The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

Maria Popova from Brain Pickings recently featured one of my favourite allegorical tales by Shell Silverstein, entitled “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”. The first time I read this book, I was an adult. It touched me deeply. I vividly remember that I was in a secondhand bookstore in Downtown Vancouver, and that I picked it up randomly just as I was getting ready to leave the store. I proceeded to read the whole thing. I was very touched by this book, and it’s message has stayed with me ever since. The simply told story, with the simple black and white line drawings, was powerful and unforgettable. I recommend this book to all children and adults alike.

Find the article, along with images from the book, at the following link. And enjoy!

And here is a YouTube video which animates this story!

A Brief Guide To The Basic Fundamentals Of Art Therapy

Here is a link to an article by Priscilla Frank in the Huntington Post, about the basics of art therapy. It features an interview with Dr. Sarah Deaver, the President of the American Art Therapy Association.
Great to see art therapy gaining growing awareness in popular media!

For more about art therapy in Canada, visit the site of the Canadian Art Therapy Association, at

Serve the world. Don’t try to help it, fix it or save it.

your work is

What is the difference between helping, saving or fixing, versus the idea of serving? Why is it so import to discern between these concepts in relationship with the world?

If these are questions that titillate you, I recommend reading and digesting the following article:
“Helping, Fixing or Serving?” by Rachel Naomi Remen.

A teaser from the article:

“Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected. Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.” -R.N. Remen


“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality.”


We know depression through metaphors…Half the purpose of art is to describe such iconic states.” – Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon, in this revealing and beautiful talk, shares his experience with depression and gives us all a bit of hope by reaching out and sharing his vulnerabilities with bittersweet comedic relief, and some education. Break the secret, he is seeming to tell us. Depression is a killer. It destroys people’s lives in many ways. But we don’t have to suffer alone.

Best viewed in full-screen mode



What is depression?

Following the suicide of Robin Williams yesterday, who was living with depression, it seems even more important than usual to share this video about depression. Get educated. Reach out for help if you need it, or reach out a hand to someone who may need one.

“The only shame, is missing out on life.”

Written, illustrated and narrated by Matthew Johnstone.

Hummingbird Dance

Creating an art work
This video was created by video recording myself dancing in a dance studio on my laptop, and then splicing together a variety of ‘takes’ to create a final “motion picture”. In the editing room, using MovieMaker, I played with transitions, speed, timing and perspective. The main themes, for me, were about playfulness and the witness. The process of creating this work followed closely many basic principles of expressive arts therapy, including low-skill/high-sensitivity, following the emergent, de-centering, the witness, increasing range of play, extending the process through intermodal transfers, and harvesting. I feel that this process, particularly exploring visual effects, helped me to see myself from the outside, as I would witness a hummingbird dance. I had a terrible fear of watching myself dance on film, and so playing with the video footage in the editing process allowed me to re-source my sense of aesthetics and playfulness and to breathe into my fears with a renewed sense of life and energy. And so this video is my witness, and it is me witnessing myself. And now you are witnessing it with me.

Many thanks.

photograph by Roy Dunn

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: