Archive for November 6th, 2009
Another photo from Changzhou, China. Taking down old buildings in preparation for new ones is usually a slower process. Often it is an exercise in rescuing materials, salvage of bricks and iron. When I first went to China in the fall of 2006 when this photo was taken, I was fortunate to wander a long ways down a street that was more traditional, an area that reminded me of slums, yet not slums. It was an area that had been told it was to disappear in order to make way for better and more housing for more people.
A lot of people still lived, worked and played in the area even while the deconstruction was happening all around them, something that I was surprised to see. And those people weren’t the homeless poor, they were the residents who had decided to wait until the last moment before leaving their homes which had often served as home for generations. They saw their world coming apart, aware that change was going to happen whether they wanted that change or not.
This was a good lesson for me. As I struggled with trying to integrate material coming up from the unconscious, I felt more desperate about losses rather than accepting the fact that I was changing. This photo became symbolic of how I viewed the loss of old beliefs about who I was. I wandered through the charred remains of what was, searching for a way back. I didn’t see the process as a time to pick through the pieces and rescue what needed to be taken forward into the newer version of myself.
Any change in the environment demands a new adaptation, which in return requires a change in the attitude that was previously quite adequate.But a suitable attitude – that is, one that works in a given situation – is invariably characterized by a certain one-sidedness and is therefore resistant to change. When a particular attitude is no longer appropriate for the external situation, the stage is set for neurosis. (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, 1998, p. 88)