The warmth and protectiveness of the hand are most homefelt to me who have always looked to it for aid and joy. I understand perfectly how the Psalmist can lift up his voice with strength and gladness, singing, “I put my trust in the Lord at all times, and his hand shall uphold me, and I shall dwell in safety.” In the strength of the human hand, too, there is something divine. I am told that the glance of a beloved eye thrills one from a distance; but there is no distance in the touch of a beloved hand. [Helen Keller, The World I Live In (1907), chapter II, “The Hands of Others.”]
When someone cares enough to support us in our endeavors or in our circumstances, that too conveys a positive message that can help create or reinforce self-esteem.
The most accomplished and talented people need support.
- Joan Reardon, ed., As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010).
- Amy Bloom, In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss (Random House, 2022): “. . . Amy Bloom writes about loving her husband and helping him to end his life after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.”
And of course, people with disabilities need support. For many years after autism was diagnosed, people assumed that it was incurable. Through determination and devotion, parents and mental health professionals have shown that autism can be treated.
- Catherine Maurice, Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph Over Autism (Knopf, 1993).
- Leeann Whiffen, A Child's Journey Out of Autism: One Family's Story of Living in Hope (Sourcebooks, 2009).
- Jenny McCarthy, Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism (Dutton Adult, 2007).
- Jenny McCarthy, Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds (Dutton Adult, 2005).
- Bryan Jepson, Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Patients and Physicians (Sentient Publications, 2007).
- Jacquelyn McCandless, Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder (Bramble Books, 2009).
- Ellen Notbohm, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew (Future Horizons, 2005).
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Linda Lantieri, Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children (Sounds True, 2008).
- Ennio Cipani and Keven Schock, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment: A Complete System for Education and Mental Health Settings(Springer, 2007).
- John S. Bailey and Mary R. Burch, Ethics for Behavioral Analysts: A Practical Guide to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005).
- Melissa Stormont, Timothy J. Lewis, Rebecca Sue Beckner and Nanci W. Johnson, eds., Implementing Positive Behavior Support Systems in Early Childhood and Elementary Settings (Corwin Press, 2007).
- Deanne A. Crone and Robert H. Horner, Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment (The Guilford Press, 2003).
- Edward G. Carr, Robert H. Horner, Ann P. Turnbull, et. al., Positive Behavior Support for People With Developmental Disabilities: A Research Synthesis(American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 1999).
- Lynn Kern Koegel, Robert L. Koegel and Glen Dunlap, Positive Behavioral Support: Including People With Difficult Behavior in the Community (Brookes Publishing Company, 1996).
- S.D. McMahon, E.D. Felix and T. Nagarajan, “Social Support and Neighborhood Stressors Among African American Youth: Networks and Relations to Self-Worth,” J Child Fam Stud. 2011 Jun;20(3):255-262.
Documentary and Educational Films
- Planet of Snail: a blind and deaf man and his wife, a woman with a spinal deformity that has impeded her growth, make their way in life together; it is “a movie about the way two people can smooth over each other’s cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness”
- Paris Is Burning, about members of the gay community supporting each otherthrough quasi-ritual acting out of their dreams
- Edwin Landseer, Attachment (1829)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Paul Simon, "Gone at Last"
- Carole King, "You’ve Got a Friend"
- James Taylor, "You’ve Got a Friend"
- Bill Withers, “Lean On Me”
- Franz Schubert (composer), Lied aus der Ferne (Song from Afar), D. 107 (1814) (lyrics)
Film and Stage
- Bang the Drum Slowly, about supportinga dying teammate – see the novel by the same title
- Pelle the Conqueror, in whichthe title character is “a camera, receiving the images of a childhood that will eventually shape the course of his life”
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople: a thirteen-year-old boy who has been in trouble and rejected by everyone, happens upon exceptional foster parents, and becomes exceptional himself, in popular film fashion.
From the shadow side:
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: about a psychologically dysfunctional marriagein which each party seems intent on destroying the other
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
With their warm rich tones and cozy harmonies, and the distinctive voices of clarinet, flute, oboe, horn and bassoon, Anton Reicha’s Wind Quintets evoke diverse individuals supporting each other.
- Wind Quintet 1 in E minor, Op. 88/1
- Wind Quintet 2 in E flat major, Op. 88/2
- Wind Quintet 3 in G major, Op. 88/3
- Wind Quintet 4 in D minor, Op. 88/4
- Wind Quintet 5 in B major, Op. 88/5
- Wind Quintet 6 in F major, Op. 88/6
- Wind Quintet 7 in C major, Op. 91/1
- Wind Quintet 8 in A minor, Op. 91/2
- Wind Quintet 9 in D major, Op. 91/3
- Wind Quintet 10 in G minor, Op. 91/4
- Wind Quintet No. 11 in A major, Op. 91/5
- Wind Quintet 12 in C minor, Op. 91/6
- Wind Quintet 13 in C major, Op. 99/1
- Wind Quintet 14 in F minor, Op. 99/2
- Wind Quintet 15 in F major, Op. 99/3
- Wind Quintet No. 16 in D major, Op. 99/4: 1. Andante – Allegro spirituoso; 2. Poco lento; 3. Minuetto - Scherzo; 4. Allegro assai.
- Wind Quintet No. 17 in B minor, Op. 99/5: 1. Andante allegro; 2. Andante; 3. Allegro; 4. Lento - Allegro.
- Wind Quintet 18 in G major, Op. 99/6
- Wind Quintet 19 in F major, Op. 100/1
- Wind Quintet 20 in D minor, Op. 100/2
- Wind Quintet No. 21 in E flat major, Op. 100/3: 1. Andante – Allegro poco vivo; 2. Lento; 3. Minuetto – Allegro scherzo; 4. Allegro.
- Wind Quintet 22 in E minor, Op. 100/4
- Wind Quintet 23 in A minor, Op. 100/5
- Wind Quintet 24 in B major, Op. 100/6
- Wind Quintet 25 in F minor, ohne Opuszahl
Beethoven’s works for wind ensemble may not equal those of his contemporary in quality or richness, Reicha, but they express the same theme:
- Beethoven: Wind Quintet for three horns, oboe & bassoon in E-flat major, Hess 19 (1793)
- Beethoven: Wind Sextet for clarinets, horns, and bassoons in E-flat major, Op. 71 (1796)
The violin sonata (violin and piano) can speak to any of several human values. In Franz Schubert’s tender and sensitive hands, it evokes a warm, supporting relationship. He composed four violin sonatas (sonatinas), Op. 137, in 1816-1817, and a fourth, later listed as Op. 162.
Bach: 6 Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019 (1717)
- BWV 1014, in B minor
- BWV 1015, in A major
- BWV 1016, in E major
- BWV 1017, in C minor
- BWV 1018, in F minor
- BWV 1019, in G major
Arthur Foote’s works for violin and piano:
- 3 Character pieces for violin & piano, Op. 9
- Violin Sonata in G Minor, Op. 20
- Miscellaneous short pieces
Two chamber works by Schumann:
- Koechlin, Flute Sonata, Op. 52 (1913)
- Ireland’s two violin sonatas, No. 1 in D Minor (1909) [1. Allegro leggiardo; 2. Romance; 3. Allegro sciolto assai] and No. 2 in A Minor (1917), the piano bucks up the cello, gently, in its sadness.
- In Ireland’s Cello Sonata in G Minor (1924), the essence is the same as in the violin sonatas, except that the cello’s voice expresses a particular kind of sadness, which is characteristic of the instrument: loneliness.
- Hindemith, Quintet for clarinet and string quartet, Op. 30 (1923, rev. 1954): intermittently playful and serious, this work features the clarinet, with the strings taking over occasionally, a musical expression of one pathway of support.
- Hebden, Six Concertos for Strings, Op. 2: these concerti from the late Baroque – early Classical period invite performances with warm, rich tones.
- Burgmüller, String Quartet No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 14 (1835)
- Wolf-Ferrari, Piano Trio No. 1 in D Major, Op. 5; Piano Trio No. 2 in F-sharp Major, Op. 7
- Harrison, First Concerto for Flute and Percussion (1989)
- Harrison, Ariadne (1997)
- Vir, Raga Fields: “. . . the solo instrument is surrounded by the orchestral accompaniment in a manner that progressively grows and shifts on every level: timbral, textural, rhythmic, harmonic.”
- Miguez, Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 14 (1885)
- Shirley Scott, “One for Me”
- Philippe Grisvard and Johannes Pramsohler, “A Cembalo certato e Violino Solo” (2022), includes Bach’s BWV 1014-1019 and other of Bach's works for harpsichord and violin.
From the dark side:
- Dean, String Quartet No. 2, "And once I played Ophelia", for soprano and string quartet (2014): “. . . perhaps Ophelia drowns not from a romantically-fed whim or madness, but simply because of the pure weight of the words others say about her caught irrevocably in her pockets.” (Brett Dean)
It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they were twisted nets.
Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.
Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,
something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.
[Pablo Neruda, “It’s Good to Feel You Are Close to Me”]
- Catherine Newman, We All Want Impossible Things: A Novel (Harper, 2022): “Ashley and Edith (Ash and Edi) have been best friends since they were kids growing up five blocks apart in Manhattan. Now, Edi has ovarian cancer and, after three years of grueling treatments, the hospital social worker delivers the 'make the most of her remaining days talk — while simultaneously clarifying that this most-making would need to happen not there.'”