Archive for July 16th, 2009
A second post for today. Does it mean I am bored? Does it mean I am spending way too much time on the computer? Dumb questions, actually. Earlier in the day while outside trimming the cedars at the front of the house so that they don’t clog up the eavestroughs, I passed this rose a few times. When finished with my task, I went for the camera and took this photo. Why? At that time I didn’t really know why. It is just another flower in our yard, not even one of ours, but one that had poked itself through an opening in the fence. Usually, I just honour the feeling when there is an unconscious hint that I need to take a photo.
Now, several hours later, before returning to writing on the book about my father-in-law, I think it is time to post the photo and whatever words that emerge. In a way, it’s all about stream of consciousness – an opportunity for active imagination.
You see, this flower doesn’t belong in the yard. It belongs in my neighbour’s yard with the rest of the roses on the large plant. The fence board has hidden the rose plant from these three roses. At this point, they must trust that they are still connected though the outer evidence suggests that they are strangers in a strange land. Regardless of the evidence, they do remain tied to the collective.
This is the same for each of us. Though we feel isolated, insular, sometimes abandoned, we are connected through the unconscious to everyone else. Though some dare to individuate, to move in a different direction than the rest of our community, the herd who move unthinkingly as one for the most part; that act of daring to be different isn’t about being selfish. It is about self-discovery and in that process, discovering our roots and links to the collective that need to be honoured through service. As one becomes more conscious, the community becomes more conscious – as long as we don’t end up hiding in some cave on a mountain or in some temple in Tibet. We must resist isolating ourselves though we become set apart by those around us who don’t understand us. At least in these modern times we aren’t burnt at the stake or crucified for being different, consciously different.
Now, I have a load of fencing being delivered so as to build a new fence on the opposite side of the yard.
A simple photo today, one taken yesterday morning from my backyard deck. Like the previous photo, this one is about the contrast between light and dark. Here, the shadow world is active. As I looked at the scene, I was struck how much vitality was given to the object, Trollius x cultorum, or “Golden Queen.” Those flowers in full sunlight appeared to be faded, almost washed out with the light. Those in deep shade where also less distinct. But those at the edges of shadow and light were the most vibrant. Nature has so much to teach us.
This makes me thing of how we become more ourselves, fuller beings when we work to bring aspects of the shadow into our consciousness. Being stuck in a sense of self that is fully persona leaves us washed out, energyless and feeling empty. Being stuck in the underworld of inner spaces where ego is almost non-existent is akin to being the living dead. It is only when one dares to experience some of the depths of self, to dare heroic journeys of self discovery that one is able to emerge a more vital being. It is then that one becomes “gold,” not that much different than the Golden Queen flower that thrives best in the partly sunny, partly shady spaces.