Jung was not just a believer in dreams, he was the person who first defined and explored synchronicity.
When I talk about erasing yesterday, I do not mean it in the sense that we must reject all tradition or evolved culture. Quite the opposite.
I have had a horrible time focusing on my writing since I’ve become care-taker. But of course, it was likely less that than a number of other circumstances I have handled poorly. But last night, things finally came together, I think.
I’ve been watching The Good Witch movies, then the series, binge watching on Prime Video since actually writing seemed impossible anyway. People might describe the witch movies and series as silly, insipid, Hallmark pablum. Sinnce most everything always works out coincidentally happily-ever-after, there might be a case made for that. But I’d argue there’s more to it.
Synchronicity, for me, happens when I have a pressing problem and some person, some tv show, some event happens that seems to provide clarity–my version of spirituality. This happened last night. Several things on the show seemed to be speaking to me.
First, they were lighting “dream candles,” and if you read my blog you know I am interested in dreams, both the act happening in our sleep and those hopes we aspire to — and that not only are they not very different, but I think our dreams might actually be a glimpse into a different reality, universe, a way to travel through space and time. Perhaps closer to “reality” than our daytime lives. Ok, call me nuts. I don’t care. In this silly version, the characters etched their dreams in the bottom of the candle jars and when they burned down, their dreams would supposedly come true (they haven’t resolved this story line in the series, so not sure how that will work out — likely some version of our not realizing our real desires and dreams or something). Anyway, my son’s girlfriend, gave me several candles, one in a little wooden trough like container with six wicks. And one in a jar.
I made my wish and lit the one in the jar. Even before this had all jelled for me.
Then Cassie, the main character on the show, the “good witch,” made this Mandala: A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.Wikipedia
It was, in a physical sense, something she created on the counter. And as soon as she created it, they wiped it away with her hand. Here comes the metaphor. I remembered this artist I thought was so amazing. I have it saved somewhere, he was handicapped, and he worked in this medium that disappeared! His name was Phil Hansen called Embrace the Shake. He did this amazing work once he embraced his handicap. Then he started working in mediums that disappeared. Goodbye Art, he called it where everything he created had to be destroyed. Fascinating (except nobody pointed out to him that he really didn’t completely destroy it, since he had VIDEOS of it). Still, I was getting his point. Like Cassie erasing what she had just created.
And even more fascinating, the last art Phil created was made with lit candles, so it never really existed at all and disappeared as soon as they were blown out or burned down. And what he found was that what he thought was the ultimate limitation was in fact the ultimate liberation — not having anything physical to possess. (Though again, he’s got that video, eh???)
But the destruction bought him back to a neutral place, ready to create again. Take a look at this; it will change your life..
This TED talk floated back to me and I realized that I was never going to be able to write again if I didn’t let go of what I viewed as my past accomplishments and identity ruined by the academic and literary community I was once part of! — and my evening was so synchronistic in so many ways. The candles, the Mandala, the idea that we really cannot hold on to anything and life is all about our experiences and what we might leave behind us with and for someone else!
And then we come to the ultimate synchronistic thing. Cassie in this episode had majored in art history and she becomes at least a temporary art history Adjunct professor (I SUPPOSE that might happen, though unlikely without some major art credentials or a lifetime in academia). At first, watching her “teach” gave me bad feelings–about the whole thing and the whole university atmosphere. Still, I remembered I played this Embrace the Shake and Phil’s Goodbye Art thing for everyone of my classes, both creative writing and freshman and sophomore English. How could I forget that? And not only that, Cassie holds her first class at the university art museum (something I also did at least once during a semester), and I made them write their impressions of the art, their own perspecive of what the artist was saying. I used it very close to the same — what impressions, descriptive words can you come away with, just looking at art.
Writing is about detail. No matter what type of writing you are accomplishing.
“And of course, if you can’t let go of these ideas of creativity and holding on to accomplishment” in this really limited and possessive and narcissistic way (and if it’s all measured by that and you lose it) — it cripples not only you but any semblance of creativity exists as nothing more than a flame.
Synchronicity has come together for me several times in a perfect storm of inspiration. The inspiration for the very fantasy/literary novel thing I’m working on came in just that way. (I should say I’m NOT working on). But even if I get my book written, the only really creative difference I’ll make in this world is what I’ve passed on to my children and students, the experiences we’ve shared — something people who fundamentally want to lose all culture don’t understand.
And of course, I’ll keep that candle lit and see if my dreams come true. I can’t believe I forgot that TED talk, I’ve been so crippled by my own mind, looking at my own creativity through the eyes of a group of people intent on limiting all creativity and freedom. It’s a shame we have people like this in control of education, and there might be thtings we can do about that — but just like concentration camps can’t truly make people prisoners, neither can these people make us unfree.
So this means I need to let all those people and even my past accomplishments go, float away in the ether, and figure out something new. I was always swimming up stream anyway, since I knew their “wokeness” had limited my publishing ability for decades. Maybe it’s not about being published, maybe it’s not about being “literary” at all, whatever comes next. But I suddenly have no interest in playing by their rules. Both creativity and even my skills as a teacher (which I have many) cannot be limited to their view of the world.
We’ll see. I sat in the garden this morning and read for a while. The temperature and humidity have finally dropped and the impermanence of the garden reinforced my themes here — beauty is impermanent. I hope this means I have energy to exercise, do my caretaking, bill paying, and even my writing this week.
I think it means that.
Sweet dreams, folks. Let me know how you view creativity….