Oedipus in Arabia by Karim Dajani

Ideas about the centrality of culture and collective in the structuring of the unconscious have been largely walled off, extruded from our canon. Nevertheless, they reappear. A central idea that keeps blooming in the cracks of concrete walls regards the social unconscious in all its permutations or the ways groups and their cultures are reproduced in individuals and the ways individuals reproduce their groups and their cultures in their perception, thinking, and comportment.

The Coptic Saint of Lost Objects by Mireille El Magrissy

I didn’t know the square I passed every morning was called El-Galaa Square until I was older…. Through the imagined possibilities produced by the symbol of the square, I began to question and search for meaning behind other meanings. Behind images, regressions, power dynamics, landmarks, ruminations, ruptures, separations, and associations.

What the Pandemic Did to My Mind by Elizabeth Wallace

The early days of the pandemic created a miasma of vast uncertainty in the world that seeped into our collective minds. Mental fault lines throughout the population manifested in paranoia and a preoccupation with scarcity, along with polarization of the world into “good” and “bad” people, places, and countries.

Francesca Schwartz

I am interested in the word, the image, the symbol. I am in love with bone. I am fascinated with the body and the end. The body is an impermanent landscape which we cannot truly know until we have also contemplated its disappearance. Part of this encounter rests on inhabiting my body as a woman. The blood flows mysteriously and then departs, marking seasonality. I meditate on corporeality and femaleness. Always the questions: What does the body retain? What is encrypted? What is memorialized? I am drawn to elements of bone, dye, chiffon, paper, wood, and found objects. I like some materials for their precision, others because of their elusiveness. Once in hand, alchemy takes over, and what happens is unexpected. So it goes, as the unconscious emerges. I tear apart, unravel, and desecrate in an effort to get to the center. I collage to bring cohesion to what feels fragmented. I assemble what is fragmented within myself and those I have lost. I devour. I cannibalize. I resurrect. By altering and reassembling the image, I encounter the space between longing and loss, memory and erasure, permanence and dissipation. I inscribe experience, even as it recedes. The body is inscribed; the word is written. We linger in some ways, yet we are destined to vanish. I bear witness while I am here.

Hallowed Spaces by Sara Mansfield Taber

As I think back on my life, I have most felt a sense of community in the least likely places. I was raised abroad, and all through my growing-up years, I often found myself feeling foreign and out of place when I set foot in my passport country, while overseas, at odd moments, in places I had the least right to do so, I would feel accepted and taken in. This experience has repeated itself throughout my life. 

The Things They Wrote

Sharing our stories helps us to understand our experiences and begin to move forward in our lives. One year after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the world’s healthcare system, the Things They Carry Project was launched, offering free online writing workshops (co-led by a therapist and writer) for frontline workers.

Lightning Sketch by David Morse

After a few seconds’ struggle, it comes to me by degrees—that time at our last visit when I sat sketching her mother’s house. I can summon the feeling of sitting down on something—I don’t recall what—the sensation of my drawing hand in motion, the intensity of my gaze, the freedom. And that moment of knowing when the sketch was finished, when to stop. I can call up those sensations now. 

The Stages of Grief: A Guide by Kim Curts Mattheussens

Kim Curts Mattheussens studied German and English literature at Ball State University, the Katholische Universität Eichstätt, and Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität Münster, and creative writing at the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. She is an alum of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon. Her work is published or forthcoming in the Athena Review, Punt Volat, Southword Literary Journal, and the Common, among others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Vaccines, Viruses, and Proximities by Keiko Lane

One of the biggest challenges to my enactment of queerness during COVID is my decision to shift my psychotherapy practice entirely to telehealth, removing my body from proximity to my clients’ bodies. […] And yet the fantasy that we can keep each other safe is as faulty as the fantasy that in psychotherapy we can keep from being touched by each other. Isn’t it?