Blue sky

Sky MeadowI snapped this at the start of a long walk in Sky Meadows State Park last weekend — a highly recommended trail, even on a hot day, since it winds up a mountainside and through woods that somehow stay cool.

In the spirit of blue-sky, purposeful day-dreaming on a summer Sunday:

I’m reading… “How Do You Do it?” by Raney Aronson.

I’m listening to… Kate Braestrup on The Moth Radio Hour.

I’m watching… Bill T. Jones at TED 2015.

How about you? What are you reading, listening to, watching today?

9 thoughts on “Blue sky

  1. Who can resist Sky Meadows? Here’s ours in Nashua NH, home of KevinMD and moi.

    Watching: just stumbled across Can you spot the dog in the field of wheat?, which instantly reminded me of your Happy Dogs in a Pile of Sticks metaphor for innovators, first posted in 2008(!)

    (Courtesy of Facebook this morning, this 2015 version, a terrier discovering a ball pit for the first time.)

    In TEDs, Hans Roslings continues to be my darling. How not to be ignorant about the world. (I would love to see you present some of your mind-boggling data the way he does here.)

    Reading: oy, such a bonanza. All in process or waiting to write their reviews:
    – Regina Holiday’s The Writing on the Wall
    – Eric Topol’s The Patient Will See You Now – the clearest vision I’ve seen of the arriving future
    – Bob Wachter’s The Digital Doctor – the clearest telling I’ve seen of the current health IT mess and how we got here, plus a vision of possibility that’s remarkably like Topol’s

    And a possibly surprising one, unrelated to healthcare: Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers, just out this spring, from my San Diego friend Lucy Jo Palladino PhD. As you know, I’ve been interested in attention and its management since co-leading the ADD Forum on CompuServe, and this is the most important new perspective on the subject I’ve seen in perhaps forever: the neurological and practical difference between what she calls involuntary attention and voluntary attention.

    Involuntary attention is the stuff that lets an app or anything grab a kid’s mind and hold it forever. Easy dopamine. Voluntary attention requires moving the mind to where you want it to go – a bit of effort, and awareness to remember to stick to it, but not nearly as much work as I anticipated at first reading. (Personally I’ve had more results from this information than any other approach I’ve tried.)

    On a related note, as an attention-calmer, I’ve been listening to Rubinstein playing Chopin’s Nocturnes, on YouTube. In her earlier book Find Your Focus Zone she assembled a century of research on how different people have different appetites for stimulation, and when Person X feels “hungry” they’re less likely to get in the groove, so there’s a self-awareness matter of finding how much background stim you like. Chopin’s Nocturnes, to me, are just right (until I get revved up, then I let go if I need to).

  2. Listening: the many works of Enrico Pieranunzi, the wonderfully talented Italian jazz pianist and composer. It’s great to be reminded so pleasantly how the culture you grow up in permeates everything you do later on. His sensibility is so different from American jazz musicians. A great example would be Fellini’s Waltz, which he played live at the Casa del Jazz in 2006.

    Reading: about 30 recipes for shrimp in Thai red curry with coconut and pineapple. Every recipe is really different from the others, which doesn’t happen too often. Different ingredients, different order and different dishes altogether. Emeril’s version is the least appetizing :-) After reading these various recipes, I decided on mix and match from about 5 of them. The result was even better than I expected. Just as with Enrico Pieranunzi, if you remind yourself be of cultural differences and are aware of what shortcuts the American recipes include you’ll probably end up with a tastier dish.

    A big plus for this simple instruction for preparing great steamed Japanese rice. Of course, all of this relates deeply with my growing conviction that the best way to help the broken health care system is to help ourselves by cooking tasty and healthy food. Galanga will keep many doctors away!

    Watching: with my slight interest in photography it won’t be a big surprise that I enjoyed watching the latest Wim Wenders documentary Salt of the Earth, about the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. What a life, what an adventure, what images!

  3. Reading Daughters of the Samurai By Janice P. Nimura and
    Ruby by Cynthia Bond

    Listening to and playing Cissy Strut by the Meters and Cold Sweat by James Brown

    Watching: Tig Natoro on Netflix

  4. I’m reading Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone. I started because of some friction in my professional life as a patient advocate and my desire to overcome it in order to move forward in a positive and productive way. What I wasn’t expecting was how I could apply what I was learning to my personal life, with my friends, my parents, my children and my husband. It’s also helping me to have better interactions with my sons care team, and God that just feels so good. Could it really be a communication barrier that is keeping us from productive collaboration? How can I fix that?

  5. Second comment, about what you’re reading. I just read it in an Uber on the way to the airport and it just rang so true for me. At a dinner last night I was part of a conversation with some other women, all rare disease moms, all divorced, who were discussing among other things how their marriage wasn’t strong enough to withstand a serious diagnosis. There were comments about how it’s mostly moms advocating and attending such events, coordinating care, mitigating disasters. And someone said to me, “How do you do it?” And my answer to them was with the support of my husband. I don’t tell him enough how much his support of what I do has enabled me to be where I am today. He might not be next to me on Capitol Hill but I wouldn’t be there either if he wasn’t willing to take days off of work, support our nanny, be my sounding board and emotional crutch and also my biggest cheerleader. He helps our kids to understand the importance of my advocacy when I am feeling guilty for leaving them. I need to tell him that when I get home.

    • Rock on, sister! Please keep sharing your wisdom — with me, with our community, with the world. And yes, tell your husband — he is a key member of the community and should know it.

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