So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. – T. S. Eliot
When experiences in your life come into perfect synchronicity, exceptional things happen. The theme for this series came after living through the process outlined in the excerpt that follows. This collaboration felt unique in that both photographer and muse experienced this at the same time. Gia and I had talked about creating a shoot for months, possibly years. Our busy schedules left us out of touch for some time, and when we reconnected serendipitously one evening, we realized we had come full circle on many similar happenings.
The time and energies for our awaited collaboration arrived naturally. The main element that directed the shoot was the balance between tumult and stillness; the quiet, transcendental center to which a woman travels when she encounters a profoundly difficult experience. Minus the “urge towards suicide” in any sort of literal way, this is what happened…
From SHE: Understanding Feminine Psychology by Robert A. Johnson, Published 1976
Almost always in human experience the urge towards suicide signals an edge of a new level of consciousness. If you can kill the right thing–the old way of adaptation–and not injure yourself, a new energy-filled era will begin. When a woman is touched by an archetypal experience, she often collapses before it. It is in this collapse that she quickly recovers her archetypal connection and restores her inner being. This constellates the helpful elements in her deeper self. A woman does this in a different way from a man.
While he probably has to go out seeking a heroic task and kill many dragons and rescue many fair maidens, she generally has to withdraw to a very quiet place and remain still… It is bewildering to a man to discover the degree to which a woman has control over her feelings and inner world, a capacity unknown to most men. She can enter at will a deep place within herself where healing and balance are restored. Most men have no such control over their feelings or inner life…
Being in love is likely to tear you into bits; but this has its creative possibilities also. If you maintain the strength and courage, out of this dismemberment may come a new consciousness of uniqueness and worth… It seems to be our chief western way of reconnecting with the archetypal energies that we call gods or goddesses. The best way to solve this dilemma is to stand absolutely still, and that is what Psyche finally does. Once she gets past her suicidal feelings, she sits very quietly. If you have been dazzled out of your wits, if you have been knocked totally out of orbit, it is best to keep very still…
[A woman] is required to go back to a very still inner center every time something profound happens to her. This is a highly creative act but must be done correctly. She is to be receptive, not passive… The task is to translate the pain and suffering of a tragic love affair into the mundane steps of personal development. … if we can be driven out of ourselves into something higher, that energy can be used for our benefit.
Photography: Linda Arredondo
Model: Giavonna Brascia
Makeup: Giavonna Brascia
Styling: Van Van Alonso