Archive for September 23rd, 2011
This young woman was picking a rose from one of the many rose bushes found along the boulevard that passes the apartment where I live. The roses belong to the city and are rarely touched by the citizens. Yet, here this one young woman was selecting just one of the roses. Carefully, she chose one and then slowly walked on, lost in her solitude. I didn’t see happiness in the picking or the leaving of the scene. It made me wonder what sad story she had to tell. Of course, I will never know her story.
But in taking this photo yesterday, I wonder what I was really photographing. I have have more than enough photos to be simply recording daily life in China. It hardly needs saying anymore, but I will say it anyway, I was taking the photo in order to allow some otherwise silent part of myself to have a voice.
Usually I take such an image and allow active imagination to bring out the voices of the various aspects of the personal unconscious. But, this isn’t always necessary, in fact it might even be counterproductive if used to an excess. Sometimes all that is necessary is to acknowledge the presence (here, the face of anima) and leave it at that.
The same is true with dream work. I used to religiously record all of my dreams and then work overtime on mining these dreams. But the effort was not often rewarded with satisfactory results as far as my ego was concerned. I had thought that each dream must be pregnant with deep meaning. In many things I am a slow learner or take things too literally. After many wasted hours, I turned to Jung only to find that the effort I was putting into the process was excessive. Just being aware of the presences in a dream, being aware that the dream took place was enough. There is an interior dialogue that occurs without the mediation of the ego that is vital for psychic health.
And this is the lesson I take to my photography. Often, most often, it is enough that I have taken the photo with either intuitive intention or ego intention. Taking the photo is much the same as unconsciously picking a rose and then wandering away with the rose with no questions asked