Through a Jungian Lens

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Relocated, Rebuilt and Refinished

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I took this photo in a village called XueJia.  This village is under the administration of Changzhou city government.  City government here is different than what is found in Canada.  The mayor of the city is actually mayor of all the minor cities, the towns and all the villages in the region.  Each of these minor urban areas have a vice-mayor.  The structure in this photo was originally located in the centre of Changzhou.  With the move to create a modern high-rise city centre, this building was moved to the village, piece by piece and rebuilt and given a new outer finish as an attempt to keep some of the historical Changzhou alive.

In a way, this makes me think of how I have done almost the same thing with my “self.”  I am not necessarily talking about a physical relocation, but a relocation in consciousness.  I think of how one has to almost reinvent “self” when leaving home as a five or six-year old and become a student; I think of how this process is repeated over and over again as one passes through various transition points throughout one’s life.  One is constantly finding a need to reposition “self” in terms of community, family and self-awareness.

I am finding that in a physical relocation into a culture and place that is “foreign,” I am better able to see myself.  The strangeness prevents me from projecting so much of myself onto others.  I see myself, rather, in contrast to the strangeness.  And I wonder at what I discover in the process.  With the new bits of “self” uncovered from the rubble in the shadows, I find myself busy with putting these pieces of self into a mosaic with the other pieces I am familiar with, as though building a new character in some novel.  I am careful not to put a “finish” onto the new version of “Robert” as I know that there is more yet to come to add to the image.


7 Responses

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  1. i realized (again) that my dilema has in part much relation to what you are describing above. in rebuilding myself internally, there is that awareness (or just fear?) that i am not sure what i actually look like and so there is a constant pressure(hunger?) for affirmation of some sort…

    a puzzle with no box.

    some pieces, yes, there is no doubt they belong here… click. Ahhh…
    but other pieces are vague, secretive – they do not give themselves up to my questing fingers and thoughts so easily… is that a connection or no? am i really seeing what i think i see, or am i drifting off into some fantasy of old habit that i know does not serve the more authentic me i am trying to construct?…

    further on that, in the construction process there is also a ‘deconstruction’ that happens… it too is punctuated with relief, ah-ha, confusion and pain…

    i will say, it is a nice comfort to hear similar sounds coming out of the dark… thank you for putting yourself out there (here).
    (and thanks for your comments)


    October 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    • It is rare that the pieces give themselves up as we try to “force” the shadows to give up their secrets. Yes, deconstruction is part of the process – or should I say that the energy just rearranges itself into a new pattern. Nothing added, nothing taken away.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      • yes. the hopefully what is ‘lost’ is simply the attachment to the skin that no longer fits (this is also somewhat scary and sometimes painful…
        i have often wondered how it is for snakes… do you think it is just itchy?


        October 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

      • What is lost is still within. It has just lost it’s power “over” self and been internalised.

        Robert G. Longpré

        October 26, 2010 at 6:37 am

  2. Another enjoyable and applicable post, Robert. It touches close in my life, as I have recently moved to another state and returned to a previous occupation. A peace has returned to my “soul” in my renewed closeness to the mountains and the outdoors that I so love. While the adjustment to this new life isn’t complete yet, my family has noticed a very positive difference in me, their dad and husband. Your post resonates deeply, Sir. It’s another wonderful cause for reflection and a challenge to continue that inward examination. Thank you.


    October 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    • Seerkraz, I’ve been following your story with interest 🙂 I think that we all touch each other at some level.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      • Thank you for your interest, Robert, and I agree that we all probably touch each other at some level. Would we say that’s all a part of our collective unconscious, or maybe just part of the commonality of our human experience? Whichever it is, I see some truth in the relationship. Thank you again, Sir. 🙂


        October 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

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