Tell all the truth but tell it slant

Scanning tweets from the current Institute of Medicine event (#iomPwP) brought a poem to mind:

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise


As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind —

Emily Dickinson (#1263)

If I can’t be there, I want people to not only report what speakers say, what audience members ask, but what they (the correspondent) thinks. One reason I follow Dave Clifford is that he seems to regard these events out of the corner of his eye and he tweets like he’s whispering (sometimes wicked) asides to a friend.


Look for the helpers

A little boy grinning and grasping Mr. Rogers's face

Photo by Jim Judkis

You may have seen the image before, associated with this quote:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Today, the Washington Post published the full story behind the boy in the photo, written by the photographer’s daughter:

Tommy Paulhamus was born on July 7, 1973. He had hydroencephalitis, a condition where fluid collected around his brain, causing a larger-than-normal skull, and Dandy-Walker syndrome, which affected his balance and coordination. He had shunts in his skull to drain his fluids. His eyes were crossed, and his fine and gross motor skills were impaired. Paulhamus said Tommy was rejected by his birth mother at a young age.

“His mother missed out on a great blessing,” said Paulhamus, who lives in Danville, Penn. “I’m glad his mother gave him up, because I got him. He would say to me, ‘Mom, what would I do without you?’”

 I’ve read it twice today and may just read it again.

The Walking Gallery

Painting of a woman and two childrenIf you haven’t seen The Walking Gallery firsthand, consider attending the next powwow, in Kansas City, MO, September 21-23, 2012, at the Partnership for Patients meeting.

I can’t wait to Do yourself a favor and read Regina Holliday’s explanation of her latest painting, “Bone Black,” about my friend Catherine Fairchild (right).

Until then Also, read (or even better: listen to) a conversation with Catherine and another rare-disease mom, Laurie Strongin: Mama Birds.