Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This Work Is Closed

When my daughter's children were young they attended a Montessori pre-school. I was impressed with the school and their approach to the very young learner.  From the web site of the International Montessori Index I learned that "The basis of Montesssori practice in the classroom is ...individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted  concentration".    Because the children are encouraged to work alone at their own initiative there is much activity in the school rooms.  The youngest child quickly learns how to follow one of my favorite Montessori directions: This work is closed.  Crayons back in box.  Books back on shelf.  Its time for something else.  And so it is with ernesta-passinggo.  Thank you for reading.  This work is closed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"What Brought It On?"

Winston Churchill called it his "Black "Dog".  A psychiatrist who knew Churchill said of him "Only a man who knew what it was to discern a gleam of hope in a hopeless situation, whose courage was beyond reason and whose aggressive spirit burned at its fiercest when he was hemmed in and surrounded by enemies, could have given emotional reality to the words of defiance which rallied and sustained us in the menacing summer of 1940". Much the same could have been said about Robin Williams. Those who suffer as they did from depression and it's dark partner anxiety are hemmed in by forces that do not rise from the rational mind. Their demons are not summoned by events of the day.  They linger and taunt and then seek to destroy by cloaking and choking and snuffing out all light. Don't ask "what brought it on?".  Grieve that there is no warning and no cure. Marvel at the courage and strength required to overcome.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Father

Tomorrow, September 29, 2014 would have been my father's 97th birthday.  He died in the spring of 2001.  He lived much longer than his own father who died at age 54.  My grandfather's name was Frederic Lyman Ballard.  He named his son, my father, Frederic Lyman Ballard Jr.  My  grandfather was still alive when my brother, his first grandchild, was born and was named Frederic Lyman Ballard III.  They followed my great grandfather, in turn into the law. They practiced in the same firm.  When my grandfather died, my father dropped the "Jr" from his name and my brother took it in place of his "III".  When my father died my brother dropped "Jr" too.  He died this year, too young at 72.  As the year turns to 2015, there will be no Frederic Ballard practicing law.  One hundred years have passed . Their combined effort spanned a full century. I loved them all.