As I walked through a park, enjoying the sounds of birds, I came across the this couple who appeared to oblivious of the last bit of summer and nature that surrounded them. They also seemed to be engrossed in their own private worlds while sitting side-by-side. It was interesting for me to note that my mobile phone is the same as his phone, interesting but meaningless.
Mobile phones are evident everywhere. I see people using them on bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, in cars and on the street. While riding on public transit, it is normal to hear a half-dozen conversations being carried on – people on their phones talking to someone not on the bus, and talking at full volume. While the conversations are taking place the majority of the other passengers are staring at their phones, some texting. Somehow, I rarely use my phone though the opportunities are there.
The photo makes me think of proximity and distance.
“When you are psychologically separate, not identified with your partner, you don’t need the other to agree with you and you don’t need to be right. You don’t expect the other to change in order to suit your needs, and you don’t ask it of yourself either. And if over time you can’t the other but still can’t leave, well, that is the stuff of analysis: conflict and complexes.
The bond between two people is a precious and mysterious thing, not entirely explained by the theory of complexes ad the phenomenon of projection. But this much at least is true: there is an optimum distance in every relationship that evolves through trial and error and good will – it you know who you are and can stop pressing for more than you get.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p 75)
As I see this couple together, yet obviously at a distance as well, I get the sense that they “work” as a couple. Maybe it is more about the culture in China in which the expectation of what is needed from one’s partner is different. The need for the other to be a soulmate, to hold one’s heart is not near as powerful as it is back in Canada and most other places in the western world.
What is expected? To be there, to do one’s part, to be loyal, and more importantly, to respect the fullness of self and other. Perhaps I don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes. But then again, the whole point is about how I resonate with the photos I take – it’s not really about this couple, but about my consciousness trying to emerge out of a personal and collective shadow.