A Jungian Thought

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

“…but it you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet yourself. And you will say, ‘Yes’ .”

I love these words of Marion Woodman. I guess you could say I relate to them. I didn’t learn them growing up in my own Canadian culture. For in Canada, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. No, I learned to live these words in the 1980s when I lived in beautiful Dangriga Town, on the shores of the Caribbean nation, Belize.

It was dear old Miss Josie Lambey,  my “Garifuna mother” as she liked to call herself, who taught me to sit quietly and to listen as she told me the stories of her long life. We prepared foufou together over her little fire pit stove underneath her raised, little shanty in Bengueche district. Over time, she told me the story of her life.

Slowly we would simmer the coconut milk we had squeezed from the pulp, not ever letting it boil. That’d ruin the texture of  the fish – make it like rubber, she used to say. And then, she would begin, slowly unravelling another chapter of her life. We would eat together, sitting each in our own hammock and so many times after eating the heavy meal, mid-sentence Miss Jo would just drift off to sleep.

At first, I thought it best that I just get up and leave. But, Ms. Josie didn’t think so. She was vexed, she told me the next day. I didn’t understand. She said she was vexed with me because I had left before her story had ended. That’s as bad as interrupting a story she told me. From that day on, I always waited for her to wake up from her nap and finish the story.

I’ve thought a lot about what Miss Josie taught me those days: she taught me to just slow down; to take time to listen; I don’t have to fill in the sounds of silence with chatter or activities. Sometimes, she said, you just need to sit down and rest awhile and know that the best is  yet to come.

Funny, but in just sitting there, so many afternoons, waiting for Miss Josie to wake up from her slumber I learned the significance of Ms. Woodman’s words. In learning to listen with both my ears and more importantly with all my heart, I came to hear the larger, universal meaning of her stories.  The long pauses of her naps were just periods of mental and alimental digestion for me. As I swung back and forth in my hammock pondering her words, I couldn’t help but see that no matter where we come from, we really are not very different at all – at least not in our hearts.

Guess you could say that Miss Josie taught me that silence really is golden; that listening is equally golden.  I learned a lot about myself those long and golden afternoons, hanging and swinging, just waiting to listen to more of this story of  the life of this dear, old woman.

Go well and speak from your heart.

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