I have not written much lately … maybe it looks like I am living life too much on a beach, maybe I am tripping myself up again, gettin’ serious… missing my other sons and their lives on other continents, and my friends, the ones who are not here. Then along comes Sidey with a weekend theme AMBIVALENCE and along comes Kate with a post titled As Different as Night and Day, and Speccy with “Dull Days” and these wonderful virtual online friends and their wisdom and wit and gentleness produce the usual slash of envy before I settle in to a different (hopefully better) state of mind.
Ambivalence. A beautiful picture taken as night fell on the west side last week, beauty brings many different feelings. [The sun did indeed rise again next day].
John Bowlby, now long ago, is one of those who changed the paradigm of western upbringing of children, and thus our adult world, by drawing attention to the ordinariness of attachment. [One of his books was called The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds]. And he made a big thing of Ambivalence, saying something like:
Ambivalence describes an INTERNAL CONDITION OF HEALTH when conflict is allowed. The person (child or adult ) is aware of the existence within him/herself of contradictory impulses but is able to direct and control them. The anxiety and guilt which they engender is bearable.
As Kate says: “Because life is never that simple. It is never polarised. We keep contradictory feelings in our hearts, in some dark cellar where they cannot remind us of them. Our minds are built to tune out such dissonance, yet the mixed emotions are part and parcel of the way we are.
It is only by allowing ourselves to meet the other half of our feelings – the night-girl living in our subconscious – that we can be most truly us.”
A state of mind. It always seems to start with ME, maybe it has to, then it moves, sometimes me and ‘you’, or me and anyone, sometimes for you or for us, sometimes just jumps to complexity everywhere, conflict, difference, discomfort. Who am I to understand it? So just in case I get too serious, here is another picture of young truly affectionate friends enjoying their 4th July.
For those who do not know, the redhead in the middle is my first grandchild, the one who inadvertently started off all the travelling around that I do now.