Andy Found my Archetype!

Most Friday evenings, around 5:30 you will find me and the love of my life, seated at the bar of our favorite neighborhood watering hole, the Old Mohawk. PJ and John pour great drinks, and we can always have interesting conversations about just about anything with the staff and other customers. Last night was no exception, talking with the chef about his upcoming vacation in Chicago (love it!) and politics with a complete stranger. I always like seeing Andy Ball, who waits tables with a great smile, and even greater personality. What I think Andy excells at, though, is sculpture. Andy does creative things with light, metal, and whatever else he can find in the scrapyard. The Old Mohawk lets him sell his work on the walls of the restaurant, and it sure does a nice job of dressing the place up!

I’ve had my eye on one of Andy’s pieces for several weeks now. Actually, it’s had it’s eye on me. Tonight, I couldn’t resist it’s pull any longer, and while my other half was talking politics with a total stranger, I hoofed it three blocks to the ATM, got the dough, and came back. Andy was punching an order in to the kitchen at the terminal when I leaned up against it, and looked at him with a twinkle in my eye. “You’re gonna get it!” he said. “Hold out your hand,” I replied, and in moments it was all mine.

He’s now hanging here in my office, looking down on me as I type this entry. Interestingly enough, I see a lot of me in him these days. I’m not sure that would have been the case not too long ago, but there’s something about his hair, face, the way he’s sticking his tongue out to the world…and that glowing eye! I love it!

In The Courage to Love, Stephen Gilligan talks about the utilization of archetypes as a way of nurturing what he refers to as the “neglected (somatic) self” in self-relations therapy. The four archetypes that he identifies are King/Queen, Warrior, Lover and Magician.

I’m looking at this hunk of metal and light on my wall, and wondering what it was that I found so attractive. Like me, he’s not always the same. Depending on which angle you view him from, your impression may be very different. Head on, he looks very much the magician, ready to cast a spell (especially with that eye, and the tongue sticking out). From the brow up, he’s quite regal. If I stand off to the left and look at him from an angle, his face takes on a tenderness that I don’t see otherwise. The overall energy and strength of his rugged lines speaks warrior.

Back in late December, just home from the hospital, I didn’t feel like much of a warrior. My good friend Linda must have seen something I didn’t see, though, because every time I remember her looking at me (including the day of my surgery, almost immediately after), she called me “warrior Phil” to my face, with a big grin. Given my circumstances, I had no choice but to receive her words, not understanding at all what she saw in my face that would illicit bestowing such a title.

For now, enjoy with me my office archetype, courtesy of Andy Ball. Thanks for the beautiful work, Andy! He’s looking at me right now, urging me on to greater conquests.

Be well, and at peace,

Phil

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