Friday, January 26, 2018

Early Recollections


For years as a younger man I was haunted with an early recollection. Perhaps there is a better word than haunted, maybe shadowed as a shadow follows you in various ways.

The recollection was from four years of age when I went to a movie theater in Wilton, Iowa. I have no recollection of who brought me to the theatre. The question is a mystery in itself since we lived on a farm nine miles north of Wilton. Consequently in the beginning I wasn't sure if this was a dream or reality. Such is a common question at four years of age.

Dream or reality, the recollection was vivid. On the screen a model T was going down the road and the two people in the front seat were passing the steering wheel back and forth. At 4 I knew they were heading for a crash in the ditch. I was ready to duck down between the movie seats while those around me began to laugh. I was unable to see anything funny in this.

At some point in time I told this to a person who said, "That is from a Laurel and Hardy movie." Now I had the reality but still how did I get there. Why did I remember this and not something else?

While taking a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Bellevue Hospital in New York I came to the conclusion I needed some therapy to put to rest some issue in my life. The church I was serving in Iowa had a lot of conflict being exhibit between members.

My therapist was an Adlerian, an actual student of Alfred Adler when he came to New York City to work with their school system. Adlerians find early recollections a good place to begin a therapeutic session. They are not as interested in the unconscious as they are what is going on in the conscious mind and early recollections are a good introduction.

In true Adlerian fashion there was a control issue. On the other hand there was the embrace of opposites. Life includes paradox. Being born on June 1 this seemed to affirm my gemini nature. I have a number of stories with the same embedded pattern as the movie.

At a later date, 1971, a CPE supervisor saw my recollection as one who cared for others at an early age.

There is more to recollection but let this be an introduction and an invitation to all those who read this to remember their early recollections.


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