Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lakes of Memory and Burning Nights

adagio & lamentation

ISBN: 9781926715056

poems by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Il Piccolo editions, Fisher King Press, 2010
Carmel, CA

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky was the first child born in the New World to a family of German Jewish refugees from the Shoah. Many in her family were lost in the death camps. It has been the subject and the gift of her poetry and prose-to write herself out of the terror, into life. Naomi had a special tie with her only surviving grandparent, the painter Emma Hoffman, whom she called "Oma." Oma showed her that making art can be a way to transmute grief, a way to bear the unbearable. The cover of adagio and lamentation is a watercolor by Emma Hoffman-an interior view of the Berkeley home where Naomi visited her often as a teenager. Oma tried her best to make a painter of her, but Naomi was no good at it. Poetry was to be her vehicle. Adagio and Lamentation is Naomi's offering to her ancestors, a handing back in gratitude and love. It is also her way of bringing them news of their legacy-the cycle of life has survived all they suffered-Naomi has been blessed by many grandchildren.

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A Review by Erel Shalit of adagio & lamentation, appears in the Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, Summer 2012 (vol 6:3):

Poet and Jungian analyst Naomi Lowinsky’s journey of adagio & lamentation begins with a desire, a longing, a plea to Grandmother Emma Hoffman, Oma, to stop being dead, so she can talk about the light of morning and the light of late afternoon. Then, perhaps, the poet can grasp the meaning of the difference between the painter’s painted shadows, when she shapes emptiness, and like the creator, “there was light” (2010, 1).

And the journey ends at the threshold of summer’s tremor, when one might hear the sound of distant drums, or a helicopter, the anxiety that echoes deeply in the whisper of the gods in the living oak trees and the god of dreams—“is it a war machine,” or a fire, or memories to be penned (90)?

Even the ghost story poems contain beauty and sensuality; the complexes that are our ghosts may be “breaking into a million fragments,” but may, as well, in the oceanic turmoil and intensity of youth, “cause the trumpet vine on the back fence to flower for the first time” (5–6).

Read the full review

Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche is an international journal published quarterly for the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, one of the oldest institutions dedicated to Jungian studies and analytic training. 

Founded in 1979 by John Beebe under the title The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, Jung Journal has evolved from a local journal of book and film reviews to one that attracts readers and contributors from the academy and the arts, in addition to Jungian analyst-scholars.

cover of the Jung Journal
(San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal)
Featuring peer-reviewed scholarly articles, poetry, art, book and film reviews, and obituaries, Jung Journal offers a dialogue between culture--as reflected in art, literature, science, and world events--and contemporary Jungian views of the dynamic relationship between the cultural and personal aspects of the human psyche.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Recollection and Recollectivization

The 2nd European Conference on Analytical Psychology will be held in St. Petersburg, 30th August to 2nd September, 2012. Titled “Borderlands”, it is a contribution to the concept coined by Jerome Bernstein (Living in the Borderland: The Evolution of Consciousness and the Challenge of Healing Trauma), who will be the opening speaker.

painting by Hagit Shahal

In my lecture Recollection and Recollectivization: the transient personality in search of memory, I will look at ‘the never guilty mass man’ (Jung), of the post-modern condition, related to Erich Neumann’s concept of recollectivization.

On the dark, shadowy side of the postmodern condition, we stumble upon transiency and fragmentation, alienation and rootlessness.

Particularly, we may observe the relationship between the individual and the fragmented group, which constellates as a transient crowd formation. In the condition of recollectivization, ego and consciousness are lost in the group, however, in a way strikingly different from the early state of oneness with the group.

Recollection serves as an antidote to recollectivization, and may show us “how we should act when the libido gets blocked” (CW 5). A smell and a fragrance, a subtle taste “of a cake dipped in tea,” as Proust says, re-calling a childhood memory, a lost time, a forgotten era, and the recollection of ancient wisdom and the ancestors, may provide the individual, as well as the group, with an anchor across the boundaries of time, by means of linking back to past heritage, and serving as a bridge to future developments. Thus, recollection is a central aspect of the conscious, explored life.

The following is an excerpt from the lecture: