July #TreeSquare Challenge #6: Filoli

The host of the #TreeSquare challenge is Becky over at The Life of B. For July, the theme is TREES.

Self is sharing photos from Filoli, a beautiful estate less than 10 minutes drive from self’s house, which she visited in July 2020

The estate belonged to the owner of the Empire Gold Mine, William Bourn. Mansion and gardens together comprise 18 acres. The name ‘Filoli’ is an acronym for: “Fight for a just cause, Love your fellow man, Live a good life.”

The big tree is a Camperdown Elm:

Introduction, FAULT LINES: FRACTURED FAMILIES AND HOW TO MEND THEM

Self feels more engaged by Fault Lines than she was about Rules of Engagement. Karl Pillemer’s methods are research-based. He used “snowball sampling” techniques: “a large group of people are contacted and then asked to contact others in turn to help find interviewees.” His aim was to find subjects who had “reconciled,” who had moved “from anger and despair to acceptance . . . This book is built on their experiences, stories, and advice.”

He is not prescriptive: His aim is to present readers “with a range of ideas that they can apply to their own situations.” He followed up with “some of the estranged respondents over time to determine whether their own situations had changed and interviewing more than one person in a number of families.” Estrangement, Pillemer writes, “can be best understood as a form of chronic stress.” But he is quick to say he doesn’t intend to offer “clinical or psychological advice”: “I am a research sociologist and have no clinical credentials of any kind.”

He is quiet about whether he himself has any experience of estrangement, but of course he does. He just doesn’t share it, but he does. No one decides to write a book like this without that experience.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: RULES OF ESTRANGEMENT

Self cannot believe she found this book as a result of an article in The Economist — which, as some readers might know, is not into New Age Psychology or anything so CALIFORNIA.

The author, Joshua Coleman (Ph.D. is after his name, so there’s that), is a psychologist with a private practice in Oakland, California.

p. 13:

  • My mission is to help you find healthy ways to reconcile. In general — and there are exceptions — I believe reconciliation is better than staying apart. Better for you and better for our society. And if a reconciliation isn’t possible, I want to help you have a happy, healthy life with or without your kid in it.

Fortune Cookie of the Day

Master Shih-Cheng Yen Still Thought #54

An idle man gains no pleasures, a busy man affords no time for disputes.

(This sounds like something I have read before, so maybe it doesn’t belong on Master Shih-Cheng Yen’s list? Better make sure I stay busy!)

Poetry Saturday: Carlos Bernardo Gonzalez Pecotche

from Bases for Your Conduct, a compilation of teachings the author passed on to his son, Carlos Federico Gonzalez, and published posthumously by the author’s widow. This is from the 3rd edition, published 2012.

Vidocq

Sandman Slim encounters sees a man named Vidocq who tells him very many things:

  • “You are a Nephilim. The last of your kind. We don’t have any trustworthy descriptions of previous Nephilim. We have no idea if their complexions were smooth . . . your scars are simply part of your divine nature . . . I’m sure this process will continue and that you’ll acquire new scars in the future.”
  • “Nothing is ever the same the second time. It might be worse. It might be better. But it’s never the same.”

Dear blog readers can tell how much self is enjoying this novel. She found out today that it is the penultimate of the series. GAH. She also found out that in the book previous to this, Sandman Slim was in Hell, and readers were generally not liking it as much as the ones set in L.A.

Don’t know whether to go with this opinion or not. All she knows is that Sandman Slim returned to L.A. with a fondness for Malediction cigarettes and a desperate longing to appear normal.

L.A. is the best setting for fiction. Self doesn’t think she’s read a single L.A. novel that she hasn’t liked.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Flashback Monday

Kathleen Burkhalter was a member of Dear Departed Sister’s barkada at Wharton. When Kathleen passed away a few years ago, self lost more than just a friend: she lost a member of her squad. And one of the few people self stayed regularly in touch with, over the decades. With Kathleen, self never had to explain how she was feeling at a particular time of her life, she always understood.

She wrote and self-published a series of books about her life. Her daughter, Mercedes Bell, is now a singer. Here’s a link to her FB page.

And here’s a post self wrote about Kathleen, four years ago.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day Belongs to Obama

Whether in sports or politics, it’s hard to understand the precise nature of momentum.

— p. 49, A Promised Land

It’s not just politics and sports, sir. Momentum applies to writing as well.

Quote of the Day: A Promised Land

44 remembers a conversation with his mother!

“You know, Barry, she said (that’s the nickname she and my grandparents used for me when I was growing up, often shortened to “Bar,” pronounced “Bear”), “there are people in the world who think only about themselves. They don’t care what happens to other people so long as they get what they want. They put other people down to make themselves feel important.

“Then there are people who do the opposite, who are able to imagine how others must feel, and make sure that they don’t do things that hurt people.

“So,” she said, looking me squarely in the eye. “Which kind of person do you want to be?”

— Chapter 1, A Promised Land, pp. 6 -7

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