Archive for the ‘tunnel vision’ tag
A few moments after the storm had broken, I slipped outside for a walk that had been rain delayed. As the sun tried to break through the clouds, I I caught a glimpse of that sun reflected in a large puddle. The image sent me racing back into the house for my camera so that I could capture this image before it transformed into something completely different. With the photo taken, I continued the walk in an attempt to beat the return of the rain storm. The walk between the rain was navigated without becoming drenched and cold. I had risked taking this walk, risked damage to my hearing aids. I know, it would have been wiser of me to remove the aids before going for the walk. But, at what cost? Without the hearing aids, I would have experienced less.
As I look into the photo, it is somewhat like being pulled into it. There is a pull into the underworld, a call to dive into the water in order to follow the light. In some ways, the light, surrounded by the darkness, makes me think of going down a tunnel as if I would become a modern day “Alice” getting ready to fall down into a “rabbit hole.” Even before that thought was completed, another thought emerged, that of the “light at the end of a tunnel” that is often used as the image of near-death experiences. No wonder I was pulled to take the photograph, and pulled again to bring it here.
There is a certain, perhaps perverse, fascination in following the call into the unconscious in order to become more conscious. Why do I say that it is possibly a perverse attraction? Well, I guess I had better define my use of perverse as “deliberately deviating from what is regarded as normal, good, or proper.” The key word is “normal.” In the community I live in, it is not normal to invest in the “inner world.” It is normal to invest in being present and focused on the outer world. A person’s worth is judged on appearances and on presence, even if the presence is superficial. Too much of an inner focus leads one to be branded as strange, aloof, spaced-out or as an egg head that thinks he/she is too superior for the common, ordinary, everyday Joe. Knowing the societal reaction that must follow when one is drawn into the unconscious, to choose the call is a defiance of what community calls “normal, good or proper.” To heed the call is a statement to the community that one is rejecting the community, that one is selfish. So, why then, would one ever want to follow that call, to follow the light into the tunnel?
How can I explain it in a way that is “sensible?” I follow because I “have” to, not because I “want” to. To “not follow” would be akin to committing a suicide of soul with the result that I would shrivel and become a shell of a person, bitter and angry all the time. Why would I risk anything for which I have worked so hard for so many years? Why would I risk relationship? Why would I risk economic well-being? Why would I risk losing even my small space in community? I know what is at stake and yet the loss of all of this is less than the loss of “soul.”
And so, I tumble into the underworld chasing an illusory sun beneath the surface of the water, into the dark and wet underworld of the unconscious – with hope.
Other than an hour in the basement cutting baseboards for the bathroom, it has all been about being outside in the warm sunshine. A good part of the day was spent on the golf course followed by a quick drive out to another location for a photo I wanted for the book. Once back home, it was enough just to sit on the deck reading in the sunshine until it was time to barbeque. It’s important not to live one’s life fully in the head. Today, the research and writing was put on hold. Not much left to do on the book so there is time to relax and “think” about what I have yet to say.
This photo was one of today’s catches. You will notice that it is “normal” in that I didn’t use the “tunnel vision” style . I took this one from the parking lot of the golf course. I wanted, somehow, to share with you the experience I had while on the golf course. There was no one else golfing on the course. It is farming country and all are busy. Part way through the round of golf, I sat on a bench in the sunshine, listening to a meadow lark which was sitting on top of a tree, a rare tree on this golf course. Other than her song, there was nothing but silence. Sunshine, silence, warmth, and the panorama of hills and the lake holding it all together as if in a cauldron. It was a special moment, a holy moment. I stopped a few more times during the round of golf to enjoy more of this. In the end, I walked off the course with my best round of golf in a few years and not just in terms of the score.
My fuzzy month began yesterday, May 5th. As we were driving back home from our daughter’s in North Dakota, I had my camera prepped and ready – freshly charged battery, lenses cleaned, tripod up front and centre. All I needed was to cross back into the Saskatchewan Canadian prairie which is going to be the setting for the photo book. By the time we made the usual ten-hour drive to our house, my watch told me we had been on the road just over twelve hours. Two hours had been spent behind the camera taking photos from numerous angles. A good beginning as I have fifty-five decent photos, not great photos perhaps, but good enough to place into a folder for future consideration. Like I mentioned in past posts, the “focus” is “tunnel vision.”
As I culled through the photos last night, and cropped them to get square photos with the tunnel effect, I noticed that “light” had a strange effect, a halo effect on many of the pictures. Working with software, I eliminated the halo and in the process found that the pictures then took on a different look as though the world itself had changed though somehow remaining the same – a fractal world. Colours are different and the border between worlds is not quite distinct. This is what I was looking for!
I think I will change the title of the book as well – Tunnel Vision: The Undiscovered Self, “Journey On The Saskatchewan Prairie.” The tunnel vision part is obvious, the style of photo being used. “The Undiscovered Self” refers to Carl Jung’s work published in volume ten of his Collected Works. The sub-title will place the photos into a location, something I need to do in order to keep the map clean as I find myself in many different places during my own journey. Here is a starting point for the whole process:
Most people conduse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego-personalities. Anyone who has any aego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its contents, noth the unconscious and its contents. (Carl Jung, CW vol. 10, “The Plight of the Individual in Modern Society,” para 491, 1958.)
As I made the trip to Saskatoon in order to pick up an item, I decided it was a good time to practice more shots for the “tunnel vision” project for SoFoBoMo. Along the side of a road, not too far from a farmyard, this early 1970s halfton was parked on the side of the road, for sale. A typical scene in the Saskatchewan prairie landscape. I am sure that if the truck had the ability to tell its history, it would be able to tell dust filled tales of work and play.
I am satisfied with the result of the photo which lifts my hopes that I will be able to get enough photos for the “tunnel vision” project. Still it would be nice to be able to use software to create the effect rather than relying on the camera lens attachment. I so want to follow though with this “vision”
Engaging in life is easiest when there is a vision, a sense of direction and purpose from which we derive meaning. Being able to see beyond the moment which is prosaic, often filled with dull pain or indifference, is critical. No vision reduces one to a state of darkness, depression. It’s a matter of survival.
The fog is beginning to lift. My medications are finally beginning to do their thing allowing me to be less forced into a world of tunnel vision due to the pressure in my head, one of those side effects of having allergies.
One of the good things about suffering physically is the fact that it has helped me find a theme for my photo book project – tunnel vision. I have ideas of content for the photos, and have been wondering how I would unite the various photos to form a theme. Presentation using a tunnel view such as this photo was my answer to my “self”. I am also thinking that I would have a poem for each photo – or a quote from one favourite Jungian book so as to accentuate the presentation as a unified document.
Tunnel vision is part of my life, part of my journey. Thinking more about tunnel vision, I realised that we are all wandering through this earth dimension with tunnel vision, limited by our shadow, limited by how little of the personal and collective unconsious we have yet faced. Tunnel vision limits not only our sense of “self” but also our knowledge of “other”. We are small islands of light that are drawn to each other in the darkness, yet unable to fully see each “other” because of the surrounding darkness. And, we live in mystery and confusion in our relationships as a result of the surrounding darkness.
In the biosphere preserve site just east of Rio Lagartos in the Yucatan, it is mating season for pink flamingos.
Instead of using the normal 15X zoom of my camera, I added a 3X teleconverter so that I could get even closer shots of the pink flamingos. The circle around the birds is due to the fact that I didn’t extend my camera’s natural zoom far enough causing the barrel of the lens to become part of the photo, an effect that I created purposefully.
Looking out at reality is often more about peering through a looking glass from a deeper and darker place that holds the centre of our being. For introverts such as myself, the outer world is a distant world, a world of fantasy. Not all fantasy is as beautiful as these birds, sometimes fantasy in ringed with fear, danger and darkness.
As you may have noticed, I have chosen a different template for this blog site. It allows larger photos as well as a better reference to the process of leaving a comment, a situation that was a bit confusing using the previous template.