Reading Pedersen, Dark Hearts, notes from the chapter on the Oedipal Wound
Referencing Freud’s view that incest is a child’s “wish to possess sexually one parent or the other,” Pedersen states that this view of possession is too narrow. When applied to men and their mothers, it delayed understanding of their possessive urge. Pedersen believes that incest should be thought of as a “symbolic regressive longing for what the mother represents.”
My mother did so many thing right. I mourn for the relationship that I perceive us once having. Not one of my peers was treated as well when sick. Whether it was a common cold or a pernicious flue, she waited upon me while I stayed in bed.
Lying there, I could set my life around the lower bookshelf adjacent to my pillow. My radio, my books, and my writings were at the ready. When they were not enough, I could recall the toy soldiers under my bed.
Having the soldiers so close to my border was one more privilege of illness. Normally, by her command they bunked in the closet across the room. Sick days were an exception. A boy not feeling well could never be expected to walk across the room.
Belonging, once so important, is fading with age. I want my belongings warm and fuzzy. If not, I abandon them. Younger, I would have stuck them out, but not to gain healthy introspection. Back in the day belonging was born out of desperate need. As to where desperate went, I will save my conjectures for another time.
When in the process of joining something new, I engage in a memory of a past belonging. An almost forgotten scene arrives in my mind. Not only with personalities, but with warm and fuzzy enzymes that provide the comforts of acceptance. So powerful are these belongings that they can simultaneously feed my need for community and my desire not to be alone.
A most important memory of belonging is family. When I was living at home as a boy and received an invitation to dinner, it is not the food I remember as much as the attentions from which I was called. I was most always engaged in a creative moment and it is these moments I bring back inclusive of the familiar voice of my mother saying, “Bob, dinner is ready.”
Offering me her best and on a consistent schedule provided me a time when I could be at the top rung of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. My needs of basic necessity well provided, I was not only fed in body, but in soul.
My mother, an excellent cook, presented an attractive table, inclusive of table cloth and cloth napkins. She always had a center piece which frequently included fresh flowers and lit candles. Our conversations were friendly and engaging. All of this I thought normal.
Unfortunately, puberty arrived and upset our pyramid of needs. Normal was trumped by natural and for this my mother and I proved ill equipped.
Writing a memoir, especially one that includes exploration of the dark side of everything, including God, is hard work. It makes me want to go to analysis because I have begun to see much I haven’t see before. Stuff I didn’t even know existed. Amina is one.
Loren Pedersen writes, “the more in touch with the inner feminine a man is, the more comfortable he is likely to be with inner self-exploration. The anima, as a potential connection to his unconscious, may appear personified in his dreams and fantasies.”
When I picked up his book Dark Hearts, one that was leant to me, I had little interest. That was at the beginning of August. I am now the proud owner of the book and reading it at the fast clip of about two pages a day. No meat here. Hah!
James Hillman writes in Insearch: psychology and religion, “The ego, with its light attempts to ferret out causes in hidden recesses of the personality, searches for detailed childhood memories, promotes sweet sessions of silent introspection.
In his book Housing the Environmental Imagination, Dr. Peter Quigley writes, ” By being the most prominent extension of the imaginative into the physical realm, houses are full of communication: they are political statements, social commentary, as well as embodied aesthetic projects.”
Yesterday The Boston Globe published a picture of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s house that just sold in California as well as the new one being built in Massachusetts. The “old one” was a huge house, over eighteen thousand square feet. New one is down sized. Looks to be only about ten thousand square feet. Statement lost per square foot?
This old tree has become part of me. We, twenty years living here, have enjoyed having it by our side.
We saw it survive winds and ice, enjoy heat and humidity, but now to save it requires major pruning. It might not be enough. Eighty years old we figure. It has seen so much, a youngster in the 1930’s.
Born years before us, it is time. I hope it does not hurt. I hope it understands. Trees falling apart are dangerous. They don’t mean to be.