Archive for June 2nd, 2009
Today is beginning to shape up to be a fairly rare spring day here on the Canadian prairies. It is sunny and calm. Sunny is a frequent event, but a lack of wind is something fairly rare to experience. Earlier in the morning I was out in the garden removing blankets and pails that covered plants susceptible to frost damage. We had the threat of frost last night. However, I think it only got as low as 1 C.
This little mama was caught sitting in her nest which is a light above the main door of a neighbour’s house. This is becoming an annual event at this site. No one dares to turn on the light as no one wants to cook the robin eggs or risk starting a fire. Mama, eggs and future babies are safe. However, the humans in the equation are targets for bomb-diving parents who are bent on protecting the next generation of robins.
With the editing of my second book in progress, I am feeling ready to start yet another book. Well, that isn’t exactly the truth. I began another book. It is more of a photo book than any of the others I have done this spring. Yes, there is text, but the text is minimal. I am designing the book with pictures, full page or almost full page photos on every page. The only text happens in the spaces where a photo doesn’t take a whole page (purposeful cropping so as to allow text). I am recording a visit to my brother-in-law last November and preparing for a return visit next week. He is just a few years older than I am and suffers from alzheimers.
During my November visit with him we explored the old farm homestead where he grew up. The farm is long abandoned and the few buildings left standing are in bad repair, unusable for human habitation. Needless to say, the scene was powerful and made for some incredible photo opportunities. The intention this upcoming visit is to visit two other locations that have a sense of history for him. One location is a scrub forest where he spent a lot of times gathering wild mushrooms or gathering dead trees for winter firewood. The other location is a small country church. My hope is for good weather so that we spend our time together outdoors. Thankfully, he is still somewhat with it. He does know who I am and he remembers the country side and somethings about the past. This may be my last chance to engage with him in a meaningful way.
Truth be told, this book is for me as much as it is for him and his nuclear and extended family.
Rescue from without
Return to an outer world
The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without. That is to say, the world may have to come and get him. For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favour of the self-scattering of the wakened state. (Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, p. 207.)
Campbell goes on to note that community will pull one back. Being alive, there is unwillingness for on the part of community to allow one to opt out of society. Campbell suggests that it is about jealousy. In my opinion, community needs all of its members to participate in order to feel validated. Should one opt out, it is taken as a negative criticism of the community, its values and beliefs. Community and its members fear difference as it threatens. Should “other” be right, then “we” must be wrong – it’s a black and white, either or world for them.
Of course, it isn’t just community that comes to rescue the “self” from itself. Those who are in close relationship exert their own influence, their relationship needs. The journey requires one to return to society in order to bring new riches to that society. Jung, in no uncertain terms, affirms the requirement to return to one’s community.
As the individual is not just a single, separate being, but by his very existence presupposes a collective relationship, it follows that the process of individuation must lead to more intense and broader collective relationships and not isolation. (Jung, CW vol. 6, Definitions, par. 755.)
This is the greatest danger facing one during this journey, the danger of not finding one’s way back into community. And as with many other parts of the journey, it is often through the aid of an “other” that one is able to find the will as well as the way to go “home” in the outer world.