Revealing Necessary Secrets
By Selwyn Mills, author of Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter
When I reached my eighth decade, I coined the phrase, “Life begins at 80.” Even I don’t literally believe that, but I think it’s a good time to write an autobiography.
However, the writing of a conventional narrative autobiography doesn’t appeal to me, but I can promise you that this collection of stories, poems, essays, musings, and revelations of my personal discoveries will surprise and entertain you as I ramble through the thoughts, events and concerns of my providential life.
The book consists of a variety of topics:
psychology, philosophy, poetry, essays, plays, stories, art work, personal history and something I call Necessary Secrets. They are all part of an interesting mosaic of my life, including some which I pursued with passion, some with a sense of committed service but all with an awareness of the intrinsic humor of this Comedy Divine. In the section on “Necessary Secrets” I am sharing for the first time, things I have considered revealing to only my most trusted friends. All of these are things for which, although they had an impact on my life, I chose to find personal solutions, rather than openly acknowledge. Everyone has secrets...I have lived long enough, listened to the intimate thoughts of hundreds of patients as a psychotherapist, and have my own private acknowledgements about myself which I have chosen to share with only my closest friends, mostly for the same reasons as others. There are many kinds of secrets that people conceal for periods of time, and those that they keep hidden for a lifetime. Some persons are more forth-coming about their inner thoughts and feelings, and some are more reticent, but the reasons for these actions are myriad and the subject for a different article.
I am by nature very trusting and have few things that I don’t share openly with most people. However, I have some long standing disabilities which I have decided to share sparingly with others. To some they may seem trivial and to those same people, would be no problem. They would perhaps, have treated them with less concern than I have.
Why then have I chosen to make them public now? I am not quite sure, actually, but perhaps because I want to take a leap of faith in trusting those who will read this book, hoping it will help them to appreciate and know me better. More about “Necessary Secrets” later in the book.
These articles and stories can be read sequentially, or article by article, as time and interest dictates. Each piece is complete in itself, like every stone in a mosaic, and can be enjoyed separately or as a completed work, being more than the sum of its parts, appreciated as a whole.
Selwyn Mills served an apprenticeship in decorative painting before starting his own business in 1956, which lasted until his retirement in 1992. He worked as a craftsman painter, wrote for the National Paint Journal, served as President of the National Painting Contractor Association in Nassau County, New York, and taught faux painting. While painting professionally, Mills earned his doctorate in psychology and operated a successful private psychotherapy practice.
Dr. Mills practiced psychotherapy in Great Neck N.Y. for twenty-five year, specializing in couples therapy, family reconciliation and Men in Transition groups. His psychotherapy practice overlapped his forty year career as a decorative painting contractor. He painted in the mornings and counseled patients in the afternoon and evenings. His research into the left/right brain phenomenon, and its impact of personality development, led to a unique discovery of why opposites attract. Active in live theater, he wrote and produced a musical comedy called, “Love Torment and Lollipops”. An accomplished photographer, his black and white prints are part of the permanent collection of the Bibliotech Nationale in Paris, France. He currently works at the Sugden Theater in Naples, Florida as director of faux painting. Mills married in 1949 at the age of 19 and has four children and four grandchildren.
His latest book is the autobiography, Confessions of a Color-Blind House Painter.
You can visit his website at www.selwynmills.com.