The Serious Explication
(WARNING: contains warning)
Boomspring is a website built around a blog built around a psychoanalyst. Boom is for the Boomer generation and for the deep, satisfying sound when something big happens. Spring is for the exhilarating release of our coiled up energy and for the season of revival.
Boomspring is a verb in noun’s clothing. Some say, “We are, therefore we move.” I like to say, “We move, therefore we are.” You might think my day job as a therapist is rather sedentary. All day long I sit and talk with people. Really it’s all about movement; me moving my patients and my patients moving me. That’s why I never tire of it. Boomspring is my attempt to take that experience beyond the walls of my office. I guess you could say I’m addicted to helping people, myself included, get moving.
I nearly forgot something: Boomspring is for playing. Playing with what our eyes see and our ears hear, with what our minds think and our hearts feel. Play is about letting loose and jumbling up; trying on and trying out; coming together and falling apart. Play thrives on surprise, incongruence, novelty. Warning: prepare to be dis-oriented. In the spirit of play, Boomspring behaves a little oddly. It mixes poetry and prose, words and pictures, levity and gravity. It smiles and frowns, laughs and cries unpredictably. It doesn’t always know where it’s going and what it’s up to.
Play doesn’t deny the seriousness of what goes on within us and beyond us. Life is a high stakes gift. We only get one. What goes on is so consequential that we can’t afford not to play with it. Play provides respite and renewal. Play is the engine of movement, and movement is the soul of creativity, relationship, vitality.
All right, enough with all this explicating nonsense. Let’s play!
The Mythic Origins
In the days to come I learned about iphones, ipads and ipods; DVR’s, CD’s and DVD’s; color, cable and HDTV; Play Station 4, Wii U and Xbox One; OKCupid, Match and Tinder; Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter and induction cooktops. In the face of this blooming, buzzing, confusing world **, only the fantastical resources of “the web” saved me from incipient breakdown, when I Stumbled Upon this site: www.apsa.org.
I decided to consult a “psychoanalyst,” who, I learned, is a person who helps you figure things out. I figured out that I’d lost 63 years of my life. I thought that was pretty good figuring, until she said, “So why aren’t you crying?” This is how it went after that:
That evening I sat mesmerized in front of my TV listening to talking heads talk. I was dimly aware that my wife and then my son and then my daughter drifted into and out of the room. The next morning, I lay in bed thinking about that. Suddenly it hit me: I’d just squandered three more present moments that were never going to come back, moments when I could have talked with them, laughed with them, shared the finite space which is all we have with them. Then I cried so hard I thought I’d break into a thousand little pieces.
The next day I reported my experience to my analyst and I cried some more. “Welcome to living,” she said. “What about a blog,” I said. I thought she’d be impressed with my free association, but she just responded, “Nu?”****
So here I am, trying not just to orient myself to the twenty first century, but to live in it. I hope Boosmspring helps orient you as well, but even more so I hope it makes you laugh that wistful laugh of self-recognition that brings us alive and joins us to our fellow travelers in this strange and wonderful world. *****
*Princess Leia hairdo: Otherwise known as “cinnamon bun” or “donut do,” said by George Lucas to be the style of late 19th century Mexican revolutionaries, but likely inspired by Queen Fria in the 1939 Flash Gordon comic strip.
**Blooming, buzzing confusion: William James’ portrayal of a baby’s first experience of the world, in Principles of Psychology, 1890.
***The wise words of Conrad’s therapist, Dr. Berger, loving played by Judd Hirsch in the Academy award winning film Ordinary People, 1980, co-starring Timothy Hutton, Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore.
****"Nu" is a Yiddish word used to express expectation. At a restaurant, you can say, "Nu, when is our food coming already?" In an analyst’s office, she can say, “Nu?” which is this context means, “So when is your blog coming already?”
*****If you want to know how this feels, listen to Louis Armstrong singing “It’s a Wonderful World” (1967) on YouTube.
The Poetic Theme
What can I tell you? I’m an adult and child psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. I teach psychotherapy at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Institute. I live in Milwaukee with my wife Hope and our gigantic caramel puppy Ned. Ned is ¾ golden retriever and ¼ yellow lab and named after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Notwithstanding their minor flaws, Hope is the best wife ever and Ned is the best dog. My three children are also the best ever. As for my performance rating, you’ll have to ask them.
I grew up in the borough of Queens in the city of New York. Queens is the most prosaic, unlikely place ever to win the designation of “Number One Travel Destination” from the Lonely Planet tourist guide (2015). I don’t understand how that happened just as I don’t understand how I got from New York to Wisconsin.
I am the proud author of many unpublished writings. Due to certain unanticipated events, I am currently making a long delayed discovery of my right brain. If Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks were still doing new takes of The 2000 Year Old Man, I’d tell them to report that mankind’s greatest invention is The Blog. Yes, the wheel was a pretty good one, but The Blog enables me to put before you anything I like without having to submit it to an editor or publisher. As Stephen Colbert might say, I Am An Author (And So Can You)!