Travels with my shrink ...
...The time I got mad at him for keeping me waiting and I put all his magazines, in alphabetical order, deep under the waiting room couch.
... I generously offered free criticism of his office artwork ... his haircut ... his tie ... his socks.
... I occasionally indulged in self-diagnosis, having got hold of a Merck manual and a copy of DSM-IV. I basically just needed his help with the Rx.
What I'm meditating about tonight, though, is the jade heart.
For seven years, D. was literally The Man in My Life. Never mind he was gay, absolutely out of bounds and otherwise different from me in every way.
In psychotherapy, there is a phenomenon called transference. When achieved, all emotion associated with various relationships is loaded onto your therapist ... and then you deal with conflicts associated with those love objects through him. In your mind, he becomes the one you fear, the one you hate, the one you resent, the one you love.
During this high emotion, you say and feel and imagine every possible facet of human behavior ... but you don't do things. For instance, you must not murder your stepfather and you must not give gifts to your psychiatrist.
Tangibility bothered D. The safe place for therapy to occur is in the abstract -- do whatever you want there, but don't bring it any closer to the real world where things get dangerous.
I broke that no-gift rule: I brought flowers, little treasures to eat, books -- and one time I brought a jade heart.
A heart of jade, more than three inches wide -- so heavy, and it barely fit in the palm of my hand as I extended it to him.
He gave me the usual "you know you're not supposed to do this" therapeutic dirty look as he hefted it. And then he said, "Well, let's talk about it."
"Is your heart jaded?"
And so it went for the rest of the hour.
Five minutes before it was time to go, we had the discussion of why I should take the jade heart home. But this time, he was a bit milder about it. I think he, as much as I, liked the symbolism of holding my heart in his hands.
It's been years. But he still has my heart.
Today's fragrance: from Holly, the retro-fragrance queen: "Launched by the design house of Leonard in 1977, Tamango by Leonard is classified as a flowery fragrance. This feminine scent posesses a blend of floral bouquet, moss and sandalwood." The moss and sandalwood become very apparent, very quick. Interesting.