Something about September–
There’s something about September, that’s what’s in my head, in my body, what my experience is saying to me.
But wait Kel, it’s not September, it’s October, the second week in fact, so really that waft of sensual that grabs me from behind and muscles the back of my legs, that sturdiness of roots and wave of melancholy at once, that sharp plug in the air, it’s more apt to say–
There’s something about the fall.
I associate it with a tribe of mad-artist minds I know from college. I used to tell them we had K-necctions, the K stood for Karma. Not the Buddhist kind. Rather the Psyche-is-alive kind, an idea that comes to life when we dive deep into our own inner world to create. What we don’t work out we act out, and who knows this better than the artist in mid-creation? Psyche is psychic then, how what we don’t bring forth in creation we bring forth in our daily going ons. This is Carl Jung’s synchronicity, where Joe Campbell got “Follow your bliss.”
As a depth psychologist in training, one of the central philosophical tenants with which I continually experiment is, in the words of Joseph Coppin and Elizabeth Nelson, “the psyche is real.” Meaning I take as an approach to life the “reality of the unconscious and the whole psyche, which includes consciousness and the unconscious.”
It is the ancient wisdom then of gnothi seaton, Know Thyself, and continual experimentation with how I relate.
Mad artist minds–do they see themselves as this complex I wonder? Specifically as these days I believe them to be even madder still, of that divine-touched-by-madness-spark. Mad-eyed, with Image on the Mind. How psyche speaks in symbol, in image through sound or picture or sense or feeling. Artists friends that became musicians for the most part, but extend to people like K Russ on the soccer field with her girls in the daylight, at night her fingers full with paint. Or Chico, who still posts drawings on FB “just to draw.” Or Kate, with her anarchist leanings and class full of fifth grade. Or Erika, who enlivens psyche to extremes as raw and ruthless as actual visitations.
The mad ones get it’s a life thing, a way of life thing, the delving inward to express outward, the whole cyclical process of creating and how we create ourselves in the process, and struggle through. It’s a way of life, not an outcome. That’s something I associate with college because that’s where I first met others like me, in a myopic little east coast rural river-run place called Chestertown. And since that’s where I learned it was real, it’s somehow what I always find myself re-experiencing in the fall. You know, when the body remembers going back to school.
Thinking of fall there, east coast yellow–that dark-shadowed late afternoon picnic gold–smell of chimney smoke in the air, geese honks and marsh salt or sulfur smell high in the nose so it sits in your throat–it’s made me somehow more compassionate of chicken-headed California. Because I am more compassionate of my self. Of the artist in me. Psyche speaks and I answer now, I fall to my knees in awe and gratitude and trepidation and why me and why not? It seizes me, I give my all to it, I’ve always traded all for that call to finally understand that all is that call, psyche is everything. Being me, with a level of self-compassion and love and tolerance for my neurotic artist up/downs and passions and needs and funny flighty extremes, well it helps me just let all the others around me be them. Shallow or inconsiderate or whatever falsities I label them. Mad-eyed or not. California perfect blue sky and endless sun.
And that’s just the thing–psyche is real, so, aren’t we all an artist of our own life? In conversation with it, or else trying to busily ignore this Holy and Odd Sacred Within?
Who knows. Maybe most are asleep to their own life because no one ever told them: Psyche is alive, it’s true…
My tribe’s been with me like crazy these past two weeks, so much I feel them like bodies sleeping and sighing in my very own room. Up down motion of in and out chests.
Thank goodness for fall.