(Video link here.) Shrink is a compelling series of videos in which really smart, creative people tell what they learned in therapy in under two minutes. We were amazed at how very different and insightful the takeaways were from Sarah Silverman, Susan Orlean, Lena Dunham, Gary Shteyngart, and Kimberly Peirce. Our favorite though is Natasha Lyonne, who doesn’t really like therapy.


They all made us think of Galway Kinnell’s astonishing poem Saint Francis and the Sow. The first half describes in a nutshell what we are all doing here, not matter what form our quest for wisdom and healing.

The bud 

stands for all things, 

even for those things that don’t flower, 

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   

though sometimes it is necessary 

to reteach a thing its loveliness, 

to put a hand on its brow 

of the flower 

and retell it in words and in touch 

it is lovely 

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;   

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow

began remembering all down her thick length,

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine

down through the great broken heart

to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.


Galway Kinnell, Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin, USA; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2001)

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