Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Useless magic by Florence Welsh
Useless magic is a beautiful collage book of lyrics and poetry by Florence Welsh who also happens to be the lead singer of my favourite band, Florence and The Machine. Poetry can be difficult to understand and take in. In high school, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time among like-minded poetry and literature lovers, we even had our own “Dead Poets Society“ meetings. I always wished I could draw, play music, or write poetry but I never had enough talent, faith or time to develop these crafts. Creating something and “putting it out there” is an incredibly vulnerable experience. Kudos to all of you, who have the courage to make art and put it on display.
Over the last 10 years I’ve read more journals and scientific papers than poetry but this pandemic has forced me to slow down, pause and take a long look within. Is it scary? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Poetry grounds me when I need it. Poets are able to put down on paper those feelings that I am unable to express myself. But when I read it, I have “aha” moments and feel a sense of connection to the writer. Isn’t that beautiful? Go read Florence. She uses songwriting and poetry to work through her internal struggles. A bit dark at times but looking inside is part of facing those demons.
Communication is Care by Jennifer George
I became a physiotherapist, because I enjoy helping people. I have spent the last decade developing skills and acquiring specific knowledge and expertise so I can help people recover from their injuries. What I didn’t realize when I got into this trade is the importance of HOW I deliver the information. Surely I knew that as a non-native English speaker, I would have a disadvantage but I thought I could make up for it with other skills. Well, it turns out that’s not enough either. I've realized in order to make a connection and build a therapeutic alliance, you need to pay attention to the so-called (otherwise not so) soft skills.
I first learnt about Communication is Care from Jim Millard and it immediately caught my attention. Written by fellow physiotherapist and Western graduate Jennifer George, this book is a must read for healthcare professionals who want to communicate with empathy and compassion. Throughout her personal and professional journey, she has experienced the health care system from both a caregiver’s and a physiotherapist’s perspective. This provides her with a unique viewpoint and lessons learnt. Luckily for us she has put it all on paper! She also has a great podcast- click on the picture below to listen to it on Spotify.
Carol (The Price of Salt) by Patricia Highsmith
Carol was one of my favourite movies even before I read the book. Movie director Todd Haynes created such an astonishing visual representation of Highsmith’s story; not to mention the phenomenal acting by Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett; it’s worth watching!
The book was written in the 50’s by Patricia Highsmith, who is otherwise known for her psychological thrillers but Carol is her only book in which no violent crimes occur (it’s a fact, I googled it). Carol is a moving love story set in the 50’s in New York City, and it's described as “the novel of love that society forbids”. Being an LGBTQ+ novel, it was put in this genre-specific box for over 50 years, and not a lot of people paid attention to it outside of the community. It offers so much more than that! I don’t want to get into spoilers here, but I must say it is one of those books I simply couldn’t put down until I finished reading it! It is also the novel that inspired King Princess’ 1950 song (also recommended).
Hang in there. Be safe. Stay healthy.