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

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