Monday, February 1, 2010

Jim and the Moon

My therapist (whose name is Jim) said that he had a client who was, in his opinion, reading the Bible too much. This same client had another favorite read. He liked to read Playboy magazine. So the therapist told his client that he should read the Bible less, and Playboy magazine more.

Jim surprised himself by the advice he gave. But it was his gut instinct as to what was healthiest in the situation. My therapist said that he imagined that his parents were spinning in their graves for their son to have had given such advice.

My therapist's favorite hero is John Lennon. There is a framed print on his wall that he is very proud of. It is signed in the corner with a huge scrawl, "John". Whenever Jim talks about John Lennon he gets excited and waves in the general direction of his print. It is a pen line drawing by Lennon of the famous bed protest, where he and Yoko Ono stayed in bed, and gave interviews to journalists, to promote world peace.

I am certain that John Lennon would have given a troubled young man the same advice to read Playboy over the Bible.

My therapist is Jungian. That means that 1)he has read all of Jung's writings and agrees enthusiastically with them and 2)he practices an art form with his clients of analyzing dreams and fantasies. That this should be an "art form" is Jim's words. He feels that when he is practicing therapy he is creating art.

Jim is doing something right. All I know is that as long as I go see Jim once a week I am not bothered by suicidal thoughts. And I feel better about me being me.

Jim was mighty interested in why, when I was psychotic more than twenty years ago, I wanted to blow up the moon. Apparently Jung felt that the moon was an important symbol. As Jim explained it, the moon is a vehicle by which all souls get to the earth. By my removing the existence of the moon, I was saying that I could not get to the earth. Certainly being earthbound was something that I lacked while I was psychotic.

Immediately when Jim told me this I thought of Hieronymus Bosch's painting, "The Ship of Fools". I have an illustration of my painting in a book about art by the nun Sister Wendy Beckett. This is what Sister Wendy says about the painting;

In "The Ship of Fools" Bosch is imagining that the whole of mankind is voyaging through the seas of time on a ship, a small ship, that is representative of humanity. Sadly, every one of the representatives is a fool. This is how we live, says Bosch - we eat, drink, flirt, cheat, play silly games, pursue unattainable objects. Meanwhile our ship drifts aimlessly and we never reach the harbor. The fools are not irreligious, since prominent among them are a monk and a nun, but they are all those who live "in stupidity". Bosch laughs, and it is a sad laugh. Which one of us does not sail in the wretched discomfort of the ship of human folly? Eccentric and secret genius that he was, Bosch not only moved the heart, but scandalized it into full awareness. The sinister and monstrous things that he brought forth are the hidden creatures of our inward self-love; he externalizes the ugliness within, and so his misshapen demons have an effect beyond curiosity. We feel a hateful kinship with them. "The Ship of Fools" is not about other people. It is about us.

I have a dark view of mankind, to think of this painting when I think of souls bound, from the moon, to earth. Next therapy session I will bring Sister Wendy's book into my session and show the picture to Jim. Jim had never heard of the painter Hieronymus Bosch.

I know we can't really afford it, but I am thinking about buying a small prayer rug that my husband saw in a local shop. It is hand-made, new, and has a design with two fishes on it. It is only about 18" x 18". My husband thought he could put it on top of his witch box. The witch box serves currently as a table for his laptop computer. But the solid, varnished, pine box contains all of his religious implements he has collected over the years to use in his solitary rituals of worship, and thus, it is a sacred thing. I would like to buy this rug and give it as a surprise gift to my husband on Valentine's Day. My husband so rarely wants anything for himself. But I know, that if I buy this rug, it will be a foolish thing. We don't absolutely need it. But oh, what a surprise it would be! And my husband will know, absolutely with this gift, that he is loved.

Tomorrow I bring the car to a mechanic's shop to get fixed. We don't know what is wrong with it, but sometimes when you go over a bump, and more often when you simply make a tight turn, the car makes a thump under the front driver's side. My husband guesses that there is a bolt loose. I am afraid that something more serious is going on. The thumping has been going on for years. But we ignored it because it was so intermittent. Now it is more regular.

I have taken money out of savings and put some into the checking account specifically to pay the mechanic. Because we don't know what is wrong with the car, we don't know how much to transfer.

If the cost of fixing the car is little, then I'm definitely going to buy my husband the present. If it is a lot, then I should not buy the prayer rug.

I have to wake tomorrow at 7am to bring the car to the mechanic by the time the shop opens at 8am. The shop is a fifteen minute walk from my house, so I can walk home afterwords. Then I'll wait for a phone call, telling me hopefully that the car has been fixed and that I can pick it up. I will then walk back to the mechanic's shop. It sounds simple but this little duty is a source of anxiety for me. All I want is the lull of familiarity. To wake, cruise the internet for news, and put in two uninterrupted, concentrated hours of writing on my book. To wake, and to never dress, never leave my bed, for three to five hours.

The only trouble with my plan for tomorrow is that today I woke at 11am. I went to sleep last night at 10pm. That is 13 hours of sleep. This is because of my medication interaction. It is frustrating to be on the medication that I am on because the time that I am awake and conscious is diminished. Life lived is diminished.

I have to take my medication very early tonight and pray that I fall asleep early so that I can wake early. Of course I will have my alarm set, and will physically be awakened at 7am, only, I may be in a medicated stupor. The sleepy stupor, forcing your eyes to stay awake and your body to move, feels horrible. I am reading a book, a fantasy novel about magicians in England, that moves slowly and is a tad boring. Hopefully reading this book will help me fall asleep early tonight.

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