The psyCommons is…

Some people have a had a problem with what the psyCommons is. We are in it, so trying to grasp it doesn’t help. More useful, as has happened for me, the task is to learn to recognize it in ourselves and our surroundings.

Here are a few pointers that might help.

The psyCommons is rapport.
A woman sitting on a train is in conversation on the phone with a friend.
“Did she say that? Really?”
“That’s great.”
“Exactly, I understand.”
“What will you do now?”
“Yes…OK, no problem”
“We can do it together. I’ll be there in half an hour”

The psyCommons is courage. A woman whose daughter is murdered finds the strength to face the murderer in court and to grieve and support the grieving of a multitude of others.

The psyCommons is a woman, blinded by her boyfriend, who recovers to care for her three children and campaign against domestic violence.

A young man finds a dead-end job intolerable and quits. Via persistence, building trust and eventually, further education, he escalates several years of working for a middle eastern monarch into a career as an IT consultant. This too is the psyCommons.

The psyCommons is a family caring for one of their members as they slip into memory loss, delusions and tantrums.

The psyCommons is an ageing couple trying to figure out how to shrink the scale of their lives without losing too much of what matters to them.

The psyCommons is a not so young man and woman who first met a few months ago and who, after this delay, are trying to figure out how they can be a couple.

The psyCommons is a man, severely disabled after an industrial accident, being cared for by a loyal and devoted wife.

The psyCommons is the city centre residents committee that combines occupying the streets for parties with campaigning to rid their locale of street prostitution.

The psyCommons is the elderly, sole surviving son of a notable rural family who still grows grapes for wine and keeps a couple of goats for company.

The psyCommons is two women who for ten years have had a long weekly phone call from wherever they are to share news, and offer each other creative encouragement.

The psyCommons is people meeting together when someone dies, or when couples want to commit to each other, or to welcome a newborn, to devise ceremonies for which they feel ownership, that help them speak from the heart.

The psyCommons is the women’s group who first got together in 1982 and who, thirty years later, still meet several times a year.

The psyCommons is being in touch with ourselves and others – figuring something out – learning from it – and applying the learning.

These are local and to some extent personal examples of the psyCommons, they are pointers that are intended to be evocative rather than definitive. I’d welcome additions to them. We’ll come to the beliefs, songs and icons that contribute to the psyCommons later.

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