One of the counselors at my school had arranged a group event and advertised it to her clients, one of which is my partner who begrudgingly agreed to go. She’d described it as “some dumb collage thing, I don’t know,” and only two other people had agreed to attend. I had nothing better to do, so I invited myself.
We get there and on the whiteboard is written “Hello… welcome to SoulCollage®!” You really had to put that registered trademark symbol there, didn’t you? Is this therapy or a sales pitch? Ah, I’m too cynical for this shit already. Whatever, I’ll deal.
We each have a folder with a few sheets of paper inside, explaining what SoulCollage® is and why it’s specifically written as one word, SoulCollage®, and not two, Soul Collage, or any variant thereof. We learn of the creator of SoulCollage®, some hippy-dippy whackjob who probably has way too much money. We learn about the sources and the neters and the cards and council and community and imaginary animals and all sorts of whack-ass shit that makes no sense at all to anybody. “And this element, well, you can think of it like the chakras.” I can’t think of anything like the chakras, ma’am, unless you’re telling me to just think of it as nonsense – got it!
Way too much boring stuff later, it’s time to make a collage – but only on like a 5″x8″ card. I guess SoulCollage® cards can’t be big enough to be fun!
So I’m flipping through magazines and cutting out images that appeal to me and trying to think of a way to connect ’em… and then I find a pet supply catalog. It’s on, now. I begin frantically cutting out dogs. I begin frantically pasting down dogs.
As I cut three photos of dogs entering through pet doors, I notice a photo of a cat doing the same on the same page. Yesssssss. Firing on all cylinders.
At the end of the session, we all have to talk about our image (shit. wrong cylinders). The other two go, talking about what the snake symbolizes or why the kayak out of water is significant and being asked if the color scheme means anything… and then it’s my turn.
“Well, mine is a lot more shallow. I call it ‘a cat stumbles into a dog party.'” I mumble some stuff about the importance of humor in my life, my fondness for living things, and I say “dog party” at least ten times or so – because, really, dog party. She asks if there’s a particular reason why I chose certain dogs, and my responses are always “because it’s cute” or “well, it has an awkward facial expression” or “it’s wearing a dog t-shirt, and it loves it.”
Leaving, my partner and I discuss how fucked up it is that the whole thing had a very corporate-trademark feel and how that totally made it a lot less therapeutic and way harder to take seriously. She says something along the lines of “there are a lot of trademarked programs like that, and even more teaching tools, and the way you use them is by ripping them off and getting rid of the shit that you think is stupid.” I agree.
She makes sense almost always. I can’t say the same for anybody else almost ever. This world is weird, and I really don’t get people. I’m like a cat that stumbled into a dog party. oh shit subconscious messages coming through my inner chakra mind and into my SoulCollage®