Archive for the ‘lone wolf’ tag
“Cultures as well as individuals live in service to values, not simply values that are conscious and rationally apprehended, but values which operate unconsciously as well.” (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 11)
Today’s photo was taken at the YanCheng Safari park here in Changzhou. I had already chosen the topic for the day and was in search of a photo to “fit.” I had o riginally thought to use a group photo of one of my classes that I took yesterday, but opted for this photo as soon as it scrolled past my eyes. The image does evoke tribe, it does evoke instinct as well as awareness. And whether or not one sits alone or with others, one is part of a tribe – contained.
I commented yesterday about being the “lone wolf” as part of my personal myth. I have no doubt that I also must include a thread of being part of a tribe, Living in China is proof to me that I operate both consciously and unconsciously on a tribal level. Each day is confusing in its own way, a good confusing to tell the truth. As I walk the streets, it appears as though much that happens in front of my eyes is chaotic and that all have lost “common sense.” I don’t understand how there aren’t a hundred traffic accidents a day in front of my apartment building. That, forces me to look at “common sense” or at how I define common sense. Everything I take for granted about community is based on my home culture.
Of course, this is worrying for me. What values do I bring with me as I interact with my Chinese hosts? I consciously work hard to be a good visitor, one that respects the host community. But, I “know” that I still act out of unconscious values as much as I act consciously. Being in a foreign environment becomes even more of a blessing as when I act unconsciously. It becomes hard to pin it on others and forces me to own and to weigh the unconscious tribal value that got acted out.
I learned a long time ago that when one is a teacher, one doesn’t really teach a course, or teach students; one teaches one’s self to others while thinking one is teaching Math or History or whatever, to a group of students.
Yes, this is a wolf. Though wolves run in packs, there is always the image of the lone wolf that stands out, one that is near the pack, but almost an outsider at the same time. The lone wolf does take part in the pack’s hunting and mates when it is time. Yet for all the work, he is still a loner at heart.
“. . . we are often bound to life-long scenarios which silently but constantly reveal themselves through the conduct of our lives.” (Hollis,Mythologems, p. 10)
Yes, I am seeing myself in this photo, one of my own personal myths. I am a loner. Though my life seems to indicate otherwise as I surrounded by family and colleagues and students. Those who are closest to me know the truth about my loner distance. Strange how this continues in spite of all the efforts on my part and the part of those closest to me.
In my own psychology, my own life, I sense more than one myth in operation. I am beginning to think that there are a number of mythic threads that weave together to create one’s life. The myth of wounded healer, the myth of a lone wolf, of a distant flying eagle are just two of my own myths. And in finding one’s personal myths, one then looks at how they weave together to create the conscious self, the “me” that is the only way one can understand “self.”
Images such as this wolf make me take time to sit with myself and be honest with myself. Who am? What myths do I live? What kind of person does that allow me to be in terms of relationship with others? Always questions that are lived.