Breisch Blog

“Turning Periods into Question Marks”

Turning periods into question marks can be life-saving. Several months ago, I got a call from a dear friend, Tess, as she drove from her home outside of Chicago to a friend’s home in Michigan. She was frightened because this friend was seriously considering suicide and Tess felt unprepared to help. Since she knew of …

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Who Will Play Your Music?

Renowned improvisational pianist, Michael Jones, changed my life. For several years I listened to his extraordinary music as he played at numerous conferences. It took time and courage for me to ask if I might record and publish an interview with him. In early 1998, I journeyed to his home north of Toronto and we …

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A Perfect Ending

“Perfect is the enemy of good.” Voltaire Sometimes perfect finds us when we least expect it. Late last year, I was asked to keynote at a meeting of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for school districts across the state of Illinois. I could never have conceived how this invitation would help save a life and change …

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An Unlikely Source of Wisdom

“It’s So Counterintuitive!” she said. “Yes, it is.” I affirmed. The young woman calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline suffered from sporadic, chronic, gastrointestinal pain. She thought she might have eaten something the prior weekend that aggravated the condition. As a result, she was in great pain. I asked if she would be willing to …

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A Gift Delivered with Courage

Note: This piece will be published in the September/October issue of Neighbors of Batavia Magazine. I recently learned a valuable, touching lesson from a man with aphasia. It’s a condition that makes communication difficult and afflicts two million people in the United States. I have published eighty-eight essays for this page in Neighbors of Batavia …

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The Slipperiest of Slopes

While unanswered questions are challenging, I wonder if an unquestioned answer could doom the species. Be forewarned, the slope I am about to ascend is so unbelievably slippery, I am frightened to even begin. For the species Homo sapiens, the answer to most any threat is annihilation. The greater the threat, the more willing we …

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Good Trouble

“I’m a burden to everybody,” she began when I answered the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “Everyone would be better off if I wasn’t here.” “Are you considering suicide?” I asked. She paused, and quietly admitted she was. I asked her first name and age, for familiarity and a bit of context. “I’m Sue (not her …

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Ending Selfishness

Note: The following is a short excerpt from a book I have been drafting, about how lost the species Homo Sapiens has become. I have titled it Moving to a Different Rock: Humanity’s Journey Home. I welcome your thoughts. Ending Selfishness “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able …

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

“So here, then, is the last fifty years of American politics summarized: we became more consistent in the party we vote for not because we came to like our party more, but because we came to dislike the opposing party more. Even as hope and change sputter, fear and loathing proceed.”                                                                  Ezra Klein I fear …

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Where There Is Hatred…

It is so very difficult. When I witness anger and hatred boiling out of a mass of humanity, as that which flooded my life on January 6, part of me wants to turn away and remain in denial. Another part sets out, with the rest of me as an unwitting accomplice, to hate those who …

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Listening & Learning

How might I be different if I knew every idea, thought and reflection I retain in the synapses of my brain is limited or wrong, and acted in every moment as if that were true? How might I treat others differently, and how might they treat me in new ways, if, in a moment of …

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