What I Have Learned, Some Thoughts for the Jewish New Year


After wondering all winter why I didn’t feel right, I was diagnosed in June with a neurological disorder.  Along with their genuine concern many of my friends had questions. Is it serious? How long will it last? What does it feel like? What causes neurological disease? The most meaningful question was posed by my good friend, Susan ‘What has your illness taught you’? I have been thinking about this ever since. What have I learned? Illness is a strict teacher. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go. All you can think about is not feeling well. Why did this happen to me? Did I do something to cause it?  Can I make it go away? Eventually I realized that I will probably never know the answer to these questions, so it is best if I would stop beating myself up. Instead, I would do a lot better to accept what has happened and start being kind to myself. I started focusing on things that make me feel better like yoga or working in my studio.  I acknowledged that I had to stop pushing myself and take things easy. I also started seeing other people in a new light. Since I can feel miserable but look totally fine, maybe other people are the same way. You never really know what is really going on with someone else. I reasoned, “Best to practice kindness with everyone, whenever possible”. What have I learned from being ill? It is much easier to be kind to others if you are first kind to yourself.


My Garden

This year my garden is amazing! It is very satisfying to see several years of work come together.  My garden helps me to see and appreciate the small things I wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.  Gardening is reflected in much of my artwork.


Last week in the New York Times , I read an article by Gretchen Reynolds titled Piece of Nature, Peace of Mind.  Scientists are studying whether urban dwellers’ mental health could be improved by taking a walk in a park or natural green area. The answer is ‘probably’.

I have noticed that in suburbia even though we are surrounded by nature we often don’t get a chance to experience it. We stay inside in our offices or houses. If you have some land, gardening is one of the best ways to get in touch with nature. It is also a way to share your aesthetics with the public if they happen to walk or drive by.


I have taken many photos of my garden this spring and summer. Let the images speak for themselves.