This Spring has been a long time coming. What a relief; I'd almost forgotten the sense of green and blue or of warm sun on the skin. Years ago I saw 'Spring Awakening' by Franz Wedekind. It was written at the end of the 19th century and was very advanced for its time. It portrays the lives of young people coming of age, expressing the burgeoning awareness of their bodies and their desires. The play deals vividly with themes such as masturbation, abortion and homosexuality, all issues which were as much alive for people then as now, but which were coming up against the wintry morality of late 19th century Europe.
Social attitudes in the West have changed since then though our minds can still be troubled by conflicts, fantasies and by the very real problems in our intimate relationships. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which got going around the same time as 'Spring Awakening' was written, fashioned a way of exploring the painful emotional growing pains that all human beings experience. It created the prospect of a safe space to talk through and feel the fears and anxieties about relationships and sexuality without judgement. Like the first days of Spring it can bring us to a more alive and sustained sense of ourselves and the world around us.
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