Friday, March 27, 2009

Waiting for the Right Metaphor...

Waiting - Image c Lynda Lehmann

One of my recent posts featured a photo of a chair, which I took as a metaphor with several possibilities. My readers offered their ideas on this, and Margaret Ryall subsequently did a post called The Chair in Art, on the subject of chairs as metaphors, that I thought was very interesting.

I think the consensus on the subject of an empty chair, is that the idea of abandonment fits quite well, regardless of any secondary meanings we might attribute to it.


You can read about the psychology of archetypes at Wikipedia. Joseph Campbell talked a lot about archetypes in his books, and so did Rollo May, a humanist psychologist whose books "Love and Will" and "The Courage to Create," I read in the 60s.

For me, the above photo connotes a feeling of waiting more than one of abandonment. The long line of slatted wood chairs makes a nice abstract pattern. Are the chairs waiting for sitters/occupants? Or perhaps for something else?


In future posts I'll feature images of other man-made objects that seem to lend themselves to the idea of metaphor. Apparently, we have many archetypes imbued in our collective subconscious, which manifest in our thoughts, creations, and dreams.

"Waiting" won a Special Recognition Award at Period Gallery.

All images and text c Lynda Lehmann. If you would like to view more of my art or make a purchase, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or my gallery at Imagekind, where you can choose from several sizes and paper types or buy my prints plain or matted and framed.

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27 comments:

  1. I agree: definitely waiting - a fabulous image.

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  2. I read these chairs as waiting and hopeful rather than abandoned. What a positive thought for me! I always seem to "fit" the posts you write. They interest and often intrigue me. We have very similar views of the world I think. Thanks for the mention of my post.

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  3. I tend to see an empty chair more as an invitation to relax, to slow down our hectic pace, than as abandonment.
    This one, the rows of rocking chairs...makes me think of growing old. On the other hand, it also makes me think of our upcoming cruise, so I'm torn. *L*
    Congrats on the award, btw!

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  4. Love the pic, very inviting. And interesting post as well--have you read Sam Keen too? He's a student of Campbell's.

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  5. I am so interested in the idea about metaphors. I am one of those people who loves metaphors and thinks everything around me means something so I can't wait to follow your metaphorical pathway.

    Perhaps waiting for community? Would the empty chairs look any less lonely if only one person was sitting on them?

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  6. DAVE - All this talk about "waiting," and I am suddenly reminded of the popular 1960s book, WAITING FOR GODOT. It was one of those book titles on everyone's lips: often referred to but not so often actually read! I can't remember whether I read it, so perhaps I did not.

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  7. MARGARET - I think we do have a similar "embracing" of the world, or worldview. I too have a sense of waiting in this image, because there are so MANY chairs, implying a group or at least ample potential "sitters." So I sense the lurking presence, or the imminent emergence of, "the tribe."

    While I often read loneliness or abandonment into images, this seems not to be one of those. Ah, loneliness and the solitary path: another good topic for our posts!

    I look forward to your posts too, and I'm sorry it sometimes takes me awhile to catch up on my blog visits. I'm sure you have the same problem, from time to time.

    I will be over....

    And I DO want to talk more, about metaphors. :)

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  8. LANA - You are going on a cruise!! How wonderful. I guess you have posted about it...and I will be over to read your news.

    Growing old....something we are ALL doing! And it happens so FAST!

    So enjoy that cruise and then when you come home to your sanctuary, you will be even MORE in love with your quiet, wooded haven!

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  9. CONDA - No, I haven't read Sam Keen, although now that you have mentioned him, I'll have to look him up.

    In the sixties I read a lot of the humanist psychologists: Abraham Maslow, Rollo May, Karl Rogers, Eric Fromm. Also a bit of Alan Watts and Jung and others.

    I do a lot less reading now, to my regret. But I do a lot more art, writing, photography, and of course, blogging. So I'm still thinking, at least.

    Thanks for your input. Will check out Sam Keen. Enjoy your Sunday!

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  10. tangled stitch - Me too, and I plan to talk more about it.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head--these chairs must be about "waiting for community." Good point!

    We'll have to talk more about the metaphors in our lives. I want to hear about yours, too!

    Hope you are having some warmer weather up there. We're having a cold rain now, but have had a few sunny, warm days, thank goodness!

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  11. KRIS - Thank you. How have you been? It's good to see you. I'll have to come over for a visit...

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  12. KRIZ - Sorry for the typo, I know you are KRIZ, no "S".

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  13. Joseph Campbell oh my goodness. Want to find all seventeen steps of a hero all in one movie?

    It was an exercise in an English class. All 17 can be found in Dances With Wolves.

    No worries you only need watch it about 150 times to find them and label them correctly, but, they are there.

    As to this image, I tend to think of grandparents, aging, relaxing, etc....

    Fantastic idea and I can't wait to see more.!:-)

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  14. JACKIE - I saw that movie years ago and loved it. Now I'll have to go back and view it another 149 times, lol... this time with a critical eye.

    We never did such interesting things for English class. But then, that was SO long ago! Well before "Dances With Wolves" came out.... :)

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  15. This image has such a striking feature of leading line composition. The pattern is incredible.

    Good image

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  16. ROENTARRE - I like patterns. :) Thank you for visiting!

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  17. excellent use of this wonderful picture as a metaphor. wonderful work here

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  18. Oh, I think chairs are also about rest and possibilities as well as what has been. Abandonment? I don't see that at all in those lovely rockers.

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  19. EVLAHOS - Thank you! It's good to see you, too. :)

    PJ - I agree with you. I see potential and possibility here, more than abandonment.

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  20. Great eye Lynda, I see a pending performance is about to take place looking at these chairs, I don't think of relaxation, too many possible people coming,lol.

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  21. I saw waiting for Godot. It had a most profound effect on me. Changed me in so many ways.

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  22. whoa - very nice!
    it takes a special eye to see and capture an angle like this.

    all of your stuff is beautiful!
    i'm still exploring!

    peace,
    Chuck

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  23. CHUCK - Thanks very much! I enjoy seeing patterns and textures. The visual world can be a feast for us, right?

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  24. DAVE - How did it change you?

    I read it during turbulent times at college, and remember the existential feeling of it, but not the details. The concept of existentialism was upsetting to me, although it resonated with my rational mind. Not so with my feelings. But then, so much of what we feel is over-compensatory.....

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  25. Wow I love this image! Waiting is a perfect title in more ways than one. To me it is an invitation to a senior person to come sit, relax and let the memories roll in...

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  26. Lynda what a nice photo, waiting is the right word for it. BTW I like what you did with your blog background, neutral or earth tone color is good, it does not take away from your header or other images. I like it. Take care and have a good Easter. Anna :)

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