Archive for the ‘window’ tag
Sometimes a picture just jumps out and says, “See me, see me!” This was one of those pictures for me. I often take doorway and window shots as they are “natural” frames. Doorways and windows are structures that provide openings into another place. Closed doors and windows leave one wondering and leave one shut out. Open doors and windows are almost an invitation to enter, to risk.
This photo has a hint of colour amid the darker colours of the wall that separates this side of existence and the version of existence on the other side of the window which is a curious blend of door and window – that has been opened. Within the inner world, green leaves on a small bush that talks about life on the opposite side. The wall behind the bush is a blend of darkness and white, a suggestion that this alternate world is not necessarily a perfect place.
As you can see, I am projecting a lot on this scene, using the image through active imagination to create a dialogue with my inner self. This inner world is more mythological than it is defined. The inner world is a place that defies clarity. But then again, as I am learning as the years and decades pass, the outer world is also a place that defies clarity. The lack of clarity often leads to a sense of depression, a questioning of purpose and meaning. Many, unable to handle the ambiguous nature of living in this outer world, turn to some sort of religion in an attempt to find answers to their personal questions of self and meaning, especially during times of unrest such as is being experienced in the world today.
“Or, consider anxiety, that steady state affect of our existential, precarious existence. It is hard to imagine an organism which experiences equanimity in the face of its imminent annihilation, although that counterpoise has been the chief goal of most world religions. Many of those religions seek surcease of suffering through sleight of hand, the promise of an afterlife, which after all is simply offering the ego the promise of a second go at it, presumably under better conditions. (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 104)
Is this why I am drawn to doorways and windows? With no religion to turn to with their promises of another life, another world, I am forced to find a different answer to my personal questions of purpose and meaning in a world that isn’t particularly concerned with my personal continued existence.
It’s another beautiful day with sunshine and warm, not hot, weather. I am looking forward to the afternoon round of golf followed by couples’ night golf. I am busy with final touch ups in the basement as my family will be coming home in a week, our first full family reunion in two years.
Today’s photo was taken last week, a photo of a home long-abandoned looking from the inside to the yard now overgrown with trees. Thirty years ago I remember sitting at the table by this window enjoying coffee and fresh home-made bread, cooked on a wood stove. The past does hold some good memories. But, one can’t live in the past. It is important to live in the present. The window is clouded with the effects of time. The sharp contrasts have gone allowing colours to blend rather that stand in stark opposition to each other.
Complexes have a way of keeping us in the past. I think of the father-complex in particular for myself. Most of the time, my actions have been unconsciously fuelled by doing the opposite of what my father would have done. Of course, there is some merit in this when the opposite produced better relationship results. However, sometimes the blindness of my actions which were acted out of the father-complex, resulted in unfavourable results. I had painted my father into an all black corner not giving him his due as a real man. There was much that was good as well. But, an activated complex doesn’t discriminate very well. It took a long time to accept my father as a carrier for both good and bad, to allow him the honour of being a human, fallible. In doing this, I opened the door to myself to be human.
As individuals, we are not meant to be well-balanced, sober servants of collective values. We are not meant to be sane, safe or similar. We are, each of us, meant to be different. A proper course of therapy does not make us better adjusted; it makes us more eccentric, a unique individual who serves a larger project than that of the ego or the collective norms. (Hollis, Celebrating a Life, 2001, p. 109)
James Hollis speaks of following one’s inner voice as it calls us to be individuals, calls us to follow our personal path, not the paths of those who came before us. It isn’t only through therapy by which one can escape the grip of complexes which keep us unconscious to the nature of our “self.” There are other paths as people have been able to become aware of themselves for thousands of years before Carl Gustav Jung appeared. That said, therapy does provide a grounded guide for those who would otherwise fear too much to take the journey.