Transcript of 42nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, April 15, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. How was your week?
Ms. Lippard: Good. Great! I can't believe how good I feel this week. Did you see the news?
Dr. Balis: You mean SII's new product? I read the Wall Street Journal story; it sounds exciting.
Ms. Lippard: Yes indeed. And the stock continues to climb as we speak. Don't sell just yet. It has a way to go still.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. I'll keep that in mind.
Ms. Lippard: You don't seem very excited. You bought, didn't you?
Dr. Balis: Katherine, this is your therapy session. I don't think we should spend it discussing my finances.
Ms. Lippard: Oh. Well, you had your chance. I did what I could.
Dr. Balis: And I appreciate it. Now what else made your week so good?
Ms. Lippard: The product announcement was a great success. And the company is poised perfectly for it. I have strategies, plans, and contingencies in place to take full advantage of this new boost in value and the upcoming influx of cash. And I can't believe it all came off so well! The way the rumor mill runs inside this company, it's amazing none of this leaked before the announcement.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: Of course, until just a few weeks ago, it was a secret inside the company. It makes me wonder what else Product Development is up to. But now, I'm going to take a break. And then I'll spend May and most of June gearing up and working on the new budget. We're going to pay down the debt, expand some programs, and give P.D. more money. We may even use our new valuation, if it sticks, to start absorbing a few small competitors. That should make Lloyd happy--he's always had takeover fever.
Dr. Balis: That all sounds good.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. So, what else makes me happy? Phil got another big contract over in Albany--a floor tile mosaic, can you believe it? There's nothing that boy can't do.
Dr. Balis: I thought Phil was a painter.
Ms. Lippard: That's his favorite medium, but he likes to try other things, too. Once, he spent an entire week on an etching in copper. Then, he did this multi-pass thing on metal photographic plates--I don't even pretend to understand that. And last night, I took him out to supper. He brought an Etch-A-Sketch to the restaurant and drew a very flattering portrait of me between the salad and the fish course.
Dr. Balis: He did a portrait on an Etch-A-Sketch?
Ms. Lippard: Amazing, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: It is.
Ms. Lippard: Then he just shook it up and started on something else. He's always doing something like that. He just can't keep still; he has to be creating all the time. The landfills are full of original Lippards that he did just to pass the time.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. What else happened this week?
Ms. Lippard: I'm starting to hear that Jake's not doing well.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. I guess it hit him harder than he let on. He's been getting drunk and rowdy, taking chances, and really living with abandon.
Dr. Balis: Jake has always been a risk-taker.
Ms. Lippard: This is different. He's a thrill seeker, but he always takes the proper precautions.
Dr. Balis: Well...
Ms. Lippard: Okay, not with the motorcycle. But he took all the swift water emergency classes when he got into kayaking. And he carefully inspects his lines before climbing. And he got an FAA certification he didn't really need for the ultralights.
Dr. Balis: What's different now?
Ms. Lippard: Now he's ignoring the regs. I heard they threw him off the cliffs when he came to hang glide drunk. And I saw him the other day; he has a bruise on his face from Australian rappel.
Dr. Balis: Australian rappel?
Ms. Lippard: That's when you run full speed and leap off forward free-falling until the rope catches you. Ordinarily, it's done off an overhang or a bridge. He tried it off a cliff and came crashing back into it.
Dr. Balis: Oh, my.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, ouch. I'm worried about him, but what can I do? I can't go back to him. And I'm afraid if I try to talk to him, it might make things worse.
Dr. Balis: I don't think you're responsible for his behavior. The two of you agreed that splitting up was best for you both.
Ms. Lippard: Sure. But like I said, I still like him and would hate to see him get hurt.
Dr. Balis: I understand that. You can talk to him and make sure that he knows that you didn't reject him personally and that the breakup was not a comment on his value as a person. Let him know that you're concerned about him and still value his friendship.
Ms. Lippard: Being careful, of course, not to lead him into any false hopes.
Dr. Balis: Of course. You know, this may just be his way of grieving.
Ms. Lippard: How so?
Dr. Balis: You've said that Jake is not good at expressing his feelings. If he's feeling loss or frustration, this risk-taking behavior may be the only way he knows to vent those feelings.
Ms. Lippard: So are you saying that he just needs to vent and then things will get back to normal?
Dr. Balis: It's a possibility.
Ms. Lippard: I suppose so.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, we haven't talked about your dream at all.
Ms. Lippard: No, we haven't.
Dr. Balis: Well?
Ms. Lippard: I couldn't do it again. I couldn't get him back. I tried for a few days, but finally I just gave Andrew back his turtle shell and went back to sleeping normally.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about that?
Ms. Lippard: Not too bad, really. I hate to let Daddy go, but I guess he said his piece. Any more and it would just be nostalgia.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Katherine, do you feel that you actually spoke to your father's ghost?
Ms. Lippard: Not really. Alex does, though. It seems my experience is very similar to something that happened to him recently. I have to say I'm surprised that he doesn't see ghosts around every corner lately.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, never mind. Just when I think he's starting to grow up, he goes and pulls some stupid teenage shit again. I can't help but love him, and I'm still his friend, but that doesn't mean I approve of everything he does.
Dr. Balis: Of course not.
Ms. Lippard: But that's off the subject. No, I don't think I was really talking to my father's ghost. Not directly, anyway. I suppose in some way, I could have been. I's hard to explain.
Dr. Balis: Give it a try.
Ms. Lippard: I suppose part of him is always in me. He made an impression on me, so I'll always carry both the memory of him and the imprint of his teachings.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: But I can't totally discount the psychic connection. Philip and I read each other's moods from across town. And I remember the time he got beat up in Charleston, I woke up in Charlotte in the middle of the night knowing he was hurt. So I suppose I could have picked up a little of Daddy in the same way.
Dr. Balis: I see. Where exactly do you think your dreams came from?
Ms. Lippard: I've been thinking about that. I guess the only explanation is that I made them up myself. I've been thinking about Daddy so much and trying so hard to direct my dreaming, that my unconscious took what it had--the memories, the imprints, maybe even a little connection--and combined it with my own desires to come up with something I could accept and use.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like a reasonable explanation.
Ms. Lippard: But this means that it was all me. It means that I have to accept that what he said was my own words. If you take this explanation of dreams, than dreams are just me telling myself that I should be proud of my accomplishments, and pursue my dreams, and do what I'm good at. And that I shouldn't be ashamed of who I am.
Dr. Balis: Those are all good things to tell yourself.
Ms. Lippard: I guess they are. It's just a little hard to reconcile--unconsciously I feel one way, but consciously I still wonder if I'm on the right track and whether I'm taking more from society than I'm giving back.
Dr. Balis: It's perfectly normal to have conflicting feelings. Sometimes, different things pull us in different directions. In your case, you have your father telling you to pursue your dreams, and your school teaches you to do well in business, and our society advocates getting ahead at all costs.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah.
Dr. Balis: Add in the things you've recently learned from Alex and Jake about relationships, and you've got quite a recipe for confusion.
Ms. Lippard: I guess I have to sort it all out.
Dr. Balis: Yes, you do. And I'm here to help.
Ms. Lippard: I know. Thank you.
Dr. Balis: For what it's worth, I think you gave yourself some good advice: do what you're good at, particularly if you can be valuable to society, which you can be. And judging from what you've said today, you still get a great deal of personal satisfaction from your job.
Ms. Lippard: I do.
Dr. Balis: And if you feel like you should be contributing something more, you can do that, too. You can be a big help to the Arts Alliance without leaving your job. I think you're already on your way to reconciling your conflicted feelings.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. I need a little positive reinforcement sometimes. Doctor Balis, do you believe that we're each put on earth for a specific purpose?
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about it, Katherine?
Ms. Lippard: I'm not sure. I don't subscribe to the notion that we're all part of some large, divine plan, exactly. But if it was true, I think it would probably be for several purposes.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. I can see that.
Ms. Lippard: Oh well, it's not like we'll ever know.
Dr. Balis: I suppose not.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. See you next week, then.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Katherine.
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