Monday, January 27, 2014

Visioning the New Year Part I: Mandala Misgivings

This year marks my 20th year of work in Jungian psychology, first as an analysand, and then as an avid member of the Analytical Psychology Club of New York and Jung Foundation of New York, through which I attended countless lectures, seminars, retreats, and workshops -- as well as read tome upon tome of Jungian work.

Many workshops involved creative processes including writing through active imagination, sculpture, movement, and most often drawing, painting, and other graphical art.

And yet I have never created a Mandala -- a contained work of art representing one's inner world. 

Jung himself refers to creating his own Mandalas, as well as to his analysands creating theirs -- my own analyst has suggested I give it a try -- and I've never doubted that doing so would be good for me. Yet whenever a Mandala creation workshop would come around, I'd somehow manage to have a scheduling conflict.

Truth is:  I think I've been afraid to. 

I've been afraid of the blank canvas as much as I've been afraid of the blank page. What if I chose the wrong symbols? What if I chose based on ego rather than intuition? 

What if I made a Mandala that showed me not who I really was, but who I wish I were, or was afraid I might be? Or what if it were a nonsensical jumble of images?

Well... even that could have been helpful.

As I've become more at home in my own creativity these past few years, I have become less afraid of things coming out wrong, and been more at ease with letting them simply come out ... and then going from there. 

A Mandala helps to restore order in the psyche, as well as free up energy for creativity.  

The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique.
In my case, though, I was afraid it would be like opening an overstuffed closet -- and getting clobbered by an avalanche of psychological detritus. 

Could I bear to sift through it the misshapen, crumpled, boxed, bagged, and even broken parts of myself -- and recognize them as my own? 

And the answer is:  I don't know. 

I haven't done it yet.

But I did take my first tentative steps as the New Year began....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tandava's Guide to the Zone--2013-14--Part III: New Year's Day 7pm to Jan 2nd 9am

And we are at the home stretch of the SyFy channel's New Year's Twilight Zone marathon, featuring episodes to be aired on to be aired onfrom 7pm New Year's Day through 9:00am January 2nd.

This list continues from Part I (New Year's Eve, 8:00 AM through midnight) and Part II (midnight New Year's Day through 7pm).

First is the short list including the current Time Top 10, my personal favorites, and other noteworthy episodes.

So, the categories are:

(1) Episodes on the Time Top 10 List – These are the acknowledged classics – in red.

(2) My Personal Favorite Episodes – These are underrated gems with strong scripts and beautiful performances – in green.

(3) Episodes Worth Watching – These have flawed scripts or execution, but often have strong performances and/or ideas – in blue.

Happily, several of my favorites which were missing from last year's have returned, and will be aired in this final leg, such as: "A Quality of Mercy," (1/2 8:00 AM) followed by "Nothing in the Dark" (1/2 8:30 AM)  But beauties like "Mirror Image," "The Changing of the Guard" are still not on the list. We should be grateful that at least they had the sense to cut "The Brain Center at Whipple's."

And, as with last year, Part III still has many goodies worth setting time aside for.

Enjoy – and happy 2014!!

My Favorites  Short List
(Click the time to jump to the episode description.)

7:00 PM  A Game Of Pool
8:00 PM  Kick The Can
8:30 PM – To Serve Man
9:00 PM  The Dummy
10:00 PM – Nightmare At 20,000 Feet
10:30 PM – Living Doll
11:00 PM  The Masks
12:30 AM  Mr. Dingle, The Strong
1:00 AM  Long Distance Call
2:00 AM  Two
2:30 AM   The Grave
3:30 AM  Night Call
8:00 AM–A Quality Of Mercy
8:30 AM–Nothing In The Dark

Full List  With Descriptions

7:00 PM  A Game Of Pool –
An excellent way to begin the final leg of the marathon: This taut two-person drama explores winning and losing, and what's really important in the game of life. Fine performances by Jack Klugman (who passed in 2012) and Jonathan Winters (who passed this last spring). Not crazy about the end, though; the real (and better) ending was done in the 80s TZ version.

7:30 PM  Dead Man's Shoes – Bum dons dead gangster's wing-tips and finds himself stepping into the thug's revenge-thirsty ex-life. You might feel bad for the bum if you find yourself caring about anything in this one.

8:00 PM  Kick The Can – Timeless story about rest home residents learning that you are indeed as young as you feel. "Look! Think! Feel! Doesn't that wake some sleeping part of you?!"

8:30 PM  To Serve Man – Aliens come to earth offering solutions to all the world's woes; their trouble-entendre mission: "To serve man." An undisputed classic, #8 on the Time list.

9:00 PM  The Dummy – Cliff Robertson as a troubled ventriloquist whose creepy dummy will simply not stay in the box.

9:30 PM – I Sing The Body Electric – Sweet story about a robot nanny lovingly bonding with tots.

10:00 PM – Nightmare At 20,000 Feet – "There's a man out on the wing!!" Shatner at his whiteknuckle best. #6 on the Time list.

10:30 PM  Living Doll – "My name is Talky Tina – and you'd better be nice to me!" Telly Savalas takes on June Foray's creepy voiced doll. This one gave me nightmares. #1 on the Time list.

11:00 PM  The Masks – One of the GREAT underrated episodes, and the only TZ episode to be directed by a woman, Ida Lupino (she also stars in “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine” 8:30 AM 12/31 ... hope you caught it! ). A crusty millionaire geezer tells his greedy family he will die before Mardi Gras is over – but they must wear freaky custom masks through the evening if they want to claim their inheritance. Gives the term "know thyself" new meaning....

11:30 PM  The Bewitchin' Pool – Worst. Episode. Ever. So bad it is actually worth watching in a Plan 9 sort of way... Even To Kill a Mockingbird's Oscar-nominated Mary Badham couldn't save this dismal excuse for a story. Spoiled brats escape manipulative divorcing parents by finding their way to SuperGrandma via an enchanted pool. Now, if Grandma dumped the tots in an oven, then we might have a story....

12:00 AM – I Am the Night–Color Me Black  Murderous bigotry, hatred, and fear are bad things. OK. We get it.

12:30 AM  Mr. Dingle, The Strong – Loud-mouthed salesman pisses away alien gifts on trivial feats. Worth watching for an adorable Burgess Meredith and amusing (and very young) Don Rickles.

1:00 AM  Long Distance Call – Creepy dead grandma wants her favorite grandson to be with her forever, and conveys her wishes via a toy phone. (Now if only Billy Mumy –  TZ's favorite child actor – could wish her into the cornfield!) Nice performance by Philip Abbott as the kid's dad.

1:30 AM  The Rip Van Winkle Caper – It's Treasure of the Sierra Madre with suspended animation and blah writing. Good performances and a fun twist at the end make it sort of worth watching.

2:00 AM  Two –  Apocalypse survivors Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery approach each other warily in this sparsely written, beautifully acted episode.

2:30 AM  The Grave – Spooky old west tale of a dare gone bad, featuring a handsome, raw Lee Marvin and a posturing James Best. 

3:00 AM – The Old Man In The Cave – Confused story set in a post-apocalyptic future of 1974 (!!!). Town listens to the “old man” until soldiers tell them not to be superstitious – and it doesn’t work out well for anyone. What’s the message? Don’t trust your own perceptions? Ugh. Only worth watching for a young James Coburn.

3:30 AM  Night Call – Originally called "Sorry Right Number," this careful-what-you- wish-for tale features calls from beyond and a beautiful performance by Gladys Cooper. It has also been recycled as internet glurge.

4:00 AM – Ring-a-Ding Girl – Medium episode about movie star returning to her home town and throwing a “celebrate me” performance of her one-woman show – competing with the town's annual picnic. Is this a diva craving attention, or is something else going on? Even though it’s not great, I always find myself watching this one all the way through.

4:30 AM  Stopover In A Quiet Town – At least it was quiet until this nattering couple woke up in a strange house with no memory of how they got there, and no one to ask where they are, or why the grass is made of papier-mâché. And if they'd shut up for two seconds, we just might care....

~~~~~~~~~Three Hours of Dreaded Infomercials!!!~~~~~~~~~

8:00 AM  A Quality Of Mercy – In WWII Philippines brash Lieutenant Dean Stockwell learns to walk a mile in the other guy's army boots. Good performances all around, plus a pre-Spock Leonard Nimoy in a bit part.

8:30 AM – Nothing In The Dark – Aging Gladys Cooper tries to keep Death at bay by shutting her door – until angelically beautiful Robert Redford shows up. I guarantee, it's not his acting that convinces her to open up..... Worth watching for her nuanced performance – and his mesmerizing good looks!