True Blue Friends...
If I had only known that social media would bring about reunions with old friends in the States and in so many other parts of the world, those with whom I had unwittingly lost touch, I might have been less reticent and would have entered the 21st century by tweeting my whereabouts, or posting on Instagram.
However, those who know me realize how slow I am to adapt to new technology.This has been a source of embarrassment for years now.The story in that department that makes me blush the most goes back to 1980, when Ted and I were working on our doctoral dissertations.The best part about our private graduate school in Westwood Village was that we could write clinical/theoretical dissertations in our chosen major, psychoanalysis, rather than the comparatively dry empirical studies that most university graduate schools required. Don’t get the wrong idea; this was not work for wusses who might just polish off one-hundred pages and receive their PhD's in the mail. We had to work hard. My dissertation was 375 pages and Ted’s was over 500!
Each day after our clinical work and classes, we would sit back to back at our desks in the apartment working on our dissertations, sometimes throughout the night. Each morning the galleys we had written by hand would be shuttled to the typist for preparation on her computer and printing-out copies for us to fetch at the end of that same day. This cycle of writing, transcribing, editing, re-writing and writing new sections each evening continued for a full year until both works were complete, bound, distributed to our committees and defended. I have special memories of my dissertation Chair handing me the envelope with the signatures approving my final work. On the envelope she had written,“Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby!” while Ted’s Chair reportedly would cart Ted’s hefty volume to his course on dissertation writing in order to set an example, if not to intimidate, the younger students
I also have a crystal clear memory of our typist running into me by chance in the parking lot of the grocery store, pleased as punch to show off the new car that ‘We had bought’ for her, a new, shiny red Honda Accord worth 10K! I was so ashamed. If only I'd had the courage to try using a computer when we were students, we might not have been in so much debt.
So, when my first paper was accepted for publication by the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Ted took me to the Apple Store and gifted me with a first generation lap top in celebration of my achievement and to demonstrate his belief that this was not going to be my last paper to be written and published. This was truly the start of my academic writing career!
Most recently, perhaps as one way of keeping my sanity during these past 15-months of confinement-- whether government regulated or just out of fear of infection -- most may know that I have written two new and very unusual books. As I looked forward to the publication of my memoir, I decided to create this website; And after completing my novel, I began to realize that writing a blog might be a good way to maintain my writer’s chops. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the more in-vogue forms of social media, but with every blog post, I re-connect with old friends, distant relations, and colleagues from all overthe world with whom I'd lost touch since moving to Paris.
And I’ve had a new realization. I am a writer, but the computer has been my voice for many a years, especially when I was younger, and too inhibited to speak my mind in public.Now my computer, although she is still the Apple of my ‘I’, is more sophisticated and has many more functions than the original model; And like the computer that is my voice these days, I too am a bit more sophisticated and may have the ability to write memoir and fiction as well as psychoanalytic non-fiction.
Funny thing about old friends and new, old talents and new, my computer now allows me to keep in touch with people through email, text, Skype, FaceTime and once again through my creative writing. What a joy!