Milk and Poison by Ellen B. Luborsky

[…]What had I done? I thought my words would be harmless, a mere repetition of hers with a millimeter of meaning attached. I had hoped they would let her know I heard her. How did I alarm her instead? She had been pouring poison in and out of her cup until my words stopped her, as if the poison turned real when I spoke. I should never have linked play with harm. It was weeks before she would come near me again.

Six Days in Odesa by Jeanne Parr Lemkau

Smoke is engulfing the streets of Odesa from the bombardment of the city’s oil refinery by Russian missiles. The Zatoka bridge, which links the city with the rest of Ukraine, has been attacked and destroyed. I watch the news with horror as the map of Russian-controlled territory expands. I fear for Odesa, the “Pearl of the Black Sea.” I fear it could become another Mariupol in Putin’s brutal war. Because I have traveled to Odesa, the news feels personal. Odesa is a city redolent with memories of dear people and precious encounters.

Crimes Against Reality: A Proposal for Action by Levas Korvarskis

In a single month, I, along with millions of people around the world, and most painfully of all, of course, people in Ukraine and Russia, have witnessed and experienced a strange psychosocial dynamic. The most well-meaning, thoughtful people, usually inclined to carefully reflect on matters that concern them and not in any sense radical, have now been “moved” from a shared reality into separate realities.

Reaching Evangelicals and Catholics: An Interview with Doug Pagitt of Vote Common Good by Elizabeth Cutter Evert

Doug Pagitt, a Midwestern Evangelical Pastor and founder of Vote Common Good, describes that in the 2020 election, there was a 5 to 10 percent shift in Evangelical voters away from Republicans. He is confident that an additional 5 to 10 percent are looking for an “exit ramp” from supporting Republicans involved with “policies of division, racism, selfishness, cruelty, and exclusion. As part of a series of articles for ROOM about bridging divides in the United States, I interviewed him about his work with politicians, as well as Evangelical and Catholic voters, and asked for advice for people on the left who are interested in building inclusive coalitions.

Memories of My Vanished Birthplace by Cosimo Schinaia

[…] We usually leave our home forcibly or by choice, as exiles and refugees, immigrants, travelers, or simply because we were attracted by other landscapes and civilizations. Even when we declare allegiance to a certain place, the place we call home changes. This is partly because of our nomad nature and partly because of the fluctuations of history […]

Climate Breakdown by Erin Trapp

In my childhood backyard, there were large ferns beneath which I existed for long hours in the summer, imagining and tending to a world of dirt, potato bugs, and the layer of cool air under the canopy of fronds. I’ve only thought recently about what kind of longing comes over me when I pass by a randomly situated copse on the freeway and have an urge to simply be in it. And I’ve only recently thought about this longing in the context of climate breakdown, walking alongside a creek and coming to a place where the banks form an enclave, where I can transport myself momentarily to a world after collapse, a post-apocalyptic state of survival, one that is “prior” to the aliveness of this world.

Struck Anew by Hattie Myers

Shock occasions change. Five years ago ROOM flashed into being as an immediate response to the 2016 US election. Psychoanalysts who had never written before felt compelled to write. ROOM has remained a participatory community platform, grounded in a psychoanalytic understanding of how change happens. Each issue archives a new moment. Each is a “working-through” of that which has already passed. But now we are struck anew. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine occurred during the final weeks of production of this anniversary issue. Still, the questions posed by the contributors in ROOM 2.22 are eerily prescient and speak collectively for all of us. Each looks toward a future none can envision.

Remembering Lydia by Jeanne Parr Lemkau

Whenever I dismounted at Lydia’s home of gray boards and dried palm grass, her son hastened to hitch and water my horse while Lydia offered me lemonade and a spell of rest. Then she would walk with me among the shacks of her community, introducing me to other villagers and discussing her concerns about the health needs of her town.