Monday, September 02, 2013


Sometimes my conversations with MVOR are inconsequential, they float away into the atmosphere as soon as I leave the comfort of that cosy little room.  Other times the conversation has stayed with me dancing on my shoulder and poking me with a pitchfork like a little devil so I never forget.

The Archetypes conversation we had last week has lingered around me and refusing to leave.

Like all our conversations, this started somewhere rather remote and eventually meandered in that same way it usually does, past the inadequacies of my upbringing and taking a right through my lack of self esteem and stumbling somewhere near the babbling brook of discontent until we reached the fairytale discussion.

If you think about it, we are all in our consciousness and at the very core a collection of archetypes.  That is how our point of reference for ourselves and the way in which we size up and identify each other.  Every story has its wicked witch, its naive traveler, a caregiver, a Prince.  There are those that look one way and act another like our friend The Beast and there are those that without doubt are exactly who they appear to be, like Snow White.  Love it or hate it archetypes are important to us.  How else would you know what I meant by Perfect Mother unless you already had an idea in your mind of what that would entail?  Even if your own Mother wasn't perfect at all, you would still have a projected ideal in your mind of what she should have been.

The fairytale discussion began with an unflattering description of someone in my life as the wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel.  MVOR agreed that this sounded consistent with my observations about her in previous discussions and so if that was true when who was I?

As the leading lady in my own sorrowful story you'd think that this would be an easy question to answer but I couldn't reconcile myself as a Red Riding Hood, Snow White or Belle.  There is no heroine for me to project forward.  MVOR heard my silence, as she often does... and in her perceptive way eventually prompted;  I thought that would be obvious.  Aren't you Cinderella?  She gave a multitude of good reasons why I should be.

I considered it for a long while but ultimately had to disagree.

I couldn't be Cinderella because Cinderella, like all leading heroines, is a character laden with hope and possibility.  You go into reading her story knowing that she will prevail.  Despite her lowly and doomed status as a servant to her Stepmother and horrid Stepsisters, success is still a certainty for her, like it is for all heroines.  I can't say that anything is a positive certainty for me.  The jury is still out on whether I will turn these lemons into lemonade or even if I will manage to maintain this exhausting balancing act of my life that can at best be described as a "status quo".  No, though I may indeed be in the soot and cinders, sleeping with the outcasts and edging my way along the fringes like our old friend Cinderella I'm not quite as entitled as she to a happy ending.  Who is to say I am?  What's the guarantee?  Not everyone ends up with love, family, money, security, health or self actualisation.  In fact, not even having one of them is a certainty.

MVOR explained that our archetypes and internal schemas are part of the image we have of ourselves and that which we project outwards.  Is it indeed a self fulfilling prophesy to see oneself in a certain light and to project that outwards, therefore inviting others to see us thus?  And so what do you do if your internal archetype is not positive or constructive?  Well this is a question for the ages.  I'm told it can change with a lot of perseverance and adjustments to our internal narrative.

So if my archetypal fairytale character is not Cindy, then what do you suppose I said?

I bought an album the other day for the first time in a loooooong time.  I don't tend to buy albums anymore.  I buy songs. I suppose we all do that now.  But this one... this one I bought.  I seem to be listening to this song a lot.  It takes me somewhere otherworldly.  Exactly what I need.

Pontoon - Emma Louise

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