Wednesday, August 8, 2012

present in her wholeness

Opened up Carl Jung's Memories, Dreams, and Reflections this morning to another woman & centering reference.

I had the feeling that the confidence and self-assurance of her manner were founded to a great extent upon her identity with her own wholeness - her private world made up of children, house, small livestock, and - last but not least - her not-unattractive physique. My hostess was plainly and unproblematically the embodiment of stability... The question did not seem to be whether or not her husband was there, but rather whether she was present in her wholeness, providing a geomagnetic center.

There is a lot to unpack here, or, this sums it up and gets to the core of being a woman. It's okay for - maybe there's no way to escape that - our identity comes from our relationships, our home, our work, and yes, our state of beauty (which has everything to do with grooming, health, and artistry, not necessarily our natural build and facial structure).

Jung was visiting Africa when he wrote this, and contrasting what he saw in this local woman with what he experienced in European women. It's interesting that he experienced her as not centered around her man (despite that she was one of two wives and had no "job outside the home") -- something most of us westernized women would agree is both healthy, and sometimes challenging to master. Or something we are at least pressured to do, from leftover traditional perspectives, fringe Christian influences, and romantic movies.

This is a good image for being yourself in partnership - the double-wedding-ring quilt. Man and woman as intersecting circles.