You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘fears’ tag.

The shredder’s whine and engorgement of previously valid documents reminds me of the ego’s painful process of letting go—Certainly, the experience, for most of my life.   

My collection of paper caricatures of who I thought was began with baptism and communion and confirmation as drawn up by the parish church, followed by signatures on vow formulas, as a nun, and later, on its dispensation granted by the Vatican in Rome. I was also collecting paper degrees, with corresponding certifications as teacher, as social worker, and as hospital chaplain, each of which substantiated my identity. Outside of what I did for a living, I had no identity.

With the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis came more reports from internists, rheumatologists, and surgeons, results of lab and x-ray work-ups, and a spiral bound notebook for notes, remembered from office visits.

Then, came the three-year marriage: with more signatures at City Hall, at the church, followed by the divorce decree and the subsequent annulment. The bottom drawer of my desk housed these documents; it remained shut until the next change. Never did I ever know whom everyone was describing. It seemed like someone else.

And it was. Only after a series of painful dreams did I seek Jungian analysis in 1988. Thus began close listening and study of my unconscious that was desperately seeking to be heard. Imperceptibly, I began to change: the fruit of daily recording my dreams and their meanings, enclosed within thirty-two loose-leaf binders that lined my bookshelves.

With my 2001 retirement, I began serious writing and Twelve Step work on my character defects. The rest is in print.

The shredder’s power to re-constitute whatever it was fed is like another Power who has reshaped my past: it is me and not me, at the same time, with conscious contact of my Higher Power.

Millennia ago, wise mothers stitched rag dolls to help assuage the fears of their growing daughters, a common practice in the known world. The British Museum displays such a creation made of coarse linen and stuffed with rags and papyrus; it was entombed with the remains of a little girl and dates from the first to the fifth centuries in the Common Era.

Egyptian papyri also describe young girls, on the threshold of becoming women, ritually sacrificing their rag dolls to the goddess.

And a review of our country’s history also reveals the prominent place of rag dolls: the faceless ones made of flat pieces of wood in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the cornhusk dolls of the Amish; the topsy-turnabout rag dolls among southern slaves; the spoon dolls of prairie settlers. Presumably, these doll-carriers became mothers and provided for their daughters in a similar way.

Although we parade around as adults, fears still set us on edge, even swamp us at times. To whom or what do we cling, until unspooked?

My rag doll keeps me company atop my fridge and laughs!

She resembles the Fool on the Hill.





Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: