On January 1st this year seven daffodils were in full flower in my garden. The cheerful yellow pool fluttered brightly, yet the snowdrops were struggling to bloom. On my small piece of land confusion, albeit a gentle confusion, reigned. In the wider vista video footage of collapsing Arctic ice walls, flooded Irish midlands and the rapid growth of hot deserts illustrate a world in climatic chaos. While we may feel that somehow we can deal with localised concerns or worries, we like our universe to be safe and constant. We believe we might be able to deny, or deal with internal confusions if our external world seems steady.
But now, because our planet and our seasons are out of kilter, global concerns abound. Scientists and politicians argue about the causes; natural cycles or the result of human greed? An American proposal to send giant mirrors and huge dust clouds into space to deflect the sun’s rays is greeted with relief by some and incredulity by others. Our human attempts to control the environment is seen as vital by some and pointless by others. Universally we are slowly becoming aware of factors far greater than our conscious understanding. As our external world is no longer predictable, and often our internal world struggles to be heard, how can we work towards tolerating such chaos?
Amidst the concern and confusion do we need to strive for calm? Christmas and the New Year, which annually seem to offer hope and expectation, have passed. The predictable patterns from cold Winter to budding Spring are no more. In this uncertainty life can seem even more a struggle. In a world so rapidly changing can we try to slow down? Within ourselves can we find space to acknowledge the anxiety and give ourselves permission to have time to sit, time to reflect?
In a tone of reflection this issue offers a list of the contents of Inside Out since its re-launch in 2003. In this as in previous issues, there are articles which raise questions, invite dialogue and look to both a personal and a global future. The editors of Inside Out continue to encourage its readers to contribute. We welcome responses to previous issues and contributions from personal, national and global perspectives. While the editors do not necessarily agree with all viewpoints published, we do encourage diversity and difference. Contributions from experienced practitioners, trainee psychotherapists and those developing their work practice through supervision, teaching and experiential groups are invited for consideration. The Space… is reserved for that thought which you would like to share. Reviews of books or workshops are always welcome and we look forward to receiving your letters.
Finally the editorial board is bidding farewell to Bernadette Costello who is retiring from the board. Bernadette has made an invaluable contribution through her energy and commitment to Inside Out. She has also handled all the advertising, a vital position in the running of the journal. It will be an essential post to fill. If any IAHIP members are interested in finding out more about serving on the editorial board, we would be glad to hear from you.