What does it mean to become one’s daddy or a daddy? One’s mummy or a mummy?
Freud famously said: "the finding of an object is in fact a re-finding of it". He considered that romantic feelings always have a history and an inner life of their own. Falling in love, at any time in life, is accompanied by unearthing of a love that has already been experienced before – the complex psychological dynamics surrounding our early relationships often re-emerges, finding different forms and outlets. The way in which we love, observe and experience love as children has a profound, albeit non obvious impact on how we may love and be loved by others. Certain attitudes and roles, events – real or imagined – inspire and guide us, as we unconsciously expect others to respond to us in particular ways. We may be drawn to re-experiencing certain patterns or go to extreme lengths to avoid others.
“The subject identifies himself with someone else, so that he is in doubt as to which his self is, or substitutes the extraneous self for his own. In other words, there is a doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self, and finally there is the constant recurrence of the same thing – the repetition of the same features or character-traits or vicissitudes, of the same crimes, or even the same names through several consecutive generations.”
You may have noticed a heart in a cage. Whom does or did the heart belong to?
What comes to your mind when you think of it? Could it symbolise a new life? Maybe love? Or, given its roughness, is it more associated with ripping the heart out? A loss or death, perhaps?
Think about the cage. Is it imprisonment or protection? Or something else still?
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You have seen a scene where a man and a woman dance with a cage and a heart between them.
Which words could convey the woman’s experience and why?
Used for joy. Joyless. Estranged from joy. Overwhelmed by joy. Undisturbed by joy. Growing to enjoy. Joyful.
Your own? …………….
“Side by side with the exigencies of life, love is the great educator; and it is by the love of those nearest him that the incomplete human being is induced to respect the decrees of necessity and to spare himself the punishment that follows any infringement of them.”
You may have noticed the sound of a song sung in Chinese.
Whose voice was it?
What was the singing person doing while singing? Was she focusing on communicating/projecting out something through her song or was it just an almost involuntary activity accompanying a more deliberate one?
Who was she? How old was she? What was she wearing?
What was her relation to the main character – was she his mother, lover, nanny, granny, sister, neighbour, friend, or someone else still?
Does the song represent something well-known and comforting? Or fascinating new? Affectionate or seductive? Or does it bring to mind an altogether different quality?
What makes you think this way? Does it remind you of any experiences or impressions in your own life? Have you ever been singing knowing that someone can hear you but not see you? Have you ever been captivated or tantalised by someone else’s singing?
The song’s lyrics were in Chinese. What do you imagine their meaning was?
Try to consider an alternative story about the unseen person – imagine she is different in age and motivation; that she is unknown or known to the main character in a different capacity.
What impression did the singing make on the other characters in the scene?