About Face IV

 “For by his face straight, shall you know his heart.”

Shakespeare, Richard III

tumblr_nhkehezsaE1qz6f9yo3_500

 “The face is the soul of the body.”

~ Wittgenstein

As I continue the exploration of Face, Beauty, and Soul, I thought I’d zero in on how much is really happening, phenomenally, in our one and only Face.

I don’t spend a LOT of time in front of the mirror,

(really, truly)

but when I am ill, I tend to be looking more (or maybe noticing more)

For?

Signs, symptoms, health, wellness…

The eyes are my barometer, measuring degrees of such.

eon

Let’s re~visit James Hillman on the Force of the Face.

“Not because of cosmetics and surgery is the face an aesthetic phenomenon, but because it is biologically so.

Besides the muscles needed functionally to chew, kiss, sniff, blow, squint, blink, and twitch  away a fly, most of the forty-five facial muscles serve only emotional expression.”

tumblr_ni6khzyJ0N1qz6f9yo1_500

Marilyn Monroe said:  “I can make my face do anything I want.”

marilyn-monroe-pb03

That is Mastery.

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall

Hillman, continued:  “The face reveals character, the mirror does not lie.

My face announces my presence, reports my nature, and above all, by facing outward, bears a message for others.  Angels blow trumpets.  They call for awakening.  So does the face; it demands response.”

So, dear reader, I would posit this:  What message does your/my face bear for others?

What awakening is being called for in that face of yours/mine?

What response is being asked for, demanded?

861fecb182afd7bc155c89fa067b0535

Hamlet to Gertrude:  “You go not, till I set up a glass–

where you may see the inmost part of you.

Vox Anima, SDM

il_170x135.354709232_kqsi

Art Credit:  Tumblr & Pinterest

Shadow Child

The tyranny of the past is never greater than when we do not recall.”

~James Hollis

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Spring Flowers," 1969

 

On this lovely spring morning, with Robins dancing about, it seems like torture to muse about the Shadow.  Sigh.  But as Jung taught, what does not come to consciousness, comes to us as fate.  The Shadow is tricksy enough–I’d rather chip away at it…

 

images

 

The Shadow, as Jung understood it, contains the best and worst parts of ourselves.  And it is a psychic function that these parts remain put away, hidden, in the shadows as it were–hidden away from ourselves by ourselves.

(what a phenomenal trick!)

One of the early major tasks of recovering from childhood trauma, is to retrieve the Child.

Left in the shadows, swimming in the old trauma soup, I had to find mine, bring her up, and love her for all that she is.

In the beginning, once we met, it was quite tender and positive.

harmony-swifts-baby-food

Overindulged sometimes.  Spoiled sometimes.

Norman-Rockwell-Nanny

 

In re-reading “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life”:  How to Finally, Really Grow up” by James Hollis, I realize that the child is quite alive and well in me, and that perhaps I had over identified with the positive side of the archetype–leaving the negative, shall we say to the Shadow?

(there I go again!)

Somehow, I wanted to make her Divine, which is mixing metaphors, archetypally speaking.

(I hope I am making sense here)

Hollis writes in the section titled Becoming Who We Think We Are about the inevitable existential childhood woundings of Overwhelmment and Insufficiency.  

I was quite familiar with Insufficiency, but my Ego disallowed Overwhelmment as a possibility.  When I reviewed the stratagems of this wounded aspect,

(it took me 5 disturbing read throughs to get it)

I saw my Shadow Child there.

 Sulking.  Wanting.  Power.  Control.  Hiding Out.

697430a221f00813e946b07737c911a0

Hollis advises:  “After all, these adaptive stratagems experimentally evolved to help us survive, and without them we might not have gotten out of childhood.  But can we readily give our lives over to these conditioned reflexes now that we know they are there? … “

look-awayrockwell-schoolgirl628x471

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He further states: “Go ahead, defend that child as one should, but do not give it the power of choice in your adult life…learn anew that the adult can manage so much more than the child.”

 

5ce7885a456dd4864c3194fc1ff3e93a

Vox Anima, SDM

normanrockwell-4

 

Art Credit:  Norman Rockwell

 

Woman Without a Past

Jeremy Lipking
Jeremy Lipking

In my very first post, Priming the Pump,  I wrote about Source, or the Wellspring from which creativity and life flows…and my beloved Wilsonia.

cropped-new-header

My family of origin, through trauma and tragedy lost all photographs and memorabilia.  It was, in effect, an obliteration of the ancestors.  The family history.  And, as time went on, it was as if some part of me, or my past had never existed.

IMG_9717

When I stumbled onto the art of Jana Botkin, a kind of photographic memory in my psyche was constellated.  And the realization that without the reflecting mirror of the image, the effect was akin to being a woman without a past.  No wonder, at times, I have been so orphaned and bereft!  No mirror in people, places or things to remind me of who I was, where I came from, and how far I have come!

IMG_4679

Stimulated by photos and drawings of my dearly beloved childhood sanctuary, helped me to remember myself.  

heliocentrism

It is through the image that healing takes place:

jungreading“The great problems of life…are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious.  These images are really balancing or compensating factors which correspond with the problems life presents in actuality.  This is not to be marveled at, since these images are deposits representing the accumulated experience of thousands of years of struggle for adaptation and existence.”  C. G. Jung

 

 It is through the artful image that body and soul are released and restored.

RobertVickrey-ReleasingTheBird

 

images-1vickrey_29201_2

IMG_33112.jpg

bubblesVox Anima, SDM

Art Credit:  Robert Vickrey

About Face II

“I want to grow old without facelifts.

They take the life out of a face, the character.

I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made.”

Marilyn Monroe

Miss-Monroe-marilyn-monroe-32256592-1131-707

And the discussion continues…

and the exploration of the subject of aging.

Long before 60, I have been interested in the subject of Beauty.

Real beauty;  that which is enduring, authentic, and more than skin deep.

This is a large subject–perhaps requiring more posts or…?

 

Recent study turned to “The Force of Character and the Lasting Life” by James Hillman.

Fontana_delle_Arti_Via_ Margutta_2010_Rome

Parenthetically, and historically, I will say Hillman’s work has not spoken easily to me.  And I do find it interesting that it is from a masculine perspective I find some grains of truth in exploring the archetype of aging, as it applies to conscious femininity.

However, his “Interlude on the Force of Face” has my attention.

I have excerpted some of his research below.

Roland Barthes makes a useful distinction between the chronos of biology and the chronos of passion, such as we see in Rembrandt’s late self-portraits where the ravages depicted are due less to the passing of time than to the effects of passion.

It is these effects, that Monroe hoped to have the courage to face.

She spoke not of the biological face, but the face “I’ve made”.

 

387x580x9554_2_green_layer.jpg.pagespeed.ic.U3JL565i5C

…the human face as an archetypal phenomenon bears one message: utter vulnerability.

Therefore, the face will be disguised, covered, decorated, surgically altered–

or on the contrary, deprived of all possibilities of hiding, as in the abject condition of prisoner, captive and victim.

This is why our faces are so impossibly difficult to accept:  We are staring into “vulnerability itself”.

Perhaps this is why, vanity and introversion aside,

I have been loathe,  and remain loathe to be photographed!

I cannot bear the primordial image embracing my whole character, as it remains incomplete, and is still taking shape!

580x387xMG_3691-Edit.jpg.pagespeed.ic.EANDDFRp-x

“From mirror after mirror

No vanity’s displayed

I’m looking for the face I had

Before the world was made.”

Yeats

Hillman wrote that Jung did more than transcend Freud when he relativized the power of the analyst by opening analysis to the face.  Face-to-face.

And, in Marion Woodman’s evolution of the Body Soul, she found phenomenal evidence for the power of the face, and the witnessing Other.

“A face, in the end, is the place where the coherent mind becomes an image.”

James Elkins

Dreamer's_Tears_2010_Rome

…I intend to find the facial courage I will need, to see what the mirror can only fleeting give, on this journey of individuation…

Vox Anima, SDM

Art Credit:   Diane Epstein Photography

Dreaming_in_Color_Cortile_San_Silvestro_2011_Rome

Mirror Mirror

 

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?”

 “Not you dear.  Not anymore.”

Blue Queen www.maskwoman.com
Blue Queen
http://www.maskwoman.com

We, and I mean the Royal “We” celebrated our birthday recently.

(More about that later.)

It is estimated that over 40 million baby boomers are over the age of 50; 51% female.

That statistic comes from MetLife, alas, as the http://www.census.gov is shut down.

Simple math tells us, dear readers that are at least 20 million women

on their way to being Crones!

Lord have mercy.

Some time ago, I developed a workshop series titled “The Witch and the Queen”

(based on the witchy work of Kate Amatruda & Lauren Cunningham).

In these workshops, we pondered the idea

that we channel, so to speak,

the archetypes of Witch & Queen on our way to the Crone.

Rather than limiting ourselves to the notion to the 3 stages of woman,

could it be there is more to it?

I think so.

Our recent birthday celebration had us re-visiting the fairy tale of Snow White.

In the story, Snow White naively becomes victim to the envious Evil Queen.

The Queen in disguise, offers our heroine the apple which puts her into a deep sleep…

stokes14

The Maid, is no more, or so it seems.

We all know the rest of the story.

But, it is important to recognize it is the encounter with the Witch Queen, that transforms dear Snow White into the mature adult woman she was meant to be.

I think we can draw from this as we Crone–

which is now a Verb in my vocabulary.

I aspire most days to The Queen, and in particular,

The Virgin Queen, who is “one unto herself”.

White Queen www.maskwoman.com
White Queen
http://www.maskwoman.com

And then, horror of horrors, there are the other days…

(You know who) Ian Beck
Read me a Fairy Tale:  Snow White
Illustration by Ian Beck

Vox Anima,  SDM