Historian Susan Reverby once describe herself as having been "dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century." In some respects we feel as if this blog is an acknowledgement that narrative medicine has been "dragged" into the 21st century. While some of us are deeply rooted in narrative literature of the previous two centuries, and, it is true that just this past month we lead an amazing group of workshop participants in a close reading of "A Gentle Spirit," an amazingly complex and disturbing Dostoevsky story, we have found ourselves making forays into the world of blogging. Indeed, we have discovered that the blogger's voice, that the blogger's ability to explore, to respond, to connect and communicate adds enormously to our reach, and to our own growth. (Check out blogs by Maura Spiegel, Sayantani DasGupta and Marsha Hurst on the Literature, Arts and Medicine blog, and by Sayantani on Intent.com.)
In addition, the Narrative Medicine Program has now worked with hundreds of amazing clinicians, scholars, writers, students and others in workshops, at conferences, and in other educational settings, many of whom are developing programs, creating narratives, educating others in ways that they--and we--want to share. This blog is intended to grow this information network--loosely called the Narrative Medicine Society--and enable our work to be shared most productively. We hope new bloggers from the Program and the Society will join us in this effort.
Finally, it is fitting that we open this blog on the first day of a new era in the United States, an era that embraces the leadership of Barak Obama, who brings to the Presidency not a personal story that is both the classic American immigrant tale and the modern narrative of the embodied global person. And whose rhetoric and writing remind us that the power of giving voice to ideas and emotions can, indeed, change the world.