Archive for December 28th, 2010
This is a scene I have photographed a number of times at different times of year and from different locations. For today’s post, it serves to illustrate or point to what lies beneath the surface. The reflections in the water let one know that there is something there hidden in the dark waters.
“What is this darkness down there, this tenebrous metaphor? It can swallow the ego for sure, and that is whey we fear it so. But the darkness is also the camera obscura from whence new images will arise. The future will be carried by those images, even though at present they remain remote to the ego. (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 70)
No wonder I like reading James Hollis. I would have to say that it was indirectly through him that I began to use photographic images in my own work of self-discovery. The darkness found me on its own long before Hollis wrote any of his books. C.G. Jung had already turned my attention away from other dead-end trails in the wilderness, in the darkness.
I have long been familiar with the darkness. Like many others, darkness became a common acquaintance while I was quite young. In adolescence, the darkness led me to Nietzsche, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, and a handful of existentialists and nihilists. I sought out the darkness for its company. Then, Life pulled me into engagement with the outer world and I denied the darkness for decades. Though I denied the darkness, it sought me out through my music, through my feeble attempts at art and my incessant capturing of images with a camera. Though the faces of the darkness, the world of the unconscious continued to poke through, I worked overtime to banish them and be present to my family and community. But . . .
“Similarly, the darkness can reach up, if we stretch the metaphor, and seize the ego and occupy it, as sometimes occurs when the most somber of moods takes us hostage. The darkness down there is also the darkness of the womb, from which springs new lie as well as the darkness of the tomb. Our fear of such nether places is projected onto spider, serpents, mice, bats and other denizens of the dark. Yet all life begins in darkness, the warm, wet, frangible fertility of little things which become big things in time. In the suck and muck of slime the future will be formed and flung forth. (Hollis, Mythologems, pp 70-71)