Thursday, October 14, 2010

Attachment

I think the autumn leaves caught my attention because of their position, silhouetted against the houses. There was a finality about the process of the life cycle as far as they were concerned. They are very much in their decaying period but continuing or even prolonging their attachment. They just don't want to give up the connection to the tree, the mother and life giver. Yet eventually they will end up on the ground and disintegrate. In the rough bit of land underneath, they will inevitably feed the tree and bushes with nutrients. A perfect cycle. But this put me in mind of attachment theory, John Bowlby and of course, Carl Jung. Jungians are very accepting, even admiring of object relations theorists and Bowlby could be considered as belonging to that discipline. Generally attachment is a motivational system that influences aspects of sexuality like drive, cognition and behaviour. But unlike Freud. Bowlby held that the importance of attachment lay not in sex but in security. So consider our leaves metaphor. Do the leaves achieve security in refusing to detach from the tree? What of young adults who are reluctant to leave home. They refuse to give up the parent archetype. And what of the parents who refuse to give up the child archetype and cling to their children. So perhaps it's the tree that is clinging to the leaves and not the other way around.