Through a Jungian Lens

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Symbols That Nourish

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A walk through the hills a few days ago allowed me to photography this Mule deer (as well as another found in a different valley) as I walked up and down hills in warm sunshine.  This is a doe, a female Mule deer.  As I walked I didn’t get to see a partner as the second deer I saw was also a doe.  This photo has the doe beginning to move across the fields after she had stood still for a long time while I took photos.  She didn’t even move as I came closer.  It was only when I started to move on, away, that she decided to move.  I couldn’t believe my luck in having such a cooperative subject for my photography.

Now of course there is symbolism, significant meaning for me when it comes to deer.  The first deer I remember seeing was as a youth of 13 when I was riding with a family friend.  This friend, a farmer and rancher, stopped his half-ton truck and calmly shot the deer even though it was out of season.  I learned quickly that a deer was food, that a deer nourished those living in nature.  The second encounter I remember (and it is always what one remembers) occurred during a night ride through the forests north of Lake Superior as the family drove east on a return to the city where I was born.  It was late and I was the only one awake besides my father who was driving.  I was 15 at this time.  Though family life seemed to falling apart and I was again forced to go within at the loss of yet another school and the new friends I was beginning to make, this deer at the side of the road seemed to be telling me that I would be okay.  Strangely enough, the deer on the side of the road was a male, a buck.

I have seen more deer than I could care to count over the years since then.  Sometimes I was hunting with a rifle for food, sometimes I was hunting with a camera for my soul, a different kind of nourishment.



Written by Robert G. Longpré

July 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm

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