Psychoanalysis has been, for me, a powerful path to both emotional healing and spiritual exploration. I wish it were more widely understood. In 2003 I was happy to contribute to the field’s literature by allowing my analyst at the time, Jill Comins, to write about me as a patient she called Laura in the journal “Psychoanalytic Dialogues.” Although I did not know it then, the journal issue in which Jill’s article appeared was dedicated to the memory of Emmanuel Ghent, a widely loved psychoanalyst who had recently died. His work, when I discovered it many years later, seemed to speak directly to me. This poem takes its title from one of his best-known essays. 

for Manny Ghent

I believe
That love hurts
That it can’t always be repaired
That things, seen from many viewpoints
Are bad and trending worse–
I don’t have to tell you.

I believe in surrender
To what undeniably is
It’s fighting facts that kills you
Pain that’s pure can open us

And I believe in hidden splendor
That we are spirit, huge
I have faith in resurrection
In worlds within, beyond this world

Life’s a tangle to unravel
Shifts of vision can surprise
When we’re wrapped in heart-and-thought-cords
With another, who can help

Trace the patterns in our chaos
Find the secrets in our dreams
Throw us a blanket, maybe, even
When we didn’t even know
We were cold

Kimberly Gladman Jackson is the author of Materfamilias (Tandeta Books, 2018) and Tesseract (Finishing Line Press, 2016).
You can connect with her on her website.

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