Lynn Casteel Harper On New Ways Of Understanding Dementia
Askey: How do you think we will look back on our current treatment of people with dementia?
Harper: I think we will see how incomplete our approach was: The obsession with a cure. The overuse of psychotropic medications to “manage distressing behaviors.” Only something like 10 percent of that is necessary, research shows. A lot of those psychotropic medications are dangerous for people living with dementia.November 2023
An Indian immigrant, an oil-company man, a bicycle-riding nomadOctober 2023
For two years The Sun was a lighthouse that guided me through rough, dark waters: Every line of mine that Sy [Safransky] published penetrated a little more of the fog called imprisonment. Every poem revealed my wrecked spirit dashed against the reef. Not only had Sy loved them, but Sun readers sent letters of appreciation, which Sy printed in the magazine. I’d never been complimented for anything, much less a literary contribution. My life had some hope in it now.October 2023
A young man stands at the lectern: nineteen years old, athletic, thick black hair down to his shoulders. I’ll call him Marco. Today my job is to decide whether to send him to prison.August 2023
Long-distance running is the dogged refusal to bend to the way you feel. It is the accommodation of pain. If you run long enough, far enough, fast enough, you will carve out a place in yourself where pain can live.July 2023
My mama’s family is Alabama for at least four generations. Though I grew up in Illinois, my soul is rooted here. So whenever anyone narrows their eyes and cocks their head to question how I — a Black woman — could possibly love this place, my answer has been: “Because generations of my people’s blood and footprints are in this soil.”June 2023
When we have mercy, deep and abiding change might happen.May 2023
In general my job was predicated on my ability to suppress rage. I was an itinerant instructor, an adjunct whose career depended on good reviews from my co-instructor.May 2023
Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons.