I’d just finished The World Within the Group (2014) and had several lines of research and chapter drafts that did not find a home in that book. So, without too much of a leap, I thought, why not give birth to a new set of essays? The more I looked over what I had, I saw an emergent theme, that of human narration and voice, both within psychotherapy, and without, in the wider domain of culture. I just love the general idea that human beings are inherently literary creatures, whose motives, passions, and reasons are expressed in wonderful spontaneous metaphors, analogies, speech acts and stories. So, I guess, I granted myself ‘permission to narrate’, to explore such questions.
As part of my research journey for my book, Carl Jung and Alcoholics Anonymous, I travelled to Akron, Ohio to visit the home of Dr. Bob Smith, one of the co- founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. On a tour of his home, the guide asked if anyone knew what the peculiar black stick was in Dr. Bob’s bedroom. I explained it is a blackthorn shillelagh (pronounced “shi-lay-lee” – a wooden walking stick associated with Irish folklore) given to Bill Wilson as a present for Dr. Bob when the former visited Ireland.