Archive for the ‘SoFoBoMo 2009’ tag
The weekend is over and some of the family have returned to their homes for work duties. All of the grandchildren have stayed with one set of parents. The focus is now more about games, competitions, sorting through sibling squabbles and managing quiet times so that naps happen and moods remain relatively upbeat. Cranky and tired little ones drain a lot of energy so it is worth the investment to do the management work, not much different than managing a team of adults in a workplace.
Today’s photo shows my son and myself enjoying a morning in the back yard yesterday. Today it is cool and cloudy and windy. That means, it is time for more active games such as “kick the can.”
Also of good news for me today is that I received my print copy of the Tunnel Vision book, the first SoFoBoMo book, which was published using Blurb. I am very satisfied with the finished product. I am including the preview and ordering link here.
While the grandchildren are here, I have put away my “books” as it is time for ordinary living, being present. The grandfather role doesn’t include research and writing, being quiet in another room, removed from the constant action. Since some of my grandchildren are older, I also give up my office and computer for them to play computer games when it is quiet time for the younger ones. This is ordinary living and a family building its own legends and myths.
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.
This hare was busy munching on the grass on the tee box of the tenth hole at the local golf course. Now, the word “local” is relative. The course is 64 kilometres away, the closest course to our town. That makes it my “home” course. Usually I don’t get this close to the rabbits. Thankfully, I had my camera with me in order to get this shot.
On a different note, I finally published two books at Blurb. The first book, Through a Jungian Lens: Swamplands, and the second book, Through a Jungian Lens: Tunnel Vision, are available as soft cover and as hard cover books. The books are copyright protected and registered with the government of Canada in order to get ISBN numbers so that the books can be included in public libraries and such. I will be taking down the ISSUU versions as there are editorial changes to the books. Hope someone orders and enjoys the books. Book number three will be out sometime in July.
This is Mike, my brother-in-law. When I took this photo we were searching through the branches for a robin’s nest that Mike knew was to be found somewhere in the tree as he looks out most mornings at the robin. We eventually found the nest much to Mike’s delight.
This is one of the photos that I will be using for the third SoFoBoMo book. Well, it really isn’t officially going to be a SoFoBoMo book, but it will be finished before the end of June deadline.
When I spend time with Mike I am amazed at his adaptations to becoming handicapped following a few industrial accidents with ammonia. He has lost some mental functioning but still is able to live on his own. He is aware of what has happened and how it used to be for him. Yet, there is no bitterness. Rather, he is so positive and accepting of the changes. He has had to sign over authority for his finances and still somehow he finds a way to be independently individual. Again, James Hollis has captured the essence of this ability to embrace fate, even when it is unfavourable to an individual:
One of the most profound of Jung’s contributions to the field of psychology is the paradoxical concept of individuation. Even today the term is misunderstood as egotism or self-absorbtion. Rather, individuation has to do with becoming, as nearly as one can manage, the being that was set in motion by the gods. Such a path is seldom if ever the path of ego gratification, creature comforts, vacillation and flight. It is the cruciform path of the Self which will seek its own fullest being whether the ego cooperates or not. (Hollis, (Celebrating a Life, 2001, p. 69)
Mike continues to move towards his destiny without giving up on his love of life, of nature and of people.
It is a beautiful morning with a temperature of 17C and only a hint of a breeze in the morning sunshine. Breakfast on the back deck watching the birds. I have a few tasks that I want to accomplish this morning such as re-hanging the door for the basement bathroom and doing a bit of silicone sealing in the bathroom. All is pretty well ready for our little family reunion in two weeks time.
I take pride in my workmanship but I do have to admit that my workmanship is not that good. I want it all to be so perfect but I lack the skills for this to happen. And, as I look at the finished projects I see the small cracks, the faults and often miss the overall effect.
This photo was taken in a small town called San Crisanto along the northern coast of the Yucatan. In Mexico there is a war on drugs. The drug cartels are waging battles amongst each other to see who will dominate. And at the same time, government and law forces find themselves waging the same war. When a person thinks about it, war is about hubris.
Hubris is found in our capacity to convince ourselves that we really know what is going on. It is found in our capacity for self-deception, in the notion that we can choose with impunity, that we are in control, that we have covered all the angles. Such delusion is a form of magical thinking, whereby we seek to manage existential anxiety through the fantasy of control and domination. (James Hollis, Creating a Life, p. 13.)
Guilty! I have to admit to such magical thinking at times. The latest tangle with this has been with regards to publishing my SoFoBoMo books. The problem with such magical thinking, of attempts to convince ourselves that the world is chomping at the bit waiting for us to gift them with photos and words which will save the world, will change the destiny of all humankind. Needless to say, such delusional thinking is often followed by a crash. You’d think a person would learn from repeated cycles of this kind of thinking and retreat to safety into a real humble existence. Sigh … I must be a slow learner.
Polarities – It’s funny how we see things differently. Playing with a photograph it is easy to evoke different moods and textures. This morning I took this photo while looking out my living room window onto the street where a gentle rain was falling. Since this area has been dry for some time, this rain is viewed as a welcome guest by the farming community. Now, the crops will have a chance to germinate (some still haven’t) and to flourish, at least for the next while. Of course another timely rain would then be necessary or the crops would then wither and produce shrivelled kernels of grain. The mood in our tiny town is positive and people are smiling.
As a child growing up in cities, rain was not so good for me. It seemed to leave me feeling depressed. Rain still reminds me of lonely streets and Sunday mornings. It likely doesn’t make sense, but even though it was a depressed feeling, I seemed to prefer the lonely streets in the rain to the hustle and noise of the house.
Rain – water – the source of life - the upwelling of the unconscious. It is both, so much for either/or. Now, if I could only hold the tension of opposites and not get trapped into polarity thinking, I might better appreciate the whole.
The rain has forced me to reschedule the planned photo trip. Hopefully it will happen next week so that I can finish the third book called “Mike.” It is a shift from landscape-nature photography to people-nature photography.
Thanks to my positive experience with the SoFoBoMo challenge, I have decided to enter into a provincial photo contest here in Saskatchewan, Canada. I am allowed to enter up to three photos in total into one or more categories. I chose to submit three photos which I will post here. The rules state that the photos can’t be enhanced in any way using software with the exception of some “minor” cropping. I submitted all three just as they came out of the camera without changes to contrast, light, shadow, colour, tint – whatever. The prize is small, but it really isn’t about the prize; it’s about doing it, going through the process. Thanks SoFoBoMo and Paul Butzi.
The first photo is entered into the category: People of Saskatchewan. My wife (the woman in the photo) took part in the Habitat For Humanity – Women Build 2008 and intends on repeating the experience this summer.
The second photo is entered into the category: Flora or Fauna of Saskatchewan. Just last week I got this photo of two mule deer just outside of our little town on the prairie.
The third and last photo was entered into the category of Saskatchewan Scenery. The photo contains a natural scene that could be found just about anywhere in the southern part of the province, a ripening crop, a grain storage bin and an old tractor tire – all found under the wide expanse of sky.
Does the environment play a part in the psyche of a person? In my opinion, it does. As adults, we often choose a place that best meets our needs whether it be for quietness and few people, or an urban setting that surrounds one with community. Choosing the place that best meets these needs feeds the soul. Any other place and one is left feeling restless, agitated, even negative. It isn’t really a contest between nature and nurture. As humans we need both – I need both.
Yesterday, I was out for an evening walk when I came upon these two mule deer about a kilometre from town. Thankfully I was carrying the camera as I got a number of different photos of these two. It had been a busy day with editing work on my latest book and doing some yard and garden work occupying most of the day.
During the walk, a very quiet time for both my wife and I, my mind soon was filled with other book projects, specifically books about my life in China. I probably have ten thousand photos archived from two years spent in that country. I guess that means that I will continue the work of sorting through photos and having them tell stories about life.
Now that I have finished two books for the SoFoBoMo challenge, I find that I am tired, both in body and in mind. But, it is a good kind of tired. Not that it is really comparative, but I think back to when my children were born. After each was born, my wife was tired and rightly so. But even though the work of giving birth was a herculean effort, the kind of peace at the end erased the pain of giving birth. That is the kind of peaceful state of tiredness that I am feeling after having given birth to these books. In a way, the creation of the books was yet another journey to be inscribed in the book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
Well, I finally put the book up at ISSUU. In a way, it was quite hard to let this one be put up, unlike the first book. Why? It isn’t finished yet. There is more yet to do if the book is to actually find its way into print format. I am trying hard to get this put into the print world using Hampton Press at the moment. Will it make the cut? Will it be rejected? Will I have to self-publish? All questions that I am sure that every author feels when trying to break into the publishing world. It is about confidence.
I know the book is good, very good. I realize that this sounds egotistical and filled with hubris, yet I do sense that this different approach to getting the word out about Jung and Jungian Psychology has an important role to play. So why the doubts? Well, I am not a certified Jungian analyst and that fact discredits my efforts in that community. So, now, it is up to the wider community to either accept or ignore this effort.
This book isn’t about photography or poetry though both are featured in prominent positions in the book. It isn’t even about the SoFoBoMo challenge. That challenge was an excuse to make a book that has been sitting waiting for me to realize its presence within. For that, I am thankful to Paul Butzi and the challenge he offered to so many photographers, both amateur and professional alike.
This book is about community, what I am giving back to community. It is also about the dialogues I am having with others who are reading and then discussing with me, this book. This process began partway through the book as I sought to make sure that I was heading in the right direction; and the process continues even though it is now released in a web version in time to qualify for the SoFoBoMo challenge.
So, does this book have meaning for you? Would you care to talk about it? If so, the book is available for reading by clicking on the image of the book off to the right side of this post, or clicking here.
Today’s photo was taken yesterday while I was on the golf course. We had stopped on one set of tee boxes in order to enjoy a small picnic before teeing off. Since it was a weekday in farming country, quite a distance from a city of any decent size, we basically had the golf course to ourselves. We walk when we golf rather than use a golf cart, part of our efforts to remain in decent physical and mental health. As you can see, the course is in the hills, so it gives us a good workout to walk this long course of about 7000 yards.
The second SoFoBoMo book is basically done. I expect that I will post it up later today to the ISSUU site. I won’t be enabling the download option as I am trying to get a publisher to print the book rather than go the BLURB option. Of course, I will post a link at the SoFoBoMo site so that people will find the book.
Community is interesting. I golfed with a group of local men last night and I played terribly. Usually I can be counted on to come in with a good score to help in our team’s placement versus about fifteen other teams. Not so last night as I wasn’t feeling well. The team members were quick to make sure that I was reassured that my game would come back rather than display frustration with me and my poor game. This was totally out of character for these rough and tumble country guys. I rarely see them display concern for each other. Rather, it is usually the typical displays of anger, frustration and remorseless teasing that comes to the forefront when they perform poorly. Interesting. I wonder why there is change in their behaviour? Perhaps there is something about affecting change in others through one’s presence.