Archive for May 27th, 2010
When I took this photo out in the countryside where it was so quiet that one could actually hear silence, I thought about how lonely solitude could become. At the time the photo was taken I was with my brother-in-law and was struck by how easily he slipped into a state that seemed not to “need” others as he wandered from my side to investigate. He suffers Alzheimer’s and is indeed alone with himself. From what I can see, most of that alone-ness is filled with anxieties.
I wonder at times about being alone, sometimes thinking that it would be easier, that there would be fewer distractions, fewer interruptions. What books I might then write, what photos I might then take, what learning about “self” I might then discover! But each time I find myself alone, I slip into lethargy and do less. Anxieties seem to surface and paralyze.
I “know” that I must learn to bear the anxiety, but I cling to the hope that in relationship to an “other” I will be saved the pain of loneliness, that in relationship to an “other” I will have meaning and purpose.
“Indeed, next to the fantasy of immortality, the hardest fantasy to relinquish is the thought that there is someone out there who is going to fix us, take care of us – spare us the intimidating journey to which we have been summoned.” (James Hollis, Swamplands of the Soul, p. 11)
Well, I’ve thought about this for so long, chasing the idea all around my head and heart that I only get dizzy. My heart says that this “other,” this someone is there. My mind says that this “other” is found within, not without. Now, if I understood Jung correctly, I must continue to hold on to this polar opposites for a something else to emerge that reconciles these opposites.