What is there to say about day four with a beat-up face, except hallelujah.
That’s right, and that was exactly my response upon wandering out of my massage guy’s office and spotting an old copy of The Nation. Here it is. Naomi Klein is a master, and she says this much better than I.
And there I was on the fourth floor of a San Francisco office building that caters to small-time healers, teachers, consultants and software developers. It is in what used to be thought of as a low-rent district, favored by Hispanic immigrants and warehouses and small industrial operations. Now these two worlds mix, old and new, with varying degrees of success. But mix they do. And there am I, relieved of some of the body tensions that built up over my five weeks away from exercise and physical therapy. And I am eyeing a magazine, one year old, that surely nobody will miss. I could easily have shoved the old and battered ‘Nation’ in my shopping bag and sped away. But I remembered something important, something that we are all encouraged to forget. We are in this together. Naomi Klein’s article is featured on the cover, and maybe someone else will see it if I just leave it there, I was thinking. And I’m glad I was thinking. Clearly, that is. So, yes, I went home, cranked up the web. And there it is.
The article is not just about hope, which can so easily seem sappy and for suckers…but about the necessity of hope. And the necessity of dreaming. I have always felt that I do an excessive amount of the latter. And now that I’m old and retired, at times it seems all that I can do. But, as she explains, it’s something we must do. Go, Naomi.
And I went myself, heading straight out into one of those San Francisco days that never happen. Warm and sunny, not overpowered by any fierce breezes. And off to an early Thai lunch with a friend from the local Jung community. Through a fluke, and a wonderful one, I have made several friends among Jungian analysts and others involved in the local psychoanalytic institute. The latter is moving, leaving its lofty perch in an historic mansion on one of San Francisco’s most exclusive hills. Down, it’s coming, down to the flatland, the Mission, in another part of the same general neighborhood where my massage guy does his work. I am full of hope about this move. For the first time in years, I will be able to regularly attend Jung Institute events. As a psychoanalytic veteran myself, this is sort of continuing education, follow-up.
The Institute will also be right in the midst of urban upheaval, a neighborhood where long-time residents can’t afford to live, where crime and disturbance are common, homeless people are visible, and the future is continuously coming into focus. We can’t live in the future, but we do have to believe there will be one. In America these days not everyone does. Some believe in the ‘End of Days’, and they vote and act accordingly. What I know is that this day will end a little earlier than yesterday, the solstice. And so will the one after that. And the whole thing will go on until late December, whether or not I am around to see it. So, yes, I do admit the constant possibility of the end of me. Days? Well that has more to do with the earth’s rotation, a responsibility considerably above me.