Archive for June 9th, 2010
A few moments after the storm had broken, I slipped outside for a walk that had been rain delayed. As the sun tried to break through the clouds, I I caught a glimpse of that sun reflected in a large puddle. The image sent me racing back into the house for my camera so that I could capture this image before it transformed into something completely different. With the photo taken, I continued the walk in an attempt to beat the return of the rain storm. The walk between the rain was navigated without becoming drenched and cold. I had risked taking this walk, risked damage to my hearing aids. I know, it would have been wiser of me to remove the aids before going for the walk. But, at what cost? Without the hearing aids, I would have experienced less.
As I look into the photo, it is somewhat like being pulled into it. There is a pull into the underworld, a call to dive into the water in order to follow the light. In some ways, the light, surrounded by the darkness, makes me think of going down a tunnel as if I would become a modern day “Alice” getting ready to fall down into a “rabbit hole.” Even before that thought was completed, another thought emerged, that of the “light at the end of a tunnel” that is often used as the image of near-death experiences. No wonder I was pulled to take the photograph, and pulled again to bring it here.
There is a certain, perhaps perverse, fascination in following the call into the unconscious in order to become more conscious. Why do I say that it is possibly a perverse attraction? Well, I guess I had better define my use of perverse as “deliberately deviating from what is regarded as normal, good, or proper.” The key word is “normal.” In the community I live in, it is not normal to invest in the “inner world.” It is normal to invest in being present and focused on the outer world. A person’s worth is judged on appearances and on presence, even if the presence is superficial. Too much of an inner focus leads one to be branded as strange, aloof, spaced-out or as an egg head that thinks he/she is too superior for the common, ordinary, everyday Joe. Knowing the societal reaction that must follow when one is drawn into the unconscious, to choose the call is a defiance of what community calls “normal, good or proper.” To heed the call is a statement to the community that one is rejecting the community, that one is selfish. So, why then, would one ever want to follow that call, to follow the light into the tunnel?
How can I explain it in a way that is “sensible?” I follow because I “have” to, not because I “want” to. To “not follow” would be akin to committing a suicide of soul with the result that I would shrivel and become a shell of a person, bitter and angry all the time. Why would I risk anything for which I have worked so hard for so many years? Why would I risk relationship? Why would I risk economic well-being? Why would I risk losing even my small space in community? I know what is at stake and yet the loss of all of this is less than the loss of “soul.”
And so, I tumble into the underworld chasing an illusory sun beneath the surface of the water, into the dark and wet underworld of the unconscious – with hope.