Masters)

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths,
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities —
We cannot speak.

A curious boy asks an old soldier
Sitting in front of the grocery store,
“How did you lose your leg?”
And the old soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away
Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.
It comes back jocosely
And he says, “A bear bit it off.”
And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
Dumbly, feebly lives over
The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
The shrieks of the slain,
And himself lying on the ground,
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
And the long days in bed.
But if he could describe it all
He would be an artist.
But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
Which he could not describe.

There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of an embittered friendship.
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
There is the silence of defeat.
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;
And the silence of the dying whose hand
Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence between father and son,
When the father cannot explain his life,
Even though he be misunderstood for it.

There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There is the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And the silence of Napoleon
After Waterloo.
And the silence of Jeanne d’Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blessed Jesus” —
Revealing in two words all sorrows, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.

And there is the silence of the dead.
If we who are in life cannot speak
Of profound experiences,
Why do you marvel that the dead
Do not tell you of death?
Their silence shall be interpreted
As we approach them.
Edgar Lee Masters



  1. So many great quotes and poems on your blog! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for mentioning my blog! Looking forward to hearing more about how social work school is going for you.

    • It seems that hospice social work is definitely a unique market. I am really hungry for knowledge, research, tips, and general support. You write lovely, as well! xo

  2. […] I found a great blog written by a fellow hospice social worker. She is exactly where I was last year, just starting the amazing journey of a hospice internship:…. […]

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