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At Home and In Paris

Updated: Aug 12, 2023


 

Thanks to all who were curious . . .



For anyone who was enjoying life last week and thus fell behind in following the superb piece of literature that is my blog post (just kidding!), dedicated to the spectacular Celebration of the French National Fête, (that we Americans always refer to as Bastille Day), you may have missed out on the excitement created when I put the price of my ebook on the guillotine (and chopped off the cost, not the book) for 24hours.

For those who stayed tuned-in and were curious enough to snap up their free ebook, I send my deeply felt gratitude, and I hope that you enjoy the read. If you do, it will have been worth it.Many have told me thatI should put a health warning on the book, something like: “BEWARE: SOME READERS HAVE FOUND THAT IF YOU DARE TO PICK UP THIS BOOK, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN ‼️



These constant comments have made me very happy, as I have always dreamed of writing a ‘page turner‘. I just never imagined that it would be a memoir. A dear friend who appreciated the book asked what I had hoped for when I wrote it. I told her that I thought that what I really wanted was for people to realize that we psychoanalysts are not the elite untouchables we are thought to be; That we are what my mentor Francis Tustin once called us: “Just barmy people, treating barmy people”. And so I offered myself up as a guinea pig, to be finely sliced, placed on a slide under a microscope, and examined by anyone who wished to do so, those who might find the book filled with bits and piece of life, assembled through the process of what Proust called “involuntary memory” from the life of one human being who just happens to be a Psychoanalyst.

There were big bonuses that came with staying home and writing a book about myself and my experience. First, I could spend an enormous amount of time with Mickey, my charming Norman cat, and second, I could discover many things about myself that had been unknown to me. Among countless other things, these discoveries most importantly included the realization that the most beautiful place in the world was not just the most beautiful city in the world, which for me had been Paris for four decades, but it is a state of mind that one can hope for and work to achieve at various points in a lifetime and in any place. It was certainly a blessing to have discovered this as a septuagenerian.


I feel especially lucky to have made it way past the age when my closest sister Carole died at the age of fifty-seven of brain cancer.

She was a beautiful woman, ten years my senior, who left two wonderful and talented son’s and two gorgeous grandchildren. Carole had been an inspiration for me in many ways.


She was the one who taught me to cook beef Wellington, to be a loving and caring wife, and even to apply my makeup! She was a good mother and, at times, we had fun together.



Today is July 19th, so it is no surprise I would think of her on what would have been her 82nd birthday. I am also reminded on this day that tomorrow would be the thirty-third year since the passing of my Father. He was many things: a public defender, a Captain in the Army Air Corp during WWII, a hotelier, a businessman and a true, old fashioned, bleeding heart liberal until the end. He was also the inspiration for my writing, both academic ad otherwise. He had always dreamed of going to sea on a cargo ship, to have the time along with the peace of mind to write the great American novel. But alas, that was never to be. He certainly had the intelligence, the talent for writing creatively, and the life experience to be the 'Ernest Hemingway' whom he resembled in old age when he had a beard.

I often believe that my own talent for writing was owing to my Father’s genes and, although I could never even hope to write the great American anything, I know that Dad’s love of a good mystery novel put his mark on me early on as he would pass on to me each book he read once finished. My dream is that wherever he is in the afterlife, he will come upon a copy of my new book, a mystery novel titled “Couched in Blood” that will see its debut in September of this year.

In closing, I will share this photo of the three of us,the only one that remains with Tom-Boy me at seven, Carole at sexy seventeen, and Papa at forty-eight. I know there are other better photographs somewhere, but this one is probably the last taken when we all lived together in our bungalow in Sherman Oaks, California. Maybe in the future I will be provoked to dig out the others, even some I wasn’t aware I ever possessed outside my imagination and in memory. So, I dedicate this post to my sister Carole on the date of her birthday, and to my Father on the date of his last day on earth.

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