I've been slow to write in tribute to Mort Satten who, with his wife Dorothy, was my teacher of psychodrama, and dear friend. I haven't seen him in a few years, since he became ill with a recurrence of cancer and retired. I'd stopped attending workshops regularly after completing my director's training, but Mort and Dorothy are among the major forces for good in my personal and professional lives. I first studied with them soon after Kerry's death, and they were among the first in my circle to meet and bless my marriage with Bob. It was Mort who grabbed me after I'd directed my first psychodrama and told me I was a natural at this work, Mort who was a strong force in shaping my personal and professional confidence.
Mort taught me so much, more even about life and keeping it real than about craft - though he taught me plenty about our craft. Mort is the source of one of my favorite mantras "Real is better than perfect." I think I was present the first time he said it, and I clearly remember his grin up in a theater in the mountains north of Taos when he said real had better be sufficient because real is what he could do. Me too Mort. And he did a great job of real, authentic, spontaneous, himself. I know he grew up tough and poor in New York City during the Depression, found his skill and power as a soldier in Europe during World War II, was deeply affected as a Jewish soldier present at the liberation of a concentration camp. He lived so much life, arms open to love and loss alike, changed careers, lived a great love, became patriarch to a blended family and to a community of healers. Mort lived big, lived love, shaped many, includiong me, for good and service. I miss him already and will always be thankful for his influence in my life.