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Christa’s metaphor for my PhD: fairytale basket

Monday, January 22nd, 2007 @ 3:47 pm
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During the last PhD group supervision meeting (12 Jan 07), when I was trying to describe my researh topic and my confusions around it to a couple of new group members, Christa came up with an image that she described so vividly, as she usually does when expressing herself. I asked her to send it to me in writing as she is so demonstrative with images and i received an email from her today, titled “fairytale basket” where she describes that image of me going for a research interview with participants holding this colourful basket with an egg in it (representing the ‘spiritual’ thread of the toipc explored). Here is how Christa describes it:Christa, email extract on 22nd Jan 07:

[“You were talking (referring to me) about making culture your Ph.D focus.  Then I said something about, well maybe if you just have a little question in there with each participant about, say, ‘and do you find spirituality to be part of/usefully resonant to this culture thing for you?’, then you are opening a door of possibility.  And who knows, some wider spiritual pattern might thus bring lots of spiritual stuff into your Ph.D with you merely enabling but not forcing it.  I’m wondering now – could you put that in the hands of ‘the spirit’ (or whatever you want to call it) with trust? “]

and the image, as Christa put it into words:

“The image, then.  I’ve got no idea where it came from.  But, speaking personally, I liked it.  So you and the participant meet each other.  As if you and they both enter the room or garden or wherever you meet, each carrying one of those old-fashioned, shallow wicker baskets with one big handle arching over the top, and nicely lined with cloth.  Maybe gingham, but some nice tradtionally patterned cotton, like in an illustration of a Brothers Grimm fairytale or some such.  So each of you puts your basket down, and in it is an ‘egg’ or something, which in my image was ‘spirituality and/or willingness to share about it, or some such’.  So the ‘eggs’ are clearly there (the baskets being shallow), and they can be left in their baskets with respect, or they can be noticed/shown/whatever – just as it pans out at the time.”

Thank you Christa for offering this…and yes, maybe I shall trust the spirit a bit more in bringing the right participants and the right flow in this PhD process…I have to let go of the need to control things so that I feel more secure…I like eggs by the way, an egg is such an old archetype symbol…so much in there!

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