Archive for December 29th, 2010
I originally took this photo as part of a collection detailing the YanCheng area which is a site that recreates part of Changzhou’s history that goes back at least 2,500 years. The tower is representative of something that normally would have been found in the Ching and Ming dynasties. However, when I took this photo from a high point, it leaves me feeling that I am looking at a portal that leads down into the earth.
The only gift I remember getting from my maternal grandmother was really not a gift, but a book I got from my maternal grandfather upon my grandmother’s death, was a book called The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. I was a teenager at the time and the book filled my “Catholic” head with images that rivaled those from my dreams. If anything, the images highlighted the inner images that came from within me. It wasn’t long after getting and reading this book that a complete stranger, an adult male that I had never seen before, stopped me on a street in downtown Ottawa and told me that I had to read Thus Spake Zarathustra by F.W. Nietzsche.
My mythic dreams, these two books, a depression and a loneliness that came from moving too many times in the first 17 years of my life and attending too many schools in different provinces and cities had marked me, had prepared me as though I were some alchemical stew, for a rebirth. There was no way for my upward into a new life until I had plumbed the depths where the old would be transformed as though in a cauldron over a huge fire.
“If energy shows up in a dream image, then it already exists in the psyche of the dreamer. The invisible has been rendered visible. The task of consciousness is to begin to consider this energy, to weigh its presence and to incorporate it into the conduct of daily life. The dream has brought gifts which are continuing to this moment. Before one can deepen as a person, one must visit the depths within. We cannot ascend without first descending. (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 74)
There were so many “Ah-ha!” moments in the reading of these two books and the inner images from my dreams that found a voice in my music and my drawings at that time, that I risked all. The most telling moment for me in that time of my life was the moment when I stood on a bridge over the Ottawa River and debated my journey with my Self. I chose to continue this journey, but with one proviso, I would be a different person. Standing on the bridge in the early hours of the morning I stared long into the dark waters. With the decision made, I threw all that I had on me, into the dark waters as though these “things” would serve as a sacrifice of my old life so that I could ascend into a new life.