Archive for March 15th, 2023

March 15, 2023


by Rod Smith

It’s a Saturday morning. 

I’m 11. 

I am riding my bike on the gravel entrance to E. W. G. Smith, General Dealer, my dad’s grocery shop as I have done for years.

A car eases alongside me and the driver leans his head out of the open window and asks me directions to Parkhill Soccer Club. 

I know where it is but …. but… but everything I know sticks in my head. 

Words fail. 

Arms twitch. 

My neck stretches. 


Not a sound will come out of me but for gasps and whelps. 

Then, I am choking on words. 

Monosyllabic squeaks and squawks shot-gun out of me and I can’t stop. 

I turn my bike to look elsewhere and point down the road. 

The driver mimics my sounds, movements, and laughs and points. He fake-chokes. He spits, jerks his head, playing to his audience, a car full of adults. They all begin to move their arms, spit, copy my rapid repetitions until at last the driver shifts his gears and the car tires rip the gravel and the merciless mockers are gone.

I retreated into the house and into myself. 

Closed all doors. 

I am debilitated. 

For days I want to hide in shame and resist venturing into daylight. 

Yes, I’m 11 and I enter days of dark silence, moodiness, and humiliation. 

I can’t shake this stutter. I can’t shake the shame. 

The memory of trying to give directions to a place I knew so well plays repeatedly in my head and humiliation washes over me everytime i think of it and even when I don’t.

March 15, 2023

Subtle art of Self-care

by Rod Smith

Within each person is a holy place called The Self. It is here, in the deepest recess of who each of us is, that the human spirit, soul, intellect, meld and form the powerhouse or engine room for who and what each of us is. 

The subtle art of self-care — “subtle” because there is a delicate difference between being self-caring, selfishness, and being self-serving — is fundamental to good mental, emotional health, and also relational health.

Appropriate self-care is not selfishness or self-indulgent. It is not self-centered-ness. It is not self-serving. 

It is self-awareness. 

It is self-monitoring with the firm understanding that each person is responsible for the condition of his or her self. 

Each of us is responsible for how we relate to all others (to neither dominate or be dominated). 

Each of us is responsible, when it comes to ALL other adults, for maintaining relationships that exemplify mutuality, respect, and equality.

Part of self-care is the enduring understanding that each person has a voice to be respected, a role to be fulfilled, and a calling to be pursued. 

Every person (every Self) requires room to grow, space apart from others, while at the same time requiring intimacy and connection. 

The healthy Self is both connected and separate all at the same time, underscoring again the subtlety required in the art of self-care.

Greenland from 30,000 feet