September arrived, it seemed far away last month, and yet it is here… after a strange busy summer, spent facing things, abandoning things, separating myself from things I had already separated, waiting for things and finding and re-finding things.
And in this silent moment, moving with difficulty between questions and awareness, I happened to re-read the beautiful article by Marco Michelini published in August on this blog, “The Summer Break”, and to immerse myself in the images that he proposed: the child who on the first day of school leaves the mother serene to enter the classroom, the mother’s joy in seeing the autonomous child who walks away serenely… the certainty of not cancelling the other in the separation… live with joy the freedom of others and of course their own, feeling that their own human identity is realized in making the other who loves feel good… the therapist’s inability to remember how looked back at the time that wonderful person in front of them today, when they first came to the office…
It’s been a few years that I no longer live the emotion of the “summer break” from psychotherapy sessions, and the emotion of the return… But I’ve been through a lot of them, and I can still feel it on my skin.
I remember well the feeling of those sessions gone “bad”, distressed, “cold”; the effort to find again that light that I had turned off despite the enormous effort I had made to find it and keep it on; the effort to find the courage to start again, to give back space to the possibility of feeling well, to “face” the look and the voice of the psychotherapist, to allow them again to “enter” and have an interest in me, to allow me to know about me again and the possibility of being me again. I also remember that, upon return, it happened that some of my travelling companions (of the psychotherapy group) had managed to elaborate a different separation, and I remember my feeling of estrangement in front of this person so different from the one I had greeted after the last session. They seemed like an alien to me… although I actually knew that I was the one who alienated myself.
What a struggle guys! But how nice to have resisted. Because then came different separations, still uncertain, but something was starting to move. “Intermittent” separations, where something inside opened up, made me breathe a little lightness and the possibility to “understand” the meaning of the relationship lived, to “feel it”, the possibility to find myself… And then it shut itself up a little while later, and returned again, a faint little light that remained lit, and I spent the summer trying to shelter it from the wind. And I came back, in September, with a little anxiety and a little curiosity, a little emotion. It was a little, but it was beautiful and it was a promise of something. And the therapist seemed to me “different” but not “enemy”. And those who returned more beautiful than me seemed no longer an alien, it just left me amazed, to look at a possible beauty and try to steal its secret, at times envying it, at times letting me lull myself waiting to learn the steps of the love dance that I saw between the therapist, who recognized that person’s new identity and the other, who learned to run and then left the therapist, loving them, to feel and live that new warm intelligence, found as a treasure hidden inside.
And then by chance one summer day, or maybe not, maybe the autumn leaves were already falling, or perhaps the first spring buds were opening… I mean, I don’t remember when, I just remember that when it came up all of a sudden and at the same time slowly, separation after separation and at a certain point I discovered that I could dance too, that I had learned the steps and I had also invented new ones, I also found myself to feel on my skin that separating from one living is not to erase the other and the relationship lived with the other, but to find its sense, recognize this way your own face and that of the other, to feel that letting the other person be free to realize themselves and give them the possibility of being free to realize themselves does not mean abandoning, or betraying, but painting with new colours, discovering one’s own sounds while the other discovers their own and then finding themselves, only then, to invent together new choreographies, or to greet each other happy, ready for the many first days of school that await us.
And so today I find myself here, with a little nostalgia for that feeling of waiting to meet others again and find out what happened during the summer, so particular and difficult to describe, and with a love story, so many love stories, to tell who in these days, with their baggage of doubts, uncertainties, stories and hopes, they wait for the return, or have just returned, or look out for the first time, and are preparing to breathe new scents.
Thanks to Chiara Fanasca for the translation of this article