"This book is very brave and very well done." • "...this book is lyrical in itself" • "...both personal and universal" • "Best read with the heart."
Lee Scheingold’s rich, painful personal journey—following the death of her husband, famed political scientist Stuart Scheingold—is described from the points of view which have informed her life: psychoanalysis, clinical social work, Buddhist meditation, and family medicine. Poetry is the connecting thread, beginning with the Russian poems she studied long ago in college, and then to a variety of contemporary American and English verse. This is an emotional and intellectual account of profound grief from a professional psychotherapist who has approached her recent life with continual introspection and self-reflection. She explores the experiences which enabled her to tolerate and even welcome the feelings of grief. She examines, with the issue of meaning at center stage, her psychoanalyses and a ten-year practice of Buddhism. In this journey, her reading of poetry links emotions to ideas. The deeply evocative style of the book resembles poetry itself.
“A wonderful balance of psychoanalytic awareness and poetic sensitivity, an open and revealing memoir of the experience of loss and grief. It took me to another level in reading poetry—looking for and cherishing ambiguity and space. This is the story of how poetry (and Buddhism and psychoanalysis) helps one to come to grips with, or perhaps adapt to or even conquer loss. Best read with the heart.”
— Fred Heidrich, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, University of Washington
“In One Silken Thread, Scheingold weaves together threads from Buddhism, Psychoanalysis, and Lyric Poetry through the process of her own grief to illuminate the possibility of what she calls ‘the heart of the world’—that which runs deep and connects us all at the level of our feelings. She tells us that she doesn’t write poetry. But this book is lyrical in itself. It is a courageous self-reflection—simultaneously heart rending and affirming of the meaning and beauty possible from a life of caring deeply.”
— Ritch Addison, PhD, Clinical Professor, UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine; Behavioral Medicine Director, Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency
Coeditor, Entering the Circle: Hermeneutic Investigations in Psychology
“When the worst happens, what holds us together? Scheingold probes the depths of loss and finds in it a space for art, love, reflection, and the fiercely energetic life of the mind. Following the ‘silken thread’ of lyric poetry that weaves throughout her personal, professional, and intellectual life, the author’s contemplation of death and the healing powers of art is, like poetry itself, both personal and universal.”
— Barbara Henry, PhD, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature, and Affiliate, Jewish Studies Program, University of Washington
Author, Rewriting Russia: Jacob Gordin’s Yiddish Drama
“Lee Scheingold has done something extraordinary, linking the truly academic with the truly personal in a way that is neither forced and pedantic nor nostalgic and cloying… It is, in short, real. It’s what an academic does when searching for the light… Somehow, these writings are often too dry, dead, literary, searching for light and staying away from it and its warmth, because both are suspect. The other side is the very personal, about loss, emptiness, hurt, and pain told in a very personal way, but without the distance, separation and understanding that literature and intellect bring to the quest. Scheingold has merged and fully integrated both. This book is very brave and very well done.”
— Mark Greenside, Professor of English, History, and Political Science, Merritt College (Cal.)
Author, I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do) and I Saw a Man Hit His Wife