Top of mind: Wednesday

Top of mind: Wednesday

28/2/24 | Storms, Doom-Music, Anne Carson, Rage, Grief, & Castration

Yesterday was a very warm day. As I was wrapping up my work day, the sky filled with huge thunderheads that were filled with lightning. When the sun went down, the sky was like a strobe light. I stayed at my office because tornado sirens went off, and shortly after, there was some small hail.

This is the kind of storm I’d expect around April… maybe the end of March. This is more evidence that the seasonal clock that governed human acts for so long has been messed with too much.

I drove home listening to Kevin Richard Martin, which was the perfect sonic accompaniment to the looming storms.

This morning, it is cold (20F/-4C). That’s more like the February I’m familiar with.

Wednesdays are my longest/busiest days in the clinic. I’m thinking about how the psychoanalytic idea of castration (i.e., living within the prohibitions of our family and larger social environment) is something people have battled since Freud. People continue to fight this battle today, but they fight it in different ways than they did in Freud’s time. Be that as it may, castration, the discontent people feel as they submit to the restraints of living in civilization, remains a central concept for clinical work that is psychoanalytic.

I’m also thinking about Anne Carson’s preface to Grief Lesson,her translations of four plays by Euripides. Carson writes,

Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief.

I think that we feel rage because we are castrated (prohibited, told “No!”). Castration creates grief. If the grief can be acknowledged, experienced, and symbolized, then we might not rage. But if the castration/grief remains unconscious (i.e., unacknowledged, not experienced, and un-thinkable/un-speakable), then we are far more likely to rage.

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