The title of this issue of the read thread is Figuring, borrowed from Maria Popova’s 2019 book of the same name. Exploring the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of astronomers, environmentalists and poets, our endeavours as clinicians are not that different. We spend much of our time helping patients to figure themselves and their lives out. Together we get to know
the figures who dwell both inside and out. We don’t just say ‘go figure’ when we are faced with the strange or the unexpected — in fact we find red threads in the uncanny and in the opposites. Popova also addresses
in her writing — her column Brain Pickings (brainpickings.org) a lighthouse if ever you are lost in the dark or at sea — other themes so prevalent in our work at the moment. Grief, loss and change. As the
third wave rises higher and higher, as the cross-currents in our country and around the world pull us down, or land us in places we never thought to go, we are faced every day with narratives of sudden death, of great courage, of terrible suffering and of extraordinary resilience.