I commented earlier on the frightful pangs – when one is writing – of beginnings, of empty pages and mental spaces, which provokes another thought which journeys in a different direction when I am thinking primarily as a psychotherapist and not as a writer. The beginnings of any significant relationship are not empty but often full of awe, excitement and usually a delusory sense of freedom.
On the assumption that some of us, and hopefully most psychotherapists, are using their lifetime to become more complete, beginnings are vital threshold moments of engagement. Whether they take place in the protected space of the consulting room, or in a more random way, they are, for me, like entering through those classical ‘gates of horn and ivory for dreams’ and then moving on towards ‘A fence of wild pear and oak’s dark heart’ where two strangers can meet who hope to become more entire. ‘So, to’intergraft our hands, as yet /Was all the means to make us one,’. (Donne.) If the chemistry is right that first meeting – whether professional or personal – can be the moment when once more everything feels possible. In those relationships which begin with an eureka moment of ‘I’ve found another missing bit of myself’, the ‘Other’s’ presence can allow us to feel as if an answer to an unsought question has floated into destiny.
There is always the risk that any instant illusion of engagement turns out to be as destructive as the shadow meetings with the irresistible and seductive Duessa in Spencer’s Fairie Queen. Hope of communion is ignited but sometimes its energy is gossamer fine. It may be days, months or probably years, even a lifetime, before we find out if the engagement of a new beginning has become the platinum of eternity.