Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012.02.02 — Half Face and More fushigis*

Over the last few weeks I've collected some of the tiniest of fushigis.
None big enough to warrant blogging, except as a small collection.

However, today I experienced an incredible one that needs immediate blogging. So, here it is. I'll blog the petite ones after that.

It began with RT, who is a serious reader. RT only recently healed a many year library rift and almost immediately thereafter managed to return a book late! This morning she asked me if she'd told me about her interesting library experience. I said 'No' with a little hesitation, unsure what she meant, exactly, by 'experience.' RT had told me about the late book and the kindness of the library worker to waive the charge a couple of weeks ago, I think. So...

'Have you ever seen anyone with half their face missing?' RT asked.

'No, not exactly.' RT proceeded describe a man, rather tall and who from behind was elegant in appearance. When he turned she saw that half his face was missing and that his eyes were unnaturally positioned. It turned out that he is one of the library's librarians.

'He was eloquent when he spoke,' RT commented, 'which I found remarkable.' The conversation carried on for several more minutes about what kind of struggles he must have experienced — and continues to face.

RT added that she's seen two other people similarly deformed, which I think in itself is unusual.

Okay, this conversation is certainly an unusual event. I do not remember ever having been asked if I'd seen anyone with half a face before. However, after I got home from work I picked up Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal edited by Roderick Main, New York: Princeton University Press, 1998, ISBN 0691058377
to continue reading where I'd left off the previous night: page 61, with the section titled: From: Foreword to Moser: "Spuk: Irrglaube oder Wahrglaube?" (CW 18). [Ghosts: False Belief or True?] Where it got interesting was in the anecdote Jung supplied to the book. It was his own ghostly encounter in a farm house in England in 1920. After relating many peculiar experiences, he wrote:

The fifth weekend was so unbearable that I asked my host to give me another room. This is what had happened: it was a beautiful moonlight night, with no wind; in the room there were rustlings, creakings, and hangings; from outside, blows rained on the walls. I had the feeling there was something near me, and opened my eyes. There, beside me on the pillow, I saw the head of an old woman, and the right eye, wide open, glared at me. The left half of the face was missing below the eye. The sight of it was so sudden and unexpected that I leapt out of bed with one bound, lit the candle, and spent the rest of the night in an armchair. The next day I moved into the adjoining room, where I slept splendidly and was no longer disturbed during this or the following weekend (p66; par774 of CW18).
Now for the small ones.

2012.02.04: My friend BY sent me an e.mail while convalescing. He suggested that I watch the movie The Tree of Life with Brad Pitt. He wants my opinion because the movie group with which we are affiliated gave it a WTF? rating, and BY wanted my reaction. [I haven't watched it yet.] Later in February I find myself analyzing a couple of dreams, one by BH and the other by AF which have small 'tree of life symbols' in them.

2012.02.17: At work I bumped into my friend TK, which I rarely do: our desks are diametrically opposed on a very big floor. And so we chatted and caught up a little bit. TK's mom is losing her memory to a now significant degree, and this is causing worry and sometimes rather humorous events and inconvenient ones. Recently, for example, she lost her purse and wallet with all the headache that entails. It has not been returned — yet.

The next day I dropped off a blouse with our local tailor to be re-sown for my wife. I've done this kind of thing 8 or 10 times in the last 2 years or so, and so as a kind of regular I have a discount punch card — which is still not even close to being punched out. When putting it back in my wallet, I commented about how many cards we stuff into our wallets these days. The tailor said 'Oh yes, tell me about it. Someone stole my purse and wallet! Replacing all those cards is trouble!"

2012.02.20: I was listening to The Signal Podcast #40 that I'd downloaded onto iTunes from CBC Radio2's site. (A few months ago I downloaded all 74 of them from their web-page, but now the web page is being 'improved', so I'm not sure how well it is currently working.) I was amused when the host, Laurie Brown commented jokingly about 'numinous'. An unusual word, that, which is why she had fun with it.
Aidan Baker … really does explore that sonic world of drones and textures and some of this is composed and some of this is improvised, but it is trying to create a liminal or numinous state. Numinous: having a strong religious or spiritual quality indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity. And liminal: relating to the point or threshold beyond which the sensation becomes too faint to be experienced. Oh yeah, I've been there, for sure!
[For the curious, here's the link to Aidan Baker's Liminoid.]

The following morning I read on page 18 of Roderick Main's introduction to Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal:
… [Jung] also suggests a possible psychological dynamic to explain how an activated archetype might result in synchronicities: the presence of the active archetype is accompanied by numinous effects, and this numinosity or affectivity results in a lowering of the mental level, a relaxing of the focus of consciousness (p18).

2012.02.21: At work, NR came over to my desk and asked me to listen to a song on his iPod. Thus I found myself listening to, for the first time despite all the media hoopla, a Taylor Swift song — I don't remember the name of it, and didn't find it in Youtube just now. [But while looking for it watched the start of her song Mean, which at the 26 second mark shows a high school or college football team bullying a member. I note this because on the TV behind me tonight is the feel good football movie The Longshots about a female quarterback on a high school football team.] A couple of hours later, when I got home, my wife was watching Ellen on TV. Ellen's guest was Taylor Swift. Addendum: I found the song NR had me listen to on Swift's web site: Safe and Sound.

2012.02.25: Yesterday it would appear that I contracted food poisoning from a local sushi place. That is not definitive because the symptoms were relatively slow to develop, but I had an upset stomach since early morning and it got increasingly worse. And I was very tired when I got back from shopping chores and went for a nap, which I NEVER do. When I woke I had the feeling I would be spending an extended time face-to-face with the toilet. And I was correct. Starting around 6:30 or so I visited the bathroom with serious diarrhoea. Then several sets of dry heaves. Then more diarrhoea and three giant heaves into the sink. The diarrhoea continued until very late the following day, but no more puking. On Monday, the 27th, I asked BH how the Saturday concert was — Vancouver's Plastic Acid. It began badly and BH had to keep SH from leaving in the first five minutes. But then it got better and was okay. Except that about ten minutes in BH began to smell vomit. A woman had crossed to exit a few minutes before that, and then came back. BH is convinced that she threw up in the somewhere behind her in the theatre.

2012.02.26: Oscar night. My wife is a big fan of the glitz and glitter. Me not so much, but it was on. I was mostly busy doing other stuff, writing, and watching something else. When the ads came on I flipped around the stations as I always do and I noticed that the amusing Goldie Hawn movie Overboard is on. I've seen it a half dozen times. I didn't think anything more about it until at some point during the Oscars, when I was downstairs, I happened to catch one of the personal vignettes this Oscars had. In particular Reese Witherspoon commenting on her absolute favourite movie, which is Overboard.

2012.02.27: While driving home from work I was listening to CBC Radio 2's show Shift with Tom Allan. Tom likes to bring in tweet items, and his approach and items are often interesting. This one caught my ear, because it pointed us to a recent study that argues that the human requirement for eight hours of sleep is a myth. Okay, nothing earth shaking about that, except that for the first time in more than a year I'd woken up this morning after a full and uninterrupted eight hour sleep.

2012.02.28: Now this one I find particularly funny. It began a few days earlier when I gave to my clerk the details of a billing letter I had hobbled together and needed to be sent out. RT came to me to confirm that I hadn't made a typo with the contractor's name. It was a reasonable query, because the company had put the word 'werk' in their name in place of the word 'work'. I assured RT that I'd copied the name from the e.mail I'd received from the contractor. Well, this morning I received a call from the contractor's receptionist. She was confused by the letter. It turns out that I had made a typo — with the address of the construction site — a '3' instead of a '4.' Furthermore, the name of the owner was also incorrect, and that I had copied from the e.mail I'd received from the contractor. This is the first letter in ten years of being at that job that I've got a call about a typo — not that they haven't happened of course, but not so significantly as to compromise the integrity to the point of it being unacceptable and require a phone call. Imagine: a proper business letter goes out that contained two typos, one I'd created, one someone else had, each highly compromising, and that same letter provoked a query to confirm that there wasn't a typo on the weird spelling of a word that was indeed correctly spelled.

2012.02.29: In the Goodreads WSS group a story submitted prompted a big Jungian discussion about 'slaying the dragon.' I gave a rather extended discussion about the dragon being an ambivalent symbol. It began with a question from M:
[egajd], it seems to me that in depth psychology, slaying a monster is metaphorical for what a man must accomplish in order to break the crippling psychological and emotional hold his mother has over him. Do you remember having read anything about that?
The prompt began with the presence of a dragon in the story by Lydia. As I was writing my rather long response about the ambivalence of slaying dragons, which includes a side comment about the TV show The Dragon's Den, I heard from my wife's TV, who was watching American Idol, Randy Jackson praising a singer for slaying her dragon.

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