Happiness is like a golden shawl

The pebbled beach on which we walked at dawn

The sun was dancing singing stone to stone

The sea was pale as silk and gently ran

The tide was coming in, the day began

Why is my memory so deficient here?

I remember little but you near

I remember Portland Bill at dusk

The sea was wilder then with many thrusts

Happiness was like a golden shawl

A world like Eden, man before the Fall

Today they say, illusion, I say, no

What matters is where this insight makes you go.

The fruits of meditation are its test

May we be generous, may our souls be blessed

Copyright © Katherine 

Josephine Klein

Academic and psychotherapist. Refugee from Holland when it was invaded by the Nazis.

As a child she had been a refugee, and in 1999 she founded the Refugee Therapy Centre in London, with Aida Alayarian and others. There they established a course to enable refugees to become counsellors, in line with Josephine’s conception that therapists and counsellors should share language, culture and experience with their patients and help them better to contribute to society.

Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Josephine was the daughter of Simon Klein, a salesman, and his Dutch wife Marie (nee Norden). The family were of Jewish origin but largely secular. They were living in Amsterdam at the time of the Nazi invasion in May 1940, and fled shortly afterwards, in an open boat. After six days at sea with little fresh water, they were picked up by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Malcolm, and Josephine never forgot the warmth of the captain and crew. Many of her relatives who did not flee did not survive.https://f87183ff05e2a4bafd6963d396c3a84f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

The family moved to Chester in the hope of travelling to the US by ship from Liverpool, but were unable to do so. Josephine did well at the Queen’s school, Chester, which, together with some local people, provided the support necessary for her to go to university. In four years, she gained two degrees, simultaneously, a BA in French at University College London and a first in sociology at LSE.

After her period in youth work, Josephine was a lecturer in social studies at Birmingham University (1949-62), then had three years as a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and went on to Sussex University, as reader in social relations (1965-70). For the next four years she was director of the course at Goldsmiths’, and then undertook 30 years’ private practice as a psychotherapist. Even after that she continued to supervise trainee psychotherapists.

Friends and colleagues valued her wisdom and warmth on walks and at concerts, sharing highs and lows in other people’s lives and helping them overcome adversity.

She is survived by two nieces and a nephew.

• Josephine Faniella Henny Klein, psychologist and psychotherapist, born 17 October 1926; died 13 November 2018

Maps are no more certainties than hints.

My heart is like a rowing boat adrift

Whose occupant has fallen overboard

The empty vessel drifts through deep sea mist.
And in those pearl filled ears the q1 l deep sea roars.
Just as the boat drifts mapless, so do I.
My maps were drawn for quite another sea
My captain’s taken leave and now I cry
As if that drowned soul might just be me.
Yet on the sea bed mysteries abound;
Such wonders and such magic there displayed.
I wonder if it is my lot drown
And to a memory then quickly fade.
Maps are no more certainties than hints.
Between the lines hides gold from other mints.

Stan meets Annie

A few weeks after Annie moved into the house next door to Stan,he met her when he was seeing his wife off to work.
Why does your wife not have a car? she enquired suspiciously.
She is trying to keep slim,Stan told her.
Well,she’s not been very successful,Annie said scientifically.
She might be much fatter than she is now if she drove a car,he stated ponderously
That’s true,muttered Annie meditatively
I am your new next door neighbor.she continued fluidly.
Yes my dear, said Stan,I have seen you sunbathing in the garden in your wide selection of bikinis.
How come? she asked scientifically.
There’s a big hole in the fence.
Is it legal to look at women through a hole in the fence?
asked Annie.
I know it’s illegal to look into their bedroom windows.
Is it really,asked Stan nervously,I had no idea.
How about women looking at men through a round hole?
Oh,they would not bother to do that,she told him charmingly.We prefer imagination to concrete reality.
Well,said Stan,clearing his throat,I think I owe it to myself to tell you that I love you.
Wow,you’re quick off the mark,the lady said saucily,her eyes shining like a brass monkey.
What do you mean,you owe it to yourself? she went on.
Nothing,said Stan,I could not think how to word it.I mean I wish to unselfishly love you and admire your ripe body and your cute sense of colour.I love your teal trouser suit.And you sing so well in the bath.
You didn’t mean you owe it to yourself to take advantage of me?
Not unless you want me to take advantage of you,the gallant old man informed her fluently despite that his head was beginning to whirl.
And you can take advantage of me if you want to.I make cakes and biscuits,wholemeal bread and I am training my cat Emile to do statistics on an i pad.
How extraordinary,Annie whispered.I didn’t know cats had an “I.” let alone pads.
Well,they have pads on their paws,he informed her intelligently.
True,she said,but where are their I’s?
Where are our I’s ?he responded in a manner to rejoice the heart of Mary Midgley or Susanne Langer two of Stan’s favourite writers on philosophy,logic,symbols and ethics.
Not that he practiced the Ethics but he liked to know what he was doing wrong.It’s more fun that way.Good may come from evil and children are a blessing.
A man who seduces women merrily one after the other may have no idea it might be wrong.Neither might the women.Why is it wrong?Surely it’s better than killing people or leaving the lid off the jam all night so the wasps get into the jar?
Still,not many men get the chances that Stan got.No-one suspected this kindly,handsome practicing Catholic was a womanizer despite his blue beard,green eyes,white skin and red hair.And his slim yet strong figure clad in navy trousers and pink shirts all the year round.Maybe his wife did but she preferred to read Aristotle in bed and dream about mercury… those little silver balls are so cute
Well,as we know,Stan is about to make Annie his mistress but in such a cold wet summer,where can he take her to do the deed?
The shed?The public library? Cafe Nero?
I owe it to you not to tell you yet.That will give you time to think of a solution for this sweet old man and his naughty but nice neighbour.
Like,how about the confessional in the local Church?
Whatever next?I owe it to myself to keep it secret as you may come along and spoil the fun.
Stan went indoors and washed up in the boiling hot water he kept by him constantly as he owed it to himself to be ready to make a hot drink at any moment he fancied and by gum,he did fancy like no man has ever fancied before.So his daemon tells me.
Next time:Why did God create Stan and why does it matter?

We are more resilient than we think


While the pandemic has undeniably caused extraordinary stress and sadness, research on human resilience suggests that people will recover from the trauma of the pandemic faster than many believe. And while certain groups may need mental health care for the longer term, it’s also true that humans’ ability to overcome adversity is often underestimated and that an overwhelming majority of people who suffer trauma will not develop mental illness but eventually feel better.