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?

Fascism-The Appointment in Samarra by Era Loewenstein

Wars, atrocities, and political upheavals shape our destiny. Ideologies and propaganda mold our views of what is real and what is true. My history also taught me that just as we cannot escape death, we may not be able to get away from fascism. Fascism, unfortunately, as Hannah Arendt has taught us, is here to stay.[…]

Russian and Ukranian Therapists Speak by Micki Wierman

I attended a symposium featuring analysts and therapists who are living and working in Ukraine or Russia, as well as those who have fled from their homes in those countries. They have come together in virtual town halls to support themselves and one another during this war. Those working inside Russia work with patients who live in Ukraine, and vice versa. Some are continuing to work with their patients, and some have stopped. All, for their own reasons or reasons outside their control.

Depathologizing Psychic Disruption by Annita Sawyer

The van climbs ever higher. I marvel at the spare, rocky landscape and the vast distances on every side as we make our way, curving upward, sometimes perilously close to the edge. Above it all, the Big Sky takes my breath away. Despite the many references I’ve read and the photos I’ve seen, I never imagined this experience: its vast enormity as an experience. I am in Wyoming for the first time.
How profound it feels to be thrust into a new world, stunned by its unique beauty, the feel of the air, new fragrances, new animals. I saw a magpie for the first time in Wyoming. Bald eagles flew overhead. What dazzled me most were the light and the wind, and especially the sky that never stopped changing. I could have stood still and watched all day, transfixed. In fact, I had intended to do just that, but the pandemic intruded, and we couldn’t stay.

Small Details by Limor Kaufman

When Z. was away at a psychoanalytic conference in Rome, her patient D. came into her home office for his Tuesday-afternoon therapy appointment. He probably sat in her waiting room for a couple of minutes, then walked into her office and looked at her desk, her drawers, her black record book where she writes down payments. She had a lot of cash hidden in the left cover.

Social Dreaming by Hattie Myers

There is a “deep and somber unity” when the different impressions of our senses enter into “correspondence.” So writes the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his seminal book The Poetics of Space. It is this “correspondence” that allows us to receive and transform the immensity of the world into the intensity of our intimate beings. There is an intimate “everydayness” that runs through all the essays in ROOM 10.22. And much as residual impressions from the day are transformed nightly into dreams, the synergy of these writers forms an unsettling social dreamscape.

My Back-Alley Abortion by Adrienne Harris

…It has a space to lie down. Other than that, the room is bare. I am tempted to use the word “barren,” which I think captures a fear I cannot articulate. All I can feel is how afraid I am. What am I wearing—a surgical gown? Perhaps just a slip and underwear. I remember already feeling shame and fear. I don’t or can’t really take in the specifics of my surroundings. I am terrified, shame-ridden, more singularly alone than ever in my life, though my life is not very long at this moment.

August 23, 2022: Kamianets-Podilskyi by Svitlana Matviyenko

I am sitting on the windowsill in my living room. It’s five in the morning of the 181st day of the war. The night was sleepless, sirens after sirens, when the valley with the river canyon amplifying the sounds give it such volume that the city landscape alone never does, as it swallows the city steers, activating dogs and most certainly birds much earlier than their time. After a short while of peaceful rest, after the sirens stopped, my town, covered with a thick layer of fog, is slowly awakening: the curfew is over. Everything here is now immersed in a complete silence that you can only encounter in a small town like mine and in that rare moment when the choir of morning birds is quiet already but the people are still not out on the streets. This silence is so surreal and overwhelming amid the war.

August 27, 2021: Philadelphia by Elaine Zickler

…I never walk in the city in order to make friends, although every encounter, for the most part, is a friendly one in the city. I am an old woman now, and the city has been ravaged even more than I have been, by death and sickness, by neglect and violent desperation, so I have the sudden realization that it has always been the city itself I have loved, the city itself that has been my friend.