Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One of my obsessions is Pride and Prejudice. 

I keep the a DVD of the 1995 version in my laptop half the time. It makes for a soothing bedtime story.
And it is a sort of fairy story, I think. An especially guilty pleasure of mine is reading fanfiction. No I don't have anything posted of my own so don't bother to try and find it. Yet. Or not.

Jane Austen set the tone for romance stories to come with this particular tale. 
While I am  no literary critic and have very limited access to journals that might give me further insight into such things, I do have my own theory as to its timelessness: It is but another story of anima and animus projection, and the journey taken by two people to withdraw those deceptive parts of themselves back into themselves where they belong. In non Jungian language, Pride and Prejudice is about overcoming one's 'ideals' about men/women in order to truly love. For that is what mature love is about: loving the person who is, not the one you wish them to be. So who are the hero and heroine and what is their story? For those who do not know them, I give you: one Fitzwilliam Darcy, dashing albeit diffident man of wealth and consequence, and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, lively country gentleman's daughter with fine eyes. On this occasion, however, let us focus on Lizzy.

So is Lizzy a Wierd Chick? Sometimes I think so, sometimes not. For those in her sphere, I think an argument can be made that she is. She is frightfully clever, and doesn't mind speaking up, both traits that proper ladies did not claim in that era if they wanted to get a man. She does not possess all the arts that might allure a man of consequence to her: she doesn't speak multiple languages, it seems she doesn't draw, she has never had a governess nor been to a finishing school. She certainly doesn't come with a generous dowry and her family is definitely eccentric. She doesn't have a figure that is the ideal of the day- it 'lacks symmetry', which means it doesn't look like this (which is to say- the supermodel look of the day).

Neither humble means nor eccentricity were helpful in the quest to land a gentleman of her station in England her day. Oh and lest I forget: she loves to walk miles and miles and doesn't care if she gets dirty. These are all the qualities which would cause the ladies and gentlemen of her society to find her a little unrefined, not to mention, financially unworthy. 
Perhaps this may cinch the argument that Lizzy is indeed a Wierd Chick: That day at Hunsford, she refuses his proposal! Again, for a woman who could certainly benefit from such a marriage financially (both for herself and her family) she refuses because, at the time, she does not love him. She does not see many good qualities already. She is rightfully offended by his awkward declaration and tells him so. While many would like to say they'd stand up, I think that it takes particular wit and will to actually do so.
These are characteristics of the Smart Chick variety of the Wierd Chick.While some Smart Chicks are not as confident or as charming, Lizzy is. But the thing that many if not all Smart Chicks have in common is that they are just too smart for some potential partners. Cleverness can be off-putting to people whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, or otherwise. Lizzy's cleverness would not allow her to make any decision that went against her ideals. She was so clever, in fact, she didn't realize the fallibility of some of her said ideals. Does she figure it out in time? Suffice it to say, Lizzy is admirable because she does. For those Smart Chicks who speak out and let their intelligence show, it is gratifying to think that at least *someone* (like Mr. Darcy, and her dad, oh- and her sister Jane, and her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, and Georgianna....) appreciates us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Behind the Wyrd

Weird has always existed
I previously alluded to the Core, the Source, of Weird. In reading more about this archetype and its herstory, I have learned that even before the Word of Weird- was around, the Weird Chick existed, the origins extending into the Primordial.
“…..suggesting the supernatural….unearthly or uncanny”
“……Archaic . concerned with or controlling fate or destiny.”
[Indeed] its origins are :  “…attributive… in the phrase werde sisters the Fates (popularized as appellation of the witches in Macbeth )”…

It has always co existed with women
And here is part of the inherent duality of Weird or Wierd for that matter. When others see a Wierd Chick, somewhere in the back of their consciousness is the awareness of that uncanny quality she possesses.
People who aren’t weird are threatened by it

What is its significance? 
And, more importantly what is the problem?

It is knowledge of duality that others don’t understand and fear
By not fitting in, I- She- is a foil and therefore defines convention.
More importantly, while Wierd may be childlike, whimsical, or otherwise superficial, the aesthetic of Wierd, by its definitive origins, cannot but point back eventually to those 3 Norns weaving destiny in their hands.
Shakespeare was only recording an older truth.
This truth struck fear into the Catholic and Protestant Churches in the forms Inquisitions and Witch Trials. Of course it will spark a sense of wonder or fascination at the very least for those who encounter Her. In her Other-ness, she gets to an uncomfortable truth: she is the opposite of Natural and cannot be contained within the parameters of Normal. She is generative of new possibilities and in this power, similarly, has the ability to destroy. 

It embraces duality that others reject out of fear
When I have bargained with myself to fit in, I am repressing the fear of the Dark and Chaotic within me. I am no better than any Church. In fact this is a bargain with the Devil so to speak because when I try to ‘just be normal’, in fact I am coveting another’s sacred thread. In doing so, I sacrifice the Luminousity of my Own Wierdness.
Those Dark powers may come in the form of the envious Step Sister or the All Consuming Mother. Regardless, when one seeks to fit in , their desire is in danger of becoming an insatiable maw. Inauthenticity is never satisfying. It can also suck the soul out of relationships, jobs, and rob one of energy to manifest one’s uniqueness in the world.
And yet the Shadow has something to teach if we could but befriend the inner Step sister, the inner hideous mother. Becoming an apprentice to Inner Wyrd Wisdom is to allow her to come in all her forms, including the ones that are hideous. 

Taking this path means risking being misunderstood or worse
It comes with the territory of being Wierd
The alternative, befriending both the luminous and the shadowy side of my Wierdness, means owning all of who I really am. Really, it is impossible to be true to myself and avoid inconveniencing, confronting or otherwise discomfiting others because it is inevitable that someone is going to disapprove, disagree, or dis me in some other way.

Embracing both negative and positive leads to great wisdom. This in turn equates to greater personal power.
And circling back on itself, the value of such wisdom and its fearsomeness are thus: in seeing both sides, I have become ever more aware of these characteristics in others. The more one possesses such awareness, the better one can ‘read’ people.
Confronting the negative means making mistakes. In making mistakes the next step is learning from them- becoming adept. If one is not authentic, one’s desires will be unfulfilled and it leads to the all consuming mother sucking the life out of others/ourselves/ our success/ etc. Conversely, the projection of my desire that is covetousness can teach me of unrecognized qualities in myself that I possess if I would but take the work to uncover them.

 In doing both it manifests great potency in relationship and in the world

The Thunder, Perfect Mindaccording to Anne McGuire, contains a the dialogue of an unnamed Divine Feminine. She embodies the potent Wierd Chick conundrum, the contradiction to which words give inadequate expression (bold/ italics my own emphasis):

 " Do not separate me from the first ones whom you have k[nown.
And] do not cast anyone [out
and do not] bring anyone back [...] 

I know the fi[rst ones] and those after them know me.
But I am the [perfect] mind and the repose ...
I am the gnosis of my seeking, and the finding of those who seek after me.
And the command of those who ask of me.
...And the power of the powers by my gnosis
of the angels who have been sent by my logos,
And the gods in their seasons by my command,
And it is with me that the spirits of all humans exist,
and it is within me that women exist

I am she who is honored and praised and who is despised scornfully.
I am peace and because of me war has come to be.
And I am an alien and a citizen.
I am substance and she who has no substance.
Those who come into being from my synousia are ignorant of me,
And those who are in my substance know me…."

Every treasure piece of my Self awareness must be turned over and each side thoroughly inspected. For how does one truly know the value of a coin possessed if one is not truly acquainted with both its sides?

Wierdness is a never ending definition of myself and the other turning end over end. True Self awareness is not narcissistic but benefits others due to the byproducts of Beauty, Wisdom and True Love that are generated in the process.
There is the golden coin, the golden thread, the gold in lead, the gold that can be found when plumbing the depths for the Shadow of the Weird Chick.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Original Wyrd Word

I wrote it before
And it was written before I wrote it
And it was known before I knew it,
So the wisdom is not mine to claim.
Nevertheless I will convey the threads as faithfully as can an adherent
Who in some ways is no more than one newly initiated:
Knowledge, wisdom, process can be a blessing and a curse.
This is no mistake.
As far back as our herstories can remember, 
Be She Baba Yaga
Hulda, Hecate
Or even Sleeping Beauties more diminutive 13 Faerie Godmothers
The dual natured goddess has been
In her Wisdom,
The one to bless, The one to curse

As it please her.
Woman herself is the cauldron of life
From her Source, from her all seeing Yoneye
Proceeds fates threads of which
She is both spinner and weaver.
As it is so,
She is Wise Who keeps her own blood sacred
And Who does not mistakenly seek as sacred the distaff of others.
She is Wise Who is wary
Of her own true urge to be resplendent in just such covetous finery
And the beautiful friction caused
When occupying one’s imaginations in such a fashion.
It takes practice to not tangle such a web
And if one lacks discernment,
Surely duplicitous enchantment will follow
As to suck the life from one’s soul
If one stares to intently into the Chasm from where it was borne.
She is Beauty and she is Wise.
She is Terrible and she is a Curse.

She is the Thunder who is in our entire DNA;
Sophia is her name.
And whether philosopher or not,
All those who are wise love Her
And know the propensity for knowledge
to be turned into insipid, damaging, fearmongering facts,
Which is what explains
Macbeth seeking those 3 Sisters,

the Norn
And why those who identify with Them
Are still cast out as otherworldly
And thus misunderstood:
They weave with a thread
That can just as easily bring chaos
As it can creation.
And may those who do not understand
Call us Weird.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did I lose my Red Shoes and other Deep Spiritual Questions

There is a story that Wise Women Tell of a motherless child who makes her own way in a world that seems to her by turns kind and cruel. On good days she is able to care for her needs in creative resourceful ways. In such times she cobbled together her own red shoes, from rags she’d saved.

I am told *the movie* depicts these as ballet slippers. 

I envision them as stitched together felt Mary Janes, something along the lines of what this person makes.
Or perhaps those are just my Original Red Shoes. 

On other days she goes for hours and hours trying to gather enough food in the dark, scary forest. One just such a day, she is seen by a fine old lady in a gilded carriage (or 'cage' as a friend aptly, mistakenly, put it). This grande dame determines to give the girl a better life that she might forget her former one. “You are to be my daughter”.
'But she isn’t her daughter', I think to myself. 'She may mother this little girl, but the child has already become streetsmart and accustomed to making her own way, however naively. She has already lived the loss and to be called her parent will take years of living in, not mere hours of mutual acquaintance.' But that is my own digression of the tale.
Returning to our faerie story, the woman takes the girl's former belongings and burns them all. Although now bedecked in all manner of finery, little girl immediately feels the loss of her Dear Old Shoes. The grand lady takes the girl shopping for her baptismal clothes and in the shop the girl spies the most Delicious forbidden pair of red shoes. Unbenkownst to the slightly blind grand dame, and with a wink, the cobbler sells them to the girl. These diabolical red shoes take the girl on a literal whirlwind of a journey, upon which she meets an old red headed veteran soldier, misses the death of her patroness, and is propelled in shame from door to door begging neighbors and strangers for mercy. The red shoes have exhausted her and yet she cannot stop dancing. Eventually she finds the executioner’s cottage and begs him to chop off her shoes, even at the expense of her feet. With most grievous unwillingness he does so and the shoes dance on without their previous owner. She lives out the rest of her days as a cripple, serving others just as the shopkeeper had done before her and never missing those red shoes.

I encountered this tale last week when the Phoenix Friends of Carl G Jung hosted Lynda S. Steele, LCSW who discussed addiction. I so was taken by her lecture I decided to attend the next day’s workshop. Both events were- as another friend put it-magical.
And yet, after recent events I've experienced, I felt the unwelcome, exhausting intensity within myself of too much process. While I’d keenly felt the loss of those original Red Shoes as we processed in group, I wondered why I felt such loss, and ironically found the key in process itself.

Being the chick that had her sh*t together, the smart one, the deep one, the one that thinks to much and talks too much, set me apart from my peers for better or worse. It was convenient for me and for them to think that I was too smart, or too spiritual, too intense or too… whatever… to participate in those activities which I disliked. I protected myself from exposure to drugs, teenage sex, and other potential trouble. More and more, however, I realized this sensibility got in the way of friendship, too.
My need for information comes from the illusion that deep process with another equates a deep relationship. All to often I have found however that the feeling after a previous night of sharing too much is akin to hungover regret.' True relationship comes from a living out in time- this is true whether the friend is a mutual group member, a coworker, a relative- any kind of relationship needs breadth to make it whole. By doing so, one is free from the illusory constraints of being the smart or wise one- or any other role for that matter.

And so I work hard to remind myself - when people change the subject away from ‘deep’ topics - no matter how deep, or intelligent, or wierd I am, at the end of the day it comes back to relationship not only in process, but in letting go, in engaging mundane and fun things. Celebration and letting go, I am reminded, are disciplines, just much as the acquisition of knowledge. And, by engaging more in the latter, I doubt I will find myself in danger anytime soon of becoming any more 'normal'. I think my wierdness is here to stay.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Monad, Intuiting ....

Where 2 or more gather, there are more than enough people for a Chick to know she is the 'different' one in the room. It could be for any number of reasons. One is to be the bearer of TMI. As a teen, I was embarrassed to discover myself a bearer of the noxious plague. Infected as a child, I unwittingly passed it on. Sometimes I would become a germaphobe trying to avoid it. Either way, I alienated those around me. 

One can learn how to use- yes - USE- TMI. This skill is earned by making innumerable mistakes. Therefore, I am VERY skillful. At least I hope so. Seriously, a Wierd Chick afflicted w/ TMI finds herself unwittingly alienating others. She often has to learn on her own when enough is enough. Others often don't even know how to set boundaries or think themselves kinder by saying nothing. Who knows whether they are right. But I digress.
This is what I have determined about TMI: I don't have to feel like a victim for receiving it, or a persecutor/rescuer for giving it.

TMI is a gift the Universe has allowed.

As the recipient,
I can: 1) reject it, 2) store it for later, 3) mull over the content and/or the process of the interaction, 4) I can do any combination of parts of the above by myself, with the other person, and/or with a third party.

About imparting information:
I have a choice to consider the information I impart to others. I can determine whether I feel/ think it is the 'right' time, place, situation, person and/or amount of information.
I can observe the other person and situation in an attempt to determine my actions. However I can't control whether the other thinks I made the right choice. I can't control their feelings or responses.
I have a right to my own feelings in the matter. I have the right to disagree with the other person as to whether it truly was TMI or not. However, if there is an ongoing one sided 'exchange': 1) The giver may be overly 'generous' but the receiver can just as easily lack the healthy amount of receptivity- or 2) there could be some other force at work such as the exchange being inappropriate: For example: like, ewww if my mom were to ever give me the details of her intimate life.

If I am determined to be the giver of TMI, I can own that I felt and *still feel* it was appropriately given because sometimes people are just insipid ninnies and need a little more information to jolt them out of a life of boring shallowhood.
Or, I can determine I made the wrong choice and apologize from/ learn from the mistake and take appropriate action henceforth.
I can take this as an opportunity to dialogue with the person who feels I've given them TMI about the content or process so we *both* can learn.

Now, was that TMI?

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wierd Chick Miss-Spelling

I don’t know about the Weird Chick
At least not at this particular moment.
She is an archetype – the main archetype- with whom I can identify
As the original Misstic, Missbehaving thinker, Missunderstood artist,
The Missfit everywhere she goes- not quite this, not quite that,
Usually only partially fitting the dictionary definition
Of Anachronistic, Bohemmienne, Counterculture, Deviant;
Which reminds me to beware of overidentification.

Perhaps it is this attachment which caused recent bouts- of what, I don’t know-
During the long nights when I would mentally or electronically devise letters never sent
To people who imaginarily cast me- us- out. Touching shadows that danced,
I tried to get at what was casting them,
And sometimes found a defenseless silly man behind the curtain,
While other times my hand grasped at air.
I wondered, was the shadow itself even real to any but myself?
No, what Jung identified in his Red Book was indeed real if only in our unconscious.

In the divining time between All Souls Eve and the Sun Son’s ReBirth,
There were flashes- bouts and flashes-
Bouts of fear that the dark in all its brands will remain,
Flashes of illumination now realized from now passed moments-
Oh, and rumination over harvesting
The heirloom perennials and exotic native annuals I’ve planted and will eventually market.
Right now, as the sun is only re beginning to lengthen its presence in this hemisphere,
The time of not knowing inner wisdom is coming to an end again.

Time to spin the indefinable into some kind of order
Identifying the spark- the Singularity- the Singular- that is the Wierd Chick
Getting at the core of who She-is, perhaps who Sidhe is, one of her otherworldly sources
Peeling away the layers to the duckling, the PreRaphaelite, the Creatrix and more
Manifesting her forms in myself as Adoptee, New Waver, Costume Shop Babe, and beyond
Connecting the webs from Misstery, History, and Myth
To the present day Wierd Chicks who may or may not
Kick Ass, Mine Wizarding Wisdom, Dance into Madness…

Who are, who do, who represent so much more
Than the misfit version of a heroine, ingénue, mother, crone
Spinning into whatever the next and the next and the next
Cycles and orders of Wierd may be.
Weird connects us all; Wierd is a unique creation that doesn’t quite fit.
Even though some may simply see a Miss-Spelling,
Those who identify will take time to recognize more.
To the Wierd Chick in me, and in you who choose to follow her call.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Emergence in 'The Cat Returns'

The other night, my husband and I watched another Studio Ghibli film, The Cat Returns, a deceptively amusing film about a teenage girl, Haru, who can talk to cats.


For me, the film is rife with themes of her development and emerging Animus.

First, of course the cat has an obvious, oftentimes more 'bawdy' or demeaning reference to the female anatomy. However, most if the primary 'cat' characters in the film are male- except one. Yuki was the first cat that Haru ever communicated with. As a child, Yuki was a stray kitten following Haru home. Haru kindly gives Yuki the rest of her fish cookies to eat. Yuki remembers this kindness and her gestures are ultimately instrumental in Haru's escape from the Cat King's intended fate. This in a sense, represents Haru's primal self - her ego that will help navigate the way instead of allowing the Animus (whether the 'good' Baron or the 'bad' king) to take over completely.
As for the male cats: the Cat King is a lazy, mad, gluttonous, dictatorial (albeit funny) beast who doesn't take 'no' for an answer. (Sidenote-What is great is he is voiced in English by Tim Curry who gives him a kind of soulful beatnick flair, saying things like 'yeah, babe.' )
A counterpoint to this cat is the cultured Baron who is really a cat figurine come to life. He is everything the Cat King is not- truly suave, intellectual, tasteful- I cant believe I am saying this about a cat who wears clothes! Anyway, these 2 represent 2 choices that Haru has: stay in the Cat Kingdom- which in some ways is a pleasant and easy escape, or to take the risk of returning to the real world and her mundane life where she is perpetually late to school and will surely have to struggle with all the 'real' issues of growing up.

This film is charming and silly and is great for a lighthearted view with kids- esp if they are 8-12 year old girls. But, older teens and adults can enjoy Miyazake's innumerable talents for symbol and storytelling if they decide to look a little deeper.

image credit: http://media.photobucket.com/image/the%20cat%20returns/CatsShadow16/the_cat_returns-haru-umbrella.png#!oZZ6QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fmedia.photobucket.com%2Fimage%2Fthe%20cat%20returns%2Fpinkfolks%2Fcat.jpg%3Fo%3D6