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"It's all happening at the zoo . . ."

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BruceMC, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kept putting it off, but felt some kind of inner necessity driving me to make the drive to San Francisco last weekend and see the new Sumatran tiger cub at the zoo out by Ocean Beach. Couldn't put my finger on it, but just knew I had to go and take some pics of Leanne and her new offspring:

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG][​IMG]

    Well, parking was at a premium, so I had to park nearly a mile away and walk up to the zoo entrance. I walked and walked all day around the zoo taking pictures, but one thing was entirely absent: no leg pain or sciatica. No knee pain or lower lumbar pain at all.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG][​IMG]

    When I got back home I felt tired but really refreshed. Then, it struck me: When I was a kid, I'd always driven into the zoo with my late father and this was the first time I'd gone there without him by my side. But a strange doubling had taken place. Now I was just like my father with a fancy car and a fancy camera to take pictures with. And girls were now hitting on me the way they'd always flirted with him.

    I think the reason I didn't have any TMS all day was because I was processing emotional material left over from my childhood and my relationship with my father back when we were both young and not conflicted:

    [​IMG]

    Here was the same Lion Fountain where we had walked when I was 5 or 6. The same little steam train I'd loved to ride on when I was a small boy. It was like my visit to the zoo was a journey back in time to heal the division that had grown up between me and my father over the years, a journey back to original innocence when we were both young and he was imagining a great future for me. There was a note of sadness too because when I got back to the old house in Belmont my mother wasn't waiting for us like she used to with a big welcome home meal. I was forced to cook a good one for myself in order to commerate the cycle of events that had transpired. But one thing was certain: I must have walked 4 miles or more that day and there wasn't a hint of sciatica the whole time. Seemed like the entire day was a psychic re-enactment, recovery of old emotions, and a reprocessing that left me fulfilled and healed. I realized my late father had been walking next to me all day. He had his old Nikon 35mm slide camera and I had my new Nikon D90. We weren't fighting the way we always had in the past. No conflict out in public. It was finally the way it should have been all along. Also, got some great shots of the animals too (ones he would have been proud I'd taken):

    [​IMG]

    Maybe I had become the kind of urbane San Franciscan my father had always wanted me to be? Confident in public and sure of myself. Hope so!
     
  2. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    I found this post very touching and filled with interesting observations - great photos too.
     
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    My visit to the SF Zoo reminded me how much I truly missed my late father. True, my TMS symptoms started shortly after the death of my mother in January 2001, but her death really signaled the symbolic death of my dad that had really occurred in March 1997. As long as my mother was alive, my father and all the family stretching back to the 1880s in Denmark and Greece were still available to me via her memory. When she was gone, my father was no longer directly available to me. Hence, I must have felt some kind of compulsive need to visit the zoo to close the symbolic cycle in my unconscious mind. What's that Joanie Mitchell says, "You don't know what you've lost till it's gone"? I may have had a life-long conflict with the old man, but that doesn't diminish all that he did for me, taking me to the zoo, the museums, the art galleries, and the ballet in San Francisco when I was very young and impressionable. Isn't a big part of TMS healing forgiving your parents and in the process also forgiving yourself? That's one way of getting rid of that underlying Id-Super Ego conflict that puts the tension into TMS. Maybe I should visit the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in SF too?
     
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's a picture of my father in his first 'zoot suite' in San Francisco on Market Street in 1946:

    [​IMG]

    And to sum things up, here's a couple more of the animals at the SF Zoo:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    veronica73 likes this.
  5. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Yes, so they say and I really do believe it. I am just finding this to be a major stumbling block. I think I managed to forgive my father for all the nasty things he said, the bullying, the violence. He showed real vulnerability towards the end of his life. After he had his first heart attack he realised he wasn't invincible. However it was after his bi-pass surgery when he really changed his attitude. He never apologised for anything, even towards the end of his life. What he did try to tell me was that all of the anger that he clung on to, it just hadn't been worth it. I don't remember his exact words but it was something to the effect of him imploring me to let it (the anger) go. He recognised his anger trait in me and it really upset him. I did let go of the anger at him after that but the general anger at the world, the chip on my shoulder that my parents always told me I had, is still there, especially towards my mother. Despite being in her 90's she has reached no such epiphanies and never will.

    My father also took me to different places and introduced me to classical music, art house films, Broadway musicals and reading. For some reason I detest musicals but appreciate all of the others!
     
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    At least in hospice, yb44, my father did confess to me, "It didn't need to be the way it was". That was a huge admission on his part I realize today. When I visited him in hospice, it was just like it had been when we were fishing together in a boat on Saddlebag Lake up in the Yosemite high country. Father and number one son again. Like the English romantic poet, William Blake once put it: "States [of consciousness] go on forever". Once when I brought my mother over to see him (to finally tell her he was going to die), my father kept playing with the television cord and asking me to hold it. I couldn't figure out what he meant, then it occurred to me that he still thought I was his "apprentice" and I was 11 years old helping him build a wood roof over the patio at our old house in 1959. The television cord to him was the string I was supposed to be holding to sight the measurements for the 2 x 4s. Some things last forever. Quite touching. It still makes me get choked up even now.

    I wonder likewise whether the mother Tiger taking care of her cub had something to do with my mother taking care of me and my dad? Never really know about that stuff buried deep in the unconscious.
     
    veronica73 likes this.
  7. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

    Amazing story and pictures, Bruce! Thank you! I'm going to visit my father next week and try to remember the positive things, thanks to your post.
     

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