To the Darkling…

I’ve had no time these last few weeks to think about writing. Nor to return to thoughts on any distinctions to be made between envy and jealousy. Too much time has been spent prepping to do public events. I still cannot get my head around the question of why I say ‘Yes’ to doing things and then spend the rest of my time wincing and putting my gut into worse spasms at everything I’ve said or blurted into public. And yet I must want to have my say. While I am not a pathological narcissist, when push comes to shove, ugly phrase that it is, I must despite the spasms of self doubt like the sound of my voice. Yet I don’t. How do I untangle the knot except by shutting up. I am also aware that there are still people who are prepared to pay to hear people thinking aloud or spreading their thoughts abroad. Prepared to go out after a day’s work and listen in the hope that they may find some illuminations to ‘life’. Something that may help them to feel alive. Or even inspired. Inspiration and Admiration are antidotes to envy and jealousy. I consume them like daily supplements.

I have been reflecting a lot about ‘love’ in the consulting room seeing that I have put in writing that I have often fallen in love in my consulting room. I have been forewarned that this is one of the statements in my book that caught the convenors eye, and I don’t know what the others will be, that his interviewer has been primed to question me about at the How To Academy. It does not mean, willy-nilly, that I fall in love every time someone walks through the door. And there is a distinction to be made between ‘Newcomers’ and people that I have seen every week more or less for ten years or more, and the others in-between. At the same time if, after a month or so of seeing somebody, I haven’t found some aspect of their temperament with which to either fall in love or to admire then it is unlikely that I will be able to assist them to find a salve for their wounds.

If I allow myself to return briefly to thoughts about envy, or jealousy or anger they are visceral emotions to each of which I can attribute an immediate physiology. Anger is hot. It increases my blood pressure, and my capillaries expand. Envy is like a urinary infection. It bights and blights. Love even isolated to the consulting room has many different costumes and nuances. I have been trying to think of images rather than sensations to illustrate the complexion, (and the homonym of the word speaks with me) of the love that I experience in my consulting room. The moment when I am most likely to see involuntary images floating towards me is when I am meditating which is meant to be the moment when I am trying to empty my mind. It has taken me a long time to realise that one can only empty one’s mind if there is something there to be emptied. Nothing will come of nothing. As I try to clear my mind of the humdrum of ‘domestic’ life, the moment approaches when – if blessed by an involuntary energy – unborn or metaphysical images, ectoplasma materialise. I may have found two with which to describe the ‘therapy of love’ but they are still incubating …

If I wasn’t a therapist I should like to have been a poet because they work with lady philosophy, with image and rhythm and paradox to make suffering endurable. It is intolerable to think how John Keats suffered and left us with the sublime.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell 
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self! 
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well 
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf. 
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades 
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream, 
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep 
                        In the next valley-glades: 
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream? 
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? 

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