Uh, we (the people) got some complex issues. Can we even heal this mess?

Without a doubt, yes. Healing is real. But it’s usually not what we’ve been taught to believe it is.

Healing is a practical art, and it’s one you can learn.

And also it’s an awkward, alienating, experiential, stupefying, powerful, accessible, and incalculably beautiful trigger-storm of awakenings.

(I think, too, it’s a place. Or something? When I look around and ask myself What is this place? The answer is usually, Oh yeah, it’s healing.)

It’s hard to encapsulate healing because it’s wrong to try. Healing is not a pill.

Here on Ampersands &, I seek to communicate healing through experience and observation. Tools include doodles, poems, and commentary. Results vary.

Who is this doodling healer?

Hi, I’m Mary Beth Huwe, and before we go any further I feel compelled to tell you “Huwe” is pronounced “Huey.” It changes the experience right off, don’t it?

I’m a writer from (and in) the southern Appalachian mountains where I see profound beauty and shocking ugliness on a daily basis. It’s a puzzler.

I have some personal experience with healing - LOL, that’s a cute lil understatement - and I have some professional experience with healing.

For those of you who give a crap about such matters, I have a graduate degree in the Chinese medical arts: acupuncture, herbal medicine, and qigong. (Four long years, friends. FOUR LONG YEARS.) My long ago BA was in English and French. Basically I like words and experiences, and putting words to experiences.

Sometimes people tell me I’m a little different. I think we’re all a little different, especially when we pause to examine ourselves. I love what happens when humans do that, and when we put it to voice with other humans.

That’s called healing, and it requires overlaps.

Overlaps are where it’s at

As a generality, I love overlaps and edges and intersections; I am not down with the dismemberment and compartmentalization of human experience… aka relentless binary thinking to the exclusion of feeling and wisdom. That’s why the name of this newsletter isn’t Either/Or. We got plenty of that out there, thanks.

I’m not a “put nature on the rack” kind of girl. That shit leads to downright suffering every time.

Many are the lenses consciousness offers humans, and when we use them in combination, we can see some amazing things. But we have to keep choosing to.

Right now I think healing requires justice, awareness, joy, and creativity. So I made us a Venn Diagram, because fuck yes I did.

Here’s how I see it. Justice begets and needs clarity and trust. Awareness begets and needs clarity and devotion. Joy begets and needs devotion and connection. Creativity begets and needs connection and trust. And through all that we get to the juicy center of healing.

So that’s what I write and doodle about.

Why should a person subscribe?

Look, I’m really not here to tell you to do anything. I’m in favor of self-selection and consent.

Ampersands & is not about FOMO, urgency, keeping up with anyone, or me manipulating your very human desire for connection in order to stoke the consumptive fires of my ego.

It’s about healing, and fun, and art, and doodles, and moving onward and inward.

Subscribe! (I’d love, love, love to send you stuff.)

Or don’t! (That’s okay, too.)

When you subscribe, you’ll never miss an update. Oh, and I won’t share your info because Ampersands & also isn’t about that.

Love all y’all,


Know this.* I am exploring over here on this Substack thingie. It’s okay for me to take risks, and I’m allowed to make mistakes. The views expressed here are not necessarily my own; I’m fiddling about, indulging my creativity and giving it a place to go. Nothing I say here should be considered to be anything more than exploration, fleeting opinion, earnest asking, and/or play. I don’t actually believe that Debbie is real, and I’m not advising you to do anything.

*aka Views & Responsibility Disclaimer.


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