In a moment of characteristic naiveté, when drafting the original pages for this site, I thought it might be a good idea to include some notes and citations for the fonts and images used in the design. I thought the best place to include this sort of information would be on a page called "About This Site", and the forsaken page has returned a 404 since then. Every note enquiring about the design of the logo or this thumbnail or that background strengthened my resolve to finally get around to it. I still haven't gotten around to it, but I will eventually.
It used to be the case that "getting around to it", whatever the "it" happened to be, was something that would occur within a reasonable space of time, but I've found over the last months that the things I need to get around to have increased in number and in requirement of time far beyond what can be managed virtually single-handedly, without any indication that the situation will change in the foreseeable future, and so the subject of this page becomes
About the Appointment of a Director (At Last)
The development of the Society is in itself a whole project, separate from the work of converting text to webpages, and the history of Laingian scholarship on the web is in a certain respect, a history of waiting for the time to arrive when it would be a genuinely collaborative effort. The problem was to find someone (or someones) who were vital in the fields of psychotherapy and in critical psychology and genuine in the desire to see the Society take hold, as well as willing to invest a significant measure of time to the endeavour.
There has been no shortage of offers, and like any other project of this nature, this included the odd slippery ones from those I imagine were no better a friend to Ronald Laing in his life than they were to me. And having given hours in thousands over the years to the Laing projects, I felt it would have been better for the Society to languish than see it exploited and abandoned by such people, as is always the case when someone's labour of love is transferred in trust to someone who had no hand in its creation.
I don't mean to suggest that it hasn't been an extraordinary four years, and ones for which I am not grateful. I will always be grateful to Theodor Itten, who is the definition of generosity and heartfulness. Years ago, when the only resource for Laing study on the Net was the Unofficial R.D. Laing website, Theodor went out of his way to provide photos and articles and anything else he thought might be of interest to visitors on the site. The fact that the requests didn't come from the Are You Someone I Should Know circles meant nothing to Theodor: the fact that it was in pursuit of acknowledging Ronald Laing was reason enough. In the years that have followed, Theodor has been a sustaining energy, a support in every respect, and with a working group in the SLS to support the endeavours of the International R.D. Laing Institute, I have no doubt that the seminars and program of study he will provide will be one of unparalleled fidelity to R.D. Laing's work.
I am also grateful to Daniel Burston, who had invited me to co-found the Society in 2002. Ironically, our correspondence initially hadn't anything to do with R.D. Laing: I'd sent Daniel a brief note expressing my appreciation for a paper he'd contributed to a Todorov symposium, and he wrote back expressing his positive regard for my efforts on the Unofficial site. In the course of our correspondences, Daniel proposed forming a Society devoted to providing, officially, a resource for scholarship on the web, which he had astutely recognised as an idea whose time had come. Too often people have extended such compliments to me that I have contributed so much to ensuring that Laing's presence among the great thinkers of this century is secured, but I think the contribution that Daniel Burston made through The Wing of Madness and the Crucible of Experience, and in having recognised the importance and timeliness of a Society, is immeasurable.
There are others whose imprint can be found in these pages, whose presence here might exist most evidently in their writing, but also exists in and between the pages in a kind word when needed, or at other times, the right words to make bitter medicine possible to swallow. I will always be very grateful for their wisdom, patience and kindness.
So, I'm very happy to announce that
I'm very happy and relieved that I can resume my place 'behind the pages' as it were, knowing that Brent will be an excellent Director.
You don't have to believe me because I say so.
Believe me because I know.