The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

May 16, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Biographers Day

Biographers Day. Today is the anniversary of the meeting in London on May 16, 1763, of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, beginning history's most famous biographer-subject relationship. Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785) and his Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) are regarded as models of biographical writing. Thus, the day is recommended as one when we might consider starting our own autobiography -- or, at least, reading a biography or autobiography. Tips on writing one's own story? There are a good many books to guide us here. One of the most helpful: Ira Progoff's At a Journal Workshop. Progoff is the psychologist who invented a particular kind of auto-therapy, the Intensive Journal, a method of introspective inquiry (always ending with entries in one's own looseleaf notebook, or journal) that helps writers get in deeper touch with their own life histories. "What is it that our lives are trying to tell us about ourselves?" asks Progoff. He maintains that this question leads to the kind of insight that can help us re-orient ourselves and the direction of our lives for the rest of our days. At a Journal Workshop (they are being held all over the U.S. throughout the year under the guidance of Progoff-trained leaders, most of whom are psychologists) we learn, among other things, to tap into our dreams, and dialogue with some of the archtypical characters in our dreams. We are also bidden to dialogue (that is, enter into imaginary conversations) with signficant persons in our life-histories. Those who have done so are usually amazed at the wisdom and the insight that comes out of these dialogues, which, of course, are not dialogues at all, but a playing out of thoughts and particularly feelings that have long been dormant within us. The notion here, on biographer's day, is that a full Journal, done Progoff-style, may well provide the first draft of one's own autobiography. And, with the discovery by the U.S. publishing industry that memoirs sell, even memoirs by relative nobodies, you are not too unrealistic to think that you may even sell your own memoir.

ACTION: Try to tell your own stories. If you're reading this on the Net, you've got a computer, and, presumably, a printer. That's all you need. ***

Your Birthday Today:

May 16
Day of Expression

Uninhibited, Interesting, Emphatic

Volatile, Oblivious, Explosive

Progressively wacky. If you were born on May 16, you may start out conservative or extroverted, but become more and more flamboyant as the years go by. Ruled by the number 7 and the planet Neptune, you may lose touch with reality, and your finances.

Eye of the storm. Others may think you a composed and quiet person, until your buttons are pushed. Then you become lively, sometimes frenetic. Your temper is legendary, and those that have seen it often treat you like a hand grenade with the pin pulled. If you can channel your volatile emotions to creative work, you can produce provocative, imaginative work.

Problems. Your frustrations can lead to psychological problems if you don't get a handle on them. Self-destruction, manic/depressive swings and other stormy episodes may create havoc in your personal life. It is important that you have friends and family who will stick by you, so beware of driving them away.

Snappy dresser. The way you dress influences your mood greatly. Showing your unique flair, be it mild or totally outrageous is crucial to your success and happiness. You push the limits, the degree of flamboyance dependent on whether you are in the arts, business, sports or whatever.

Some advice: Find a way to express your uniqueness, but don't let it get out of control. Don't try to do everything at once. Finish one thing before starting another.

Also born on this day: Zoe Fontana (fashion designer) Margaret Sullivan (Henry Fonda's first wife) Billy Cobham (jazz/rock percussionist) Garth Allen (editor American Astrologer) Liberace (pianist, entertainer) Billy Martin (baseball manager) Betty Carter (jazz singer) Henry Fonda (actor) Olga Korbut (Olympic gymnast) Janet Jackson (singer, entertainer) Woody Herman (clarinetist, bandleader) Christian Lacroix (French fashion designer)