Good Poems are Time Pellets

“It is easy to imagine an infant unable to process turbulence it undergoes. But I think it helpful to confess a processing incapacity all life long. Our religions and psychotherapies offer frames of reference for processing unbearable agonies, and perhaps, also, unbearable joys. At times, art or literature brings the agony-ecstasy of life together in a pinnacle of momentary triumph. Good poems are time pellets, offering places to live emotional transformations over lifetimes. There are moments of processing, pulsations that make life meaningful, as well as mysterious. But I think these aesthetic and religious products gain part of their power from all the moments of breakdown that went into them.”
Michael Eigen, as quoted in The Inner World of Trauma: archetypal defenses of the personal spirit.

Thomas Scheff on love and subversion

‘Investigating the emotional/relational world is a deeply subversive activity….
“Consider… the wealth of meticulous and fine distinctions we make in describing our feelings of hostil­ity: hatred, loathing, scorn, anger, revulsion, resentment, envy, abhorrence, malice, aversion, vexation, irritation, annoyance, disgust, spite and contempt, or worse, “beneath” contempt. And yet we sort out our positive affections for the most part between the two limp categories, “liking” and “loving.” We distinguish our friends from mere acquaintances and make a ready distinction between lovers and friends whom we love “but not that way.” Still, one and the same word serves to describe our enthusiasm for apple strudel, respect for a dis­tant father, the anguish of an uncertain romantic affair and nostalgic affection for an old pair of slippers…”‘

Thomas Scheff, Chapter 4: Defining Love