Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing better than a Brick

A colleague from work, many years ago, was aways saying to me, "ye canna get better than a brick, man". He was a Geordie from Newcastle and a bricklayer to trade. I can still hear him saying that and he was right of course. Bricks are a gift from the Gods - they signify the start of creation. The first laying down of bricks represents the beginning of a settled life, of towns and cities. Mankind ceases to be nomadic and selects a fixed place to live. We can all recognise these narrow bricks so typical of the Greeks and Romans. This is the garden at Mount Olympus, formerly a port on a river - it's now several kilometers inland. Neatly preserved, it's well worth a visit if you are in Northern Greece. I cannot recall what manner of place this was but it looks like a foundation of some sort. As such it corresponds to the unconscious - the bits about which we are relatively unaware. Yet it may be composed of very good bricks. I remember an old fashioned expression of admiration - "you're a brick!". In other words, "you are solid and reliable.". And Jung talked about the brick that was rejected by the builders. He felt that held great meaning when applied to the psyche, because the bits of our selves that we reject turn out to be the most worthwhile.