Thursday, June 10, 2010

Poison Ivy

Ivy is known symbolically for its persistence and endurance - no more than in Ballsbridge where it twines round trees and encroaches on walls, threatening to bring both to the ground. This seldom happens because the two go into symbiosis. Many an old gravestone has crumbled to dust when generations of ivy are removed! Dionysus is oft pictured in a cloak of ivy. It was quite a favourite of the Gods - Cybele was very keen and Attis too. Because of the myth of the eternal homecoming, it has female connections. But I always think of that old rock'n roll song by the Coasters in 1959. Recently it was revealed by the lyricists, Leiber and Stoller, that it was about sexually transmitted diseases. We always knew that of course but the propriety of the time demanded we accepted on face value that it was about a young woman named Ivy. Eventually, the truth will out! You're gonna need an ocean/ of calamine lotion/ You'll be scratching like a hound/ the minute you start to mess around/ Poison Ivy/ Poison Ivy/ Late at night when you're sleepin'/ Poison Ivy comes creeping around. Research in the US, indicates that the poison ivy plant that infests woodlands has grown tenfold in recent years - supposedly an outcome of global warming. It is indeed tenacious as gardeners know. So maybe the point is that its very hard to remove. if at all. We all have psychological stuff that we would like to get rid of and Jung argues that we become aware of and integrate complexes.Symptoms disappear. How do we recognise complexes? Just as with ivy in nature, we can look from all angles, making sure of shape, number of leaves and colour. If it tries to entwine us, we can avoid it