"So, what's the symbology, there?"
"Symbology?...I'm sure the word you were looking for is symbolism. What is the symbolism?"
Willem Dafoe is so under-rated—or was, anyway, when I was big into mainstream films. Ed Norton was a recognized great, Kevin Spacey, Leo DiCaprio. Joaquin Phoenix was a bit less recognized. Al Pacino is a personal favorite, & Buscemi & De Niro. Cliché, yeah, but so were the times. But Willem Dafoe never got the credit he deserves. At least not back then, anyway, about 2008 or so, I haven't much followed anything since,—besides my reading—& I've no idea has he been recognized finally, like awards & such, received mainstream praise & applause.
For any more obscure films, however, or actors, or directors,—a finer taste—you'll have to find someone more well-versed in these things. Amir Motlagh comes immediately to mind. Or a guy I went to school with, Matt Roth, perhaps.
And, I'm not so versed on this topic, either, of which I intend to write, which it just popped into my head to try, symbolism. I'm only very slowly working my way through Jung on the "Unconscious" right now. And the depth of this guy's knowledge is embarrassing. It's humbling, like he knows everything there is to read, all these examples he can draw from for his psycho-analysis. Like he knows the entire story of man, as it's been told, & can connect any crazy thoughts that spring-up from the unconscious to something steeped in history.
Which I must comment, however, that though his knowledge is impressive, Jung's, his arguments are often a stretch, I feel like. Like where is he even pulling these examples from? How the hell does dreaming of eating a hot-dog at a ball-park on some Summer day relate to an ancient Mithraic religion which mentions in only one obscure paragraph of its already obscure text, that the winds come from the sun in a tube-like fashion, which represents a nose, which really stems from an even more ancient religion that used to represent the sun with hands & feet too. Which suggests the penis, of course, which is the source of everything.
It's a bit ridiculous. But for example, I'd never heard of this Mithraic religion till now. A religion that grew alongside Christianity in those early years—which, as Jung even puts it so lovely himself, about Christianity, that it had more of an "antagonist attitude to the beauties of this world," than the Mithrain belief based more off nature.
But this is the benefit of reading Jung, as I see it. Lifting the little gems of knowledge his vast learning drops as he logically stumbles-about proving his system of defining the unconscious. Which appears sound to me, this system, from what I can lift. Which isn't saying much, however, because I've no use for these logical arguments, really, they're just pretty decoration to me, otherwise useless unless they can make me think new, strange thoughts, these arguments, inspiring rather than trying to spoon-feed.
And Freud is supposed to come before Jung, too, I know, I did it completely backwards. Though I don't intend to move further along with Jung on his archetypes till I've got some Freud in the belly. But I'd figured, that to jump-ahead & read what Jung has to say on the unconscious first,—which seemed most immediately appealing to me—I'd be able to manage. However, I do find myself wishing I'd red Freud on interpreting "Dreams" first. Which is how it goes, but which is up-next, anyway.
So you see, I'm not very qualified to be speaking of these things, symbols & such, when I've not even digested the masters yet, themselves, myself. But I been thinking still. And this current turn-of-reading is likely the cause, that I've been noticing more of the symbols which I pay attention to, in my own life.
It's all about the colors, I been whispering to myself underneath my breath for about the passed 2 months, my little forays into oil painting.
And unlike these perverts, Jung & Freud, the penis isn't unconsciously on my mind all day, as they seem to be suggesting—only as far I've got in my reading, however. Or honestly, it may well be,—who knows?—& I've just not developed the ability to connect it all back yet. Which remains to be seen.
But when I think of symbols, a few immediately spring to my mind: the color purple, pines, owls, & the aegis, of Athena more particularly, but of Zeus too, & so, the planet Jupiter, the Gorgons, Medusa, snakes, apples, & Eves. Which writing that now, seeing it there, makes me recognize, that I've kind of been on this topic before, writing of druids & the colors of Eugene, purple, green, & brown. Pines are green, & owls are brown. Though it seems I've not really associated anything immediately with purple. My Twitter bio. reads red grapes—which I'd thought was just random, but I see the connection. And then there was this experience I had in Eugene too, in Oregon. When I looked round my nearly empty apartment, & it happened, like a revelation. Everything important to me was purple. The notebook I was then currently writing in, & the pen I was using, the opened computer screen, Ubuntu, the purple tint of the terminal, my purple backpack covering my boots, & the rosary made from the flowers of my sister's casket hanging from the inside doorknob of the cracked closet door. Which actually, now I see its importance, purple, writing it out. It was my sister's favorite color, as like a way to remember her, to see her still, I recognize purple, Death.
I kind of laugh now, too,—I have to—the purple pen in Eugene. How I'd wanted to be a writer since I was like 20 years-old, reading Tucker Max's Rudius Media web-forum back then, & through all these years practicing since. I've red & red & wrote & wrote. One day, I'll be a writer, I'd always said, I always knew, one day. And then university,—at 25 years-old though—& then I dropt-out, & then a bout of homelessness, & then driving the truck to finish paying-back the loan for university. And then finally, I was in Eugene, debt free, dis-illusioned no longer, the price paid for going against my instinct, that I never belonged at university in-the-first-place, nor at these damn jobs. After all that trial & error, all that time, here I am in Oregon, completely alone with a fresh slate again, finally, 29 years-old. I had to un-tangle myself completely from that mess.
But I still had no idea what I was doing yet, the whirlwind of that university-job-family life only just freshly escaped. And, like I said, though I'd been consciously reading in hopes of becoming a writer since I've been about 20 year-old, & writing in that time too, of course, trying to improve, through all my little adventures, it just didn't click yet. And here I was in Oregon, still so unsure of what to do with myself. All I really wanted at that point was a nice, easy, little job—a few days a week—to pay my tiny rent-payments, & give me money for food. That's it.
So I got the most mundane job you can possibly find, at a fabric store. My little bouts of homelessness had taught me a few things about fabric, to be particular about what you wear in what weather. And I know how to sew. Otherwise, it was a no-brain job.
But this damn job, right-away they were trying to get me to be on-call,—at a damn fabric store, can you believe it?—so that they could save money & only call me into work when they were absolutely swamped, completely desperate for help, overwhelmed with customers, than schedule me for full shifts on the regularly posted schedule. Now, I had no car too, mind you,—& likely never will again, either—& had to either take the bus into work, which was at least an hour commute, or else walk, which was 2 hours. And they wanted me to be on call! But, I don't want to get into all this, really. It makes me depressed, what these jobs are out here trying to get away with—& do, because there's always someone more desperate, or stupid.
So I had to tell the boss that she can go to hell, trying to call me into work like that, unless she wants to compensate me for being on-call, to pay me more money. Of course not. So to get her to leave me alone in the future, I flat-out lied to her face, laughing as I told her, that I don't have a phone, I just can't afford it. But if you want to be calling me to come into work, you can pay for my phone bill, if you'd like. She knew I was lying, I didn't care. But they were so short-staffed there. What could she do?
Anyway, I got my little 4 or 5 hour shifts 3 or 4 days a week for about 2 months steadily, it was all good. And though I wasn't paid shit, I was just covering the rent & food, everything was fine. Then Christmas-time came round.
Now, I don't know what it is with Eugene, but everyone there sews. The only thing more populus than fabric stores round there are weed stores. So, the place was crawling with customers round the holidays, this damn job. And of course, that little witch kept that place as under-staffed as she possibly could, the manager, trying to kiss the big-wig's ass, Regional or District,—or whatever, whatever—trying to show what a good little drone she is, how nicely she can keep the store under budget. So it was just me & her little flunky working one day, the assistant manager. And you couldn't even walk, this place was so packed full of people, it was like a carnival, I swear, I've never seen so many people packed into such a tiny store. But we were maintaining, me & the flunky.
Till the phone started ringing off-the-hook. Neither one of us had any hands left to answer it, we were so tied-up, all these damn customers. I had 3 cash registers open, bouncing back & forth, trying to get these people out of here, one set-up for cash, one for cards, & another for returns. And that damn phone rang & rang & rang. Till finally, I just took it off the hook, it was driving me nuts. Well, like 30 minutes later, the little wench who'd been calling, I suppose, comes into the store & marches over to the assistant manager, kicks-up a whole ruckus that she can't get through on the phone, she's been calling & calling, on & on. Assistant manager comes over & sees I took the phone off-the-hook, it's just dangling there above the floor, & she completely loses it, flips her shit, screaming at me in front of a store full of customers how much of an idiot I must be. I let her have her fill, just standing there letting her go. Till she finally runs out of wind. I laugh in her face & walk out the door.
So I was sitting in my apartment, which is no bigger than a cupboard, all alone in Oregon, Christmas-time. I'd stayed from going back to Illinois to be with my family in order to work that damn job, I'd needed it so desperately to pay the bills. And now, I have no source of income, either. What am I doing?
And that's when this little epiphany of purple happened. I was high as a kite on weed. So high that I was beginning to mildy hallucinate—if you've ever managed that with weed. Which it's legal there, anyway. And it was Christmas, & I was alone & broke & depressed. I was seeing little spots of color from off the Christmas lights I'd hung round the apartment, dancing all round my otherwise foggy vision. And through all that, these purple things were like flourescently glowing.
I was almost 30 years-old by then, a few months shy. And it hit me. There's no more one day. You are. Now. Be. Something like that.
And o' yeah, how I got started on this whole, big schpiel. The pen, it's like a penis. It's all about the penis, damnit.