NCSPP

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

From the Editor

by Sydney Tan, Psy.D.
 
sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt
 
Here in this grove
a strange sight met his eyes and calmed his fears
for the first time. Here, for the first time,
Aeneas dared to hope he had found some haven,
for all his hard straits, to trust in better days.
For awaiting the queen, beneath the great temple now,
exploring its features one by one, amazed at it all,
the city’s splendor, the work of rival workers’ hands
and the vast scale of their labors-all at once he sees,
spread out from first to last, the battles fought at Troy,
the fame of the Trojan War now known throughout the world,
Atreus’ sons and Priam-Achilles, savage to both at once.
Aeneas came to a halt and wept, and “Oh, Achates,”
he cried, “is there anywhere, any place on earth
not filled with our ordeals? There’s Priam, look!
Even here, merit will have its true reward . . .
even here, the world is a world of tears
and the burdens of mortality touch the heart.
Dismiss your fears. Trust me, this fame of ours
will offer us some haven.”
- - Virgil, The Aeneid, translated by Robert Fagles
 
Aeneas, having lost everything--his city, his family, all he has ever known--arrives in Carthage and enters a temple built by Dido. He sees the atrocities of the Trojan War depicted--represented-on its walls and he weeps. And yet, it is in this sorrow that he first finds some comfort, and perhaps, even hope.
 
In certain moments, a part of what we offer our patients can involve acts of representation. Together, the analytic couple works to create speech. In times of sorrow, we, like Aeneas, may perhaps find some solace in these very acts.
 
As the new editor of Impulse in this time of significant social disturbance, I look forward to bringing you occasional musings such as this.