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My son wants to study psychology. I always had an interest in what
Makes people tick. My brother and I would talk for hours. What
You had to do to make it through and be a happy person. That
Was an obsession of mine when I was shy and nineteen.
Political activism was great, but Freud and Fritz Perls,
What the inner person really wants, or can’t want, meant more.
My lapsed protestant parents raised me to be secular and educated.
Religion teaches you to be good. They taught me to be happy.
A fine distinction, that. Not that I abandoned the good,
The good was lazily applied by Christian vestiges as a child,
Not drummed in—perhaps it worked out for the best, by accident.

Now I ask myself—I chose poetry over psychology, finally—
What is psychology? In one word, I would say: Invisible.
Psychology is the study of the Invisible. Religion and poetry
Are certainly children of the Invisible, but psychology is the Invisible itself.
Where is the most Invisible found? In people. The secrets of people.
Add to the Invisible the Unspoken, but the Unspoken is often Visible—
Despite what you did not say, I see what you wanted, and what you are.
But what is that?  What did you want to say? Now let’s see.
Did you go to class? Where did you sit? Did you take notes?
Is this like those nightmares I had when I was late for class
And traversed the entire campus looking for what I never found?

1 Comment

  1. Mr. Woo said,

    September 29, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Fritz Perl’s “autobiography”, “In and Out of The Garbage Pail”, is a great and fun read.

    Psychology as the Invisible…that rings true to me…

    “But, but, what about evolutionary psychology!”

    I wasn’t raised in the church; I remember my parents telling me they just wanted me to be a kind person. They more or less got what they wanted. I’m basically kind, though often unfriendly.

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