Boston's Irish Famine Memorial

| By Paul | | Comments (15)

Boston Irish Famine Memorial

In a little square in downtown Boston, there's a memorial for the Irish famine. There are two statues; one shows a family of three dying of hunger (pictured) and the other shows the same family full of hope (which I presume is after they've fled to Boston). In the statue on hope, the family is rather well-dressed, they appear striding forward, yet looking off in different directions. In the hunger statue, the mother's hands are reaching up as if pleading with God. The father and son are hopeless, with hands open as if waiting for help. Their food basket is empty.

When I saw this, I couldn't help but see distinct identities and the parallels to my own life. I viewed them all as one unit, just as I view myself as a dissociative. Often we can have hope one minute and despair the next and often they can exist at the same time. There is old and young, male and female, those who protect and those who are hopeless.

But, it is who we are as a whole that is most important. As a whole we do not give up. As a whole we march forward, sometimes into the dark forest of the unknown. As a whole we speak our pain. As a whole we search for truth. As a whole we mend our heart. As a whole we search for love. As a whole we heal.

15 Comments


shen said:

I love the comparison between the separate selves inside and a family. It is like a family, with the cherished child, the crazy uncle you rarely see, the nurturers and the ragers, the young and the experienced....

Jenny said:

I am really glad I found your blog Paul. Thank you for posting this. Thanks for writing here. Jenny

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Jenny:

Thanks Jenny and Shen. I read this book a while ago and I'm thinking of going back to it. It's called "The Family Inside: Working with the Multiple". I remember a lot of wisdom in that book. I may try to get to it in the coming weeks and post about it online here.

castorgirl said:

It's interesting that the sculpture of the hopeful family is looking in different directions. I suppose it's meant to indicate a sense of having more opportunities, but for us we need to stop looking in all the different directions and move as a unit toward one goal or even just the same general direction towards the things you mention.

I'm not sure why, but we have real resistance to considering the dissociative system a family. A previous therapist asked about our internal "family" and there was such a feeling of hatred towards the term. I think it's probably tied to only seeing the concept of a family through our dysfunctional family of origin. I might try the book as a way to work through our issues towards the concept of a family and how we relate to each other internally.

Take care,
Michelle

Paul Author Profile Page replied to castorgirl:

Michelle, I can understand the reluctance and I know many have had very dysfunctional family systems. Looking quickly through the book tonight, it makes a focus on healthy family systems. I think what we all need to learn is how to live with our internal "selves" which make up our internal "family" in a way that cultivates a more healthy system. And, yes, I thought of that too, about the family members all looking in the different directions.

s&co said:

Paul, Thanks for writing this. I really like the picture, as well as the verbal illustration you painted. I'm saving this picture to my computer.

Ivory said:

Beautiful. I can see the connection between the statues and how you feel it symbolizes your own healing.

I think lack of "wholeness" is what is holding me back. Everyone is off in their own world.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Ivory:

Well, I can say it one moment, but not feel it the next.

Kate said:

Very beautiful.

Kate

shen said:

Oh, Paul, I would love it if you posted about the book. I haven't seen that one. You would recommend it?

Paul Author Profile Page replied to shen:

I try to keep a summary of books I've read on my computer. But I see that's not on my list. Let me look through it and I'll post something. I have a stack of others I want to get through too that I kind of organized when I was cleaning last weekend. I'll definitely post soon. While "The Family Inside" is out of print, there are many copies available used quite cheap. But let me study it first before I make any recommendations.

Paul, thanks for sharing this. I have never been to Boston but my husband and I both have ancestors that lived there.

Patricia, Boston's a blast. All major cities I've been to have been completely overwhelming. Boston's not. Although maybe it has to do with my familiarity.

Thanks for sharing this, Paul. It really speaks to me. It reminds me of a poem I wrote once called, "I am whole." I don't always believe it, but it is true. My parents were not successful at destroying me. I am here. I am alive. I am whole. And yes, you're right. That is how I heal.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to marj aka thriver:

Thanks Marj. I will search for that poem on your site.

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This page contains a single entry published on September 15, 2009 11:53 AM.

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