Archive for the ‘Krasne’ tag
This is my brother-in-law. He is a good man, a very good man. Somehow, he is now for the most part, alone. He suffers from a work-related condition not unlike Alzheimer’s. His children have long left home to build their own homes while he remains in a small rural farming town in which he was born and where he spent most of his working life, where he raised his family, where he had his dreams. He was a man more connected to his roots than I am. He didn’t challenge the status quo and was loved in his community. Strange how I use the “past tense” in talking about him, but the truth is that his condition has changed everything. And for the most part, he isn’t even aware of any of this. Whatever gains in consciousness he had mastered have slipped back into the shadows.
I have to admit that I worry about losing the small gains that I have made. I worry that I will “settle” for less and be left with nothing. I don’t want fame, but I do want to make a difference in the world that my children and grandchildren will have as an inheritance. But at what cost? In achieving this goal will I have lost the threads that have connected us? Does this journey demand even this from me? But if I turn back and say no more, will this failure to follow up on what calls me result in my becoming a wasted and depressed man that no one wants to be near? So many questions, so many doubts.
“It is true that modern man is a culmination, but tomorrow he will be surpassed. He is indeed the product of an age-old development, but he is at the same theme the worst conceivable disappointment of the hopes of mankind. The modern man is conscious of this.. He has likewise seen how all well-meaning governments have so throughly paved the way for peace on the principle “in time of peace prepare for war” . . . [snip] . . . And as for ideals, neither the Christian Church, nor the brotherhood of man, nor international social democracy, nor the solidarity of economic interests has stood up to the acid test of reality.“ (Jung, The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, Modern Man in Search of Soul, 1933)
The idea of modern man being surpassed is a good thing. I don’t believe a man could be considered modern if he was preoccupied with being remembered as the greatest, the wisest, or whatever. But to think that the modern man would be that instrumental on the world stage would suggest that no ordinary mortal could ever become a modern man. Yes, the modern man would be a disappointment to those who knew him for his very existence mocks all that they cling to as beliefs. A wife would believe, rightly, that she was abandoned for some crazy idea. A community would believe that he had wasted his talents which could have been put to better use in the community.
The church in Krasne, a Ukrainian church south of Wynyard is where the photo above was taken. For my brother-in-law, this place of his childhood, though mostly abandoned, provides a place of peace. It is interesting to me that stripped of power, what remains likely holds a truer face of spiritualism. The promise of the church wasn’t really delivered until the conditions holding the church eroded enough to allow the promise to be set free.
I have to admit that as I look out onto the world and see the economic terrorism being practised by the first world countries on the rest of the world; and as I see social democracies shift increasingly to the right taking on a hard and angry face against those who would dare to believe in a concept of sharing; and as I see armies grow stronger and deadlier weapons being created; and as I watch nature being tortured by those who are intent on wresting another dollar from the earth regardless of the effect on the planet, as I see religious strife, especially between Christian and Muslem – I have to admit that I feel that we humans are on our way to the next global disaster that will feature warfare on the grandest scale yet.
Have we not learned anything as a collective? No wonder modern man can only end up disappointed after giving so much.
This is a detail of Krasne Church, a Ukrainian Catholic church found in rural Saskatchewan. I took this photo earlier this month while visiting my brother-in-law, Mike. The reason I am posting it is because I am now in the process of re-writing a book I wrote thirty-two years ago, a book about Mike’s father who immigrated to Canada in the 1920s from the Ukraine. This is the church in which Mike’s father was married less than a year after arriving in Canada. The first version was all text telling the story until departure for Canada. This second version will be mostly text with some photos, retelling the story but adding in the additional part of the story that talks about his life in Canada. It will be a biography as well as social history as told to me over a period of eight years. I will be adding to that information with my observations, my way of understanding the world and including some of the voices of his descendents.
It looks as though the Muse is not letting go of me too easily. For whatever reason, the pull to write is remaining strong. The third in the Through a Jungian Lens series, the second SoFoBoMo book, will appear in print by the end of July at the latest. It is in the final process of editing.
Other writing projects that are pushing their way forward are a book of poetry; an mythological approach to telling the story of my grandfather, father and myself; a series of photo essays on China, India and Mexico; and other ventures yet to be uncovered to continue the series, Through a Jungian Lens.