The moment I’m seated at my desk, I glance at the time on my laptop. I know it won’t take me long to forget when I started. Time and silence become one in my mind. I imagine and remember what I experienced during the opening thirty or sixty seconds of yesterday’s session on my psychoanalyst’s couch: deafening silence. Outer silence became inner noise, and I felt an overwhelming need to end it. Two softcovers await me alongside my laptop. Both of them seemed to insist on remaining in my hands a few minutes ago when I browsed through books on my shelves. I decide to read some paragraphs of each and write down anything that comes to mind before starting to type on my laptop.
Twenty or thirty minutes later I’m disorientated. What comes to mind are two minutes and twenty-five seconds of a video of professional basketball star Stephen Curry practicing his 3-point shot, which I watched last night. I watched it several times. Each time I noticed things that I hadn’t been aware of the previous time, for instance that he missed two shots in a row and then another couple of times he missed once and then made the next shot. Details became increasingly important as I spent more time with those two hundred forty-five seconds of basketball video. Reading is my practice before I start writing (I also read in between writing sentences). The team had just finished its practice the day before a game, and the video was of Curry shooting 3s from various places on the court. My mind has experienced its own kind of practice as I’ve been reading and rereading paragraphs by two contemporary psychoanalysts, Michael Eigen and Thomas Ogden. I wonder what kind of reading experience might be equivalent to Curry practicing his 3-point shot. Before glancing at Eigen’s The Psychoanalytic Mystic and Ogden’s This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries, I remind myself that both reading and writing are emotional experiences. I picture the two of them seated across from each other. It’s unclear where this conversation happens. Eigen is in his eighties. How old is Ogden? A minute later I discover online that he’s seventy-one.
I have yet to start writing. Maybe I need some more reading practice first. Too much noise fills my head. Somehow, at the start of yesterday’s psychoanalytic session, I was able to tolerate outer silence that seemed to intensify inner noise. I remember the conversation between the two psychoanalysts that I have yet to imagine. Perhaps I’ve had enough emotional preparation and I can start writing at any moment. Then something unexpected happens. I come across a newspaper interview with Ogden online and learn that he not only writes on psychoanalysis. He also writes fiction. The first thought that comes to me after I finish reading the interview is: I must buy his novels now! I take a couple of deep breaths. The moment to start typing seems to have arrived. I’m ready for more intense inner experiences, thanks to my emotional reading and remembering.