Monday, November 22, 2010
The Unpleasantness of Mess
I invite my readers to share with me in finding this quite revolting. In reality it is merely an ice lolly, jettisoned for whatever reason. We would like to both literally and psychically project our mess elsewhere. Mess and waste matter of any kind is even too indecorous for the many books on symbols. Only Freud I feel, really makes an attempt to grapple with waste. In these troubled economic times, we would all like to imagine that mess was created somewhere else by other people. It was never ourselves, we didn't participate. Bart Simpson typically excuses himself after creating a disaster by exclaiming "It was like that when I got here!" He has no intention of taking responsibility. In psychotherapy, we begin to take responsibility for our own mess and in that way we can make a start on sorting something out. That entails a change in our balance or equilibrium, and so we begin at the individual level. We all find ourselves in messy situations at some point. But when we enter the psychotherapeutic space we are discouraged from pointing the finger somewhere else. That stuff "over there" is much more difficult to "fix" than the mess that legitimately belongs to ourselves. All the same I can't help wondering what happened to this ice lolly. Was it found to be too messy and thrown away? Did some poor child drop it with much wailing and moaning? Or did it just taste horrid? I leave my readers to make their own projections.