We Come To Each Other…

Poem by Joseph Zinker

After the wars, the
injuries of life,
We come to each other.

After the near-deaths and
real deaths —
After having betrayed or
having been betrayed,
We come to each other…

After the solitude, the
loneliness, the
profound grief,

After the lost nights,
the tears, the
accomplishments,
the books,
the skills acquired,
we come to each other
to rest
to heal
to laugh
to savour life
fully and just for a moment
to be
free of pain.

— Joseph Zinker, 4/6/98 (Sketches, 2001)


Most of gestalt practitioners are well familiar with Joseph Zinker’s first major work, Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy (1977), in which he explored “the relationship of the creative impulse and how it affects the elegance of psychotherapy”. For the author, “the magic moment of any creation emerges in the thickened space between two or more human beings. In Gestalt Therapy, we call it ‘contact’, but contact does not begin to describe the powerful process of experiencing the beauty of another human being, experiencing the pathos of our daily struggle to survive, to play, to love.”

Sketches: An Anthology of Essays, Art and Poetry, where the above poem was taken from, is much less known and, yet, equally significant for just this reason that it offers a reader the very intimate insight into the professional, private and artistic life of Joseph Zinker – therapist and teacher, husband, father, and, friend; and, in his own words, “a basically post-traumatic person,” whose own personal tragedies and struggle, and creativity resulted in a deep compassion for the fellow human beings.

* The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield with some permanent sculptures by Barbara Hepworth has unveiled its plans to invite visitors back to its café and galleries throughout spring and summer.


UKAGP Newsletter – Spring 2021Art & Poetry
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