Nina Gaby

Essays, art, and healthcare


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Personally I can’t wait to get to New Hampshire tomorrow

votes for women

Personally I can’t wait to get to New Hampshire tomorrow. And this is why. Hillary. But stay with me here, I’m very much alone (I live in Vermont.)

I got heart and mind invested. Let’s get this out of the way: it may be my last chance to ever see a woman elected president in my own country. As a feminist from the womb, it’s crucial, so much so that I once even considered campaigning for Elizabeth Dole. Very briefly. But mind over heart in these end times. End times. The repubs get in and we further erode the environment, separation of church and state, and any respect we have left on the world stage. I envision Christian-Fundamentalist-imposed burquas for all women of childbearing age within the next 15 years, but then again, I’m of a hyperbolic nature (except no one saw it coming in Teheran either.) Don’t get me wrong, I love Bernie’s message, it resonates. My husband and I lost almost everything in 2002, I feel the greed and lack of controls on Wall Street acutely and still do every day as we continue to crawl back. But to claim that a president can revolutionize our banking system is pie-in-the-sky. There is just so much that a president can do, it’s a democracy. Hands will be tied.

Jonathan Chait from the New Yorker says it much better than I: Those areas in which a Democratic Executive branch has no power are those in which Sanders demands aggressive action, and the areas in which the Executive branch still has power now are precisely those in which Sanders has the least to say. The president retains full command of foreign affairs; can use executive authority to drive social policy change in areas like criminal justice and gender; and can, at least in theory, staff the judiciary. What the next president won’t accomplish is to increase taxes, expand social programs, or do anything to reduce inequality, given the House Republicans’ fanatically pro-inequality positions across the board.”

Enter Hillary with her brilliant understanding of foreign affairs. My god, she knows all the world leaders and likely knows all their kids names and birthdays. What I don’t want is a president that can’t do much- no matter how good the original message may be, leaving us even more crippled in the larger arena. And yes, I’ve loved Hillary since I took my baby daughter to meet her when she came to meet with us nurses back in my hometown over two decades ago, wanting to know what was wrong with health care. She fought a valiant fight that is only bearing fruit two decades later, starting when the Millenials were still babies. My point? She’s still around. Still brilliant, tough, presidential. So it’s not like I have time to join a campaign (I’m tired and can’t afford to retire) especially one that will make me even more unpopular with my Vermont neighbors, and it’s not just about meeting Al Franken tomorrow in New Hampshire, although that will be very cool. It’s that, like in so many campaigns before, starting with local campaigns as a kid, even before Eugene McCarthy, even before I could vote, I have no choice. And if Bernie gets the nom nod, you betcha. Him too.


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“Me, Hypocrite in a Coffee Shop, Day After Christmas, 2015

hypocrite coffee shophttp://www.kevinmd.com/bl…/2016/…/hypocrite-coffee-shop.html

Original title “Me, Hypocrite in a Coffee Shop, Day After Christmas, 2015”

This piece for KevinMD was a hard piece to write. When we sit with our patients throughout the day we focus pretty exclusively on who they are, what they are saying, why they are sitting in our office in the first place. We focus intently on what is the best right thing to do for them/with them. Later, we may worry about them, or we may binge on Netflix or immerse in the misery of all the documentation that we didn’t get to while they were sitting there, because we were listening rather than typing, but either way, it needs to be done. The lap-top-data-monster is ravenous. The point is, we are too busy to think. But sometimes, as I describe in the essay just up on KevinMD, we confront ourselves. Sometimes when we were really trying to do something else. Sometimes the sorrow, the exhaustion, “the vicarious traumatization” is unavoidable. We try to care for ourselves and it feels hypocritical. This soul baring/bearing piece is meant to start some honest conversation.


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New View from the Memory Motel: 3D Memoir/Vessels

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

A guest post from Nina Gaby:

nina gaby art IMG_6459Cavalier, I toss around the word “hoarder,” like it’s a good thing, because it makes me do art.

“If there’s not a flattened dead rodent under that pile then it isn’t really hoarding, not like TV show hoarding” I say. “And besides, it’s all good stuff.” And then. Of course. I found the dessicated mouse under a three foot stack of old photographs, notes scribbled on envelopes, articles, letters tied with ribbon, and a yellowed folder of psychiatric evaluations from 1989, realizing I needed to either get a dumpster or get creative. And it’s not just the ‘stuff’ for us writers and artists, it’s the ideas we save, the memories we hang on to. The photos and Post-It notes and pretty rocks and pieces of costume jewelry. Broken plates and swatches of fabric, the bits of pencil and string, the colors, the smells, the…

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I Need to Blog and I Need to Get to Work on Time

So I gave out this website to lots of people this past week, and what a week. I completed a new series of 3-D memoir vessels to enter into the UNBOUND 5 book arts competition on Monday. Then the Harvard 2015 Conference on Psychiatry bookended by a reading event at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT on Tuesday for the Burlington Writer’s Workshop, then Brookline Booksmith in Boston on Wednesday with three other She Writes Press authors, then the conference which was absolutely top shelf of course, then yesterday’s “Are You a Bookie” panel at BayPath University, organized by Suzanne Strempek Shea. Every moment part of a glorious multi-disciplinary soup.Gaby_Entry #2_New Views from the Memory Motel 3 piece series.

And it’s Monday morning and I’m late for the day job.

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