Make Life a Mythic Journey
In order to seize hold of the fantasies, I frequently imagined a deep descent. … It was like a voyage to the moon…I had the feeling that I was in the land of the dead. … I caught sight of two figures … I summoned up the courage and approached them … and listened attentively to what they told me.
—-C, G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
It’s Mother’s Day, and like Jung I’ve fallen into a conversation with my mother who died over a decade ago. Her ashes scattered back into the earth. And like Jung, I “summoned up the courage” to engage in what he called “active imagination:”
Hi, Mom. It’s been a long time. How are you?
Oy, don’t ask. I’m not that well.
What’s bothering you?
It’s the gas pains. I thought I’d never have to worry about them again.
Can I help? I remember how you always had faith in enemas.
Mom! I never remember you using that language.
I know that was your father’s domain. No, I’m talking about those new-fangled gas wells where they fracture rocks and inject water to get gas. You know the farstunkene frackers! They’re killing me.
Mom, I’m confused. I thought you were already dead?
Well, I got news for you. That “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” stuff is only half the story. Now, I’m at one with the mother of all mothers, THE big momma. As the man says, “Hey, you never know!”
Wow! Can I help? What would you like for Mother’s Day?
Well, Dr. Hansen says I have a fever from acute carbonitis—too much carbon from burning too much oil. If it doesn’t stop, your big momma may just plotz.
Mom, I signed a petition opposing the XL pipeline.
What’s that an extra large enema?
Sort of. They want to extract the oil from the tar sands in Canada and transport it through the middle of the U.S. Mitt Romney is supporting it.
George Romney’s boy! George was such a nice man; built those cute little cars. I remember Charley Marcus had one; he drove your brother Ron to the hospital in it when he injured himself.
Well, the Republicans believe in “drill baby, drill!” And Romney drives big Caddys now.
Oy vey iz mir. His father just told me he’s very disappointed that Mitt is still so stubborn and determined to out do him. A real father complex he has.
Did George bully him or was it his strong Mormon parenting?
Mormon, shmormon! I’ve got gas pains and I think I’m getting a migraine. It’s not about Mitt being a Mormon. I’m worried that he’s trying to turn the country–the planet–into Utah! You know, all salt lakes and dessert!
What can I do, Mom?
Turn off the lights. I’ve got to lie down. And maybe you can replace them all with energy efficient LEDs. That can be your Mother’s Day present.
Paul Marshall Wortman
May 13, 2012