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Millions read Cary's "Since You Asked" advice column on Salon.com from 2001 to 2013. Then he left Salon and moved to Italy, where he writes and podcasts the weekly. Hear his compassionate insight and offbeat humor in his own entertaining voice every Thursday, direct from the medieval Tuscan town of Castiglion Fiorentino!
 
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May 12 to 22, this year, 2022, I will be hosting another of our fabulous writing workshops here in beautiful Castiglion Fiorentino at lovely Le Santucce. The Amherst Writers and Artists method we use in the workshops has been a godsend to thousands around the world who want to have a richer, fuller experience writing. Whether you write to sharpen a…
 
The moment has come to tell our unvaccinated friends and relatives the truth: Their refusal to be vaccinated is killing people. It is morally wrong. The moment has come to get in their faces, to reveal ourselves passionately, how deeply we care about this, to plead, to beg, to negotiate, to use whatever strength we have left to do our part to help …
 
Today I respond to the below comment from someone who identifies himself as "Ugly hunchback," posted on last week's column, as though it were a question. It expresses suffering for which I propose an antidote. The author of the comment was apparently alerted to this column by my 2006 Salon.com column on suicide which after 15 years still attracts f…
 
Hi Cary, I have huge trust issues and it’s affecting my relationship with my partner of 3 years. My trust issues have stemmed from my childhood for many different reasons and to top it off, last year I found out my step dad had been abusing me. My partner has never given me a reason to not trust him. He says he has his morals and knows deep down he…
 
In 2004 I was finishing up an article for Salon.com about George W. Bush and the upcoming presidential election, when I thought I was having a heart attack. I hit “send” and then I dialed 911. I called my wife from the ambulance. I spent the night in the hospital. Tests showed I was not having a heart attack. I was having a panic attack. That whole…
 
Hi everybody this is Cary Tennis, it’s Thursday, April 22, 2021 and I’m exhausted. I gotta tell ya. What a week. What a few weeks. Living in Italy but I’m watching CNN and the news constantly and I gotta tell ya, I’m full of hope for the possibilities of police reform in the United States and I’m also just emotionally exhausted. And I have to tell …
 
Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia said this Friday about the fight for voting rights: "Hope is a little different from optimism. Hope is the recognition that, yeah, we are in a serious fight for what is good, what is true, what is righteous, and evil is well financed and determined. I understand that. But you know, as bad as this bill is, and it's te…
 
Dear Cary, I hate my family of origin. I recently discovered that I grew up in a mostly narcissistic family, with a narc mother who subtly but persistently projected her own guilt and shame and anger about her situation onto us, her six children. ... As children, we knew we were poor, were ashamed about it, and felt something was terribly messed up…
 
David Talbot, founder and former editor in chief of Salon.com, has a new site called TheDavidTalbotShow.com, and he asked me to write for him a piece about my stay in the hospital in Arezzo and my crazy adventures recovering from Covid-19. You can read that piece on his site, where you can find the full, unexpurgated tale of my incredibly strange d…
 
This is not an advice column. This is commentary. Robert Aaron Long, 21 years old, of Woodstock, Georgia, was arrested Tuesday in the murders of eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent working in massage parlors. Initial media reports indicated that he claimed he did it because he was a sex addict. Sex addiction is not a trivial matte…
 
Dear Cary, I’ve loved the same boy since I was a teenager, knowing that for lots of reasons we would never end up together. Our love has endured and we’ve had decades of meaningful time together for its own sake, without the pressure of everyday partnership. The pandemic has brought us far closer to one another, but, in doing so, has led me to a pa…
 
Hi Folks! Wow, was I insane! This week's podcast dives deep into the fantastical delirium I experienced in the intensive care unit of San Donato hospital in Arezzo, Italy. I'll be publishing a longer prose version soon and will let you know when that is available. But for now, take a listen to this. It's pretty wild! I mean, I was living in a compl…
 
I was still thinking about the reasons senators would find it impossible to act on their conscience when it comes to decisions that might threaten their chances of reelection, and I just thought, well, the job should have less perks, be less of an ego trip, more of a sacrifice, like the armed services. The operative word being service. Support the …
 
It's been a crazy couple of weeks but it just occurred to me that all I need to do to get more questions for the column is invite people on social media to send me questions! And also, I almost forgot, also starting up an online Finishing School session! Support the show (https://www.carytennis.com/donate/)…
 
This podcast is an exhortation to keep your guard up during the next few weeks as conditions improve and the temptation will arise to relax on the coronavirus protocols, and also just a kind of rambling commentary on Italy, on myself, and on the future of the column, that is, an advice column without letters is not an advice column, it's just comme…
 
I am watching the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump and so my podcast asks, "How do you reach a point where your conscience is overwhelming and you must make the leap? How do you get to that point? How do you get to that point? How could these senators get to that point, where the conscience ... blooms, where all the fear subsides, and the c…
 
On a lighter note, my friends, let’s talk about Foods That Are Good for the Kidneys! Having been out of the hospital for six weeks now, having spent five weeks in the hospital with Covid-19 and another disorder which was life-threatening—I was critical, I was near death for a while—I’m back and it’s just dawning on me now, as I read the medical rep…
 
In Castiglion Fiorentino, in the beautiful Tuscan hills, I’m looking out across the continent, I’m looking out at the country that I love, that I was born in, the country that my father fought for and my uncles fought for, my grandparents fought for, I’m looking out, and I cry for my country. I cry for the people suffering, I cry for the people who…
 
Do you feel like life will never return to normal? Does the future seem like a dim, unending nightmare of isolation? Do you fear that the habits we have acquired will forever dampen the bright spontaneous spirit of social life? Does despair feel like the only realistic response to world conditions? Today's podcast is a 25-minute one-take piece in w…
 
Right-wing violence, insurrection, irrational fury: President Trump stirred the flames. But he didn't create the pain and disillusionment underneath it all. Why are so many Americans in pain? Why are so many Americans angry? What is underneath it all? Support the show (https://www.carytennis.com/donate/)…
 
How to balance our grief about the pandemic with the desire for happiness and normalcy? How to remain whole and vital and strong when the world seems to be falling apart? Where is the line between staying informed and obsessive news-watching? I ponder these things and offer some tips in this third episode in a series of podcast-only "Since You Aske…
 
Hello Friends, This is a short podcast-only edition just to let you know that I am now home after five weeks in the Italian hospital, that I am recovering slowly, expecting to be good as new eventually, but also thinking it's time to make some changes. --CT Support the show (https://www.carytennis.com/donate/)…
 
Dear Cary, I have a question about apathy. For years it has been my most loyal companion. I have dreams, visions, I have talents – all of which fall short because I simply do not get around to anything. Most days are spent wandering in a haze. For a long while I thought I was simply lazy and beat myself up terribly, but I don’t think that is the is…
 
Dear Reader, In 1997, Norma and I were standing in the garage of the house we’d recently bought, out on 48th Avenue and Ortega in San Francisco, a foggy, flat, sea-washed landscape of mid-20th century row houses, bland, bleak, ordinary, but safe, inexpensive, and near the beach. So we’re standing there in our garage and this guy walked in. He just …
 
Dear Listener, Usually I write an advice column and then I make a podcast from it. But this week, what I needed to say was better just spoken. I could get into it better. I could feel it in my chest and put it out there, and it wasn't complicated. It was just this: If you care about your life and the lives of those around you, if you want history t…
 
Dear Cary, I'm wondering if I should leave America as soon as possible to avoid whatever may happen during and after the election in November. It feels like Fascism. I would love to know what you think. A fan Dear Fan, I spent a lot of time thinking about fascism. But finally I remembered who I am. I am not a political person. I cannot predict the …
 
Dear reader, This week I have received no letters asking for advice. So instead of a column, here is a scene from the novel Famous Actress Disappears. Which I started writing on the N-Judah streetcar in San Francisco in 1995. And which I seem to be still working on. It starts 6 minutes into the podcast if you want to skip my always amusing prelude.…
 
Dear Cary, I'm writing about a frustration that no one I know--including my spouse, family, and friends--seems to understand. I have my dream job. My current work might be the thing I was put on this Earth to do. It's emotionally fulfilling, it satisfies my interests, it has social gravitas, and it pays well. It's in a field of work where positions…
 
Dear Cary, I have spent the past several-plus years drawing and painting and finally acquiring enough discipline and self-regard to give myself time to make art. I have been pleased with my progress. I’ve been posting my work on Instagram, getting good feedback and building followers. I live in a small town in the South, so social media is my link …
 
Dear Cary, You get a lot of unusual letters so perhaps you will not be shocked to receive one from me. I know you quite well, well enough to know there are many things that you conceal from me. But rather than talk about my problem, as most of your letter writers do, I would rather like to talk about your problem. Or problems. I know you have them.…
 
“Dear Cary, When I was divorced and single, I took weekly writing and music classes and I learned how to be completely independent. Eventually I found my true soulmate, we married and we are very happy. But there is not enough time in the day to do all of the things I used to enjoy doing. I miss writing and the ukulele. How can I fit it all in? Am …
 
Dear Cary, What do you think about Covid and Black Lives Matter in terms of historical perspective? I think that the Black Death in the Middle Ages paved the way for the Renaissance. Is what we are going through (radical changes to social protocol) likely to result in a similar revolutionary change, and if so would future historians regard this cha…
 
Dear Cary, I didn't know who my father was until I was 44. The “father” I had was a man who married my mother when I was 2, and adopted me when I was 6. I found out at 14 that he wasn't my father, but my mom still didn't tell me about the real one. She made up yet another story, and that was all I had until age 44. So I'm 55 and I still want a fath…
 
Dear Cary, I am a twice-divorced 54-year-old woman entrepreneur who supports herself through the practice of her craft. I have a 17-year-old daughter. She is bright, creative, articulate, sleeps a lot and talks to her friends and boyfriend on the phone, is an artist, cartoonist, and enjoys studying underwater hydrothermal vents. Senior year is arou…
 
Dear Cary, I’m feeling guilty these days about how comfortable my pandemic experience is. I mean, I feel the weight of the chaos going on, for sure. But my family is healthy, our home is comfortable, we can get groceries delivered, our income is steady, etc. I see other people struggling financially, and especially those fighting the good fight for…
 
Dear Cary, I’ve been coping with an anxiety disorder for most of my life. I know and use many of the available tools: the meds, meditation, therapy, exercise, talks with good friends, chocolate chip cookies. Engagement in living in this minute, now. Random acts of kindness and shopping. For years I’ve managed, more or less. But This Minute Now is o…
 
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