Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(79) "I am the gatekeeper."

On an evening in December 1991 I was travelling by train from London to Peterborough.
I looked at the quick crossword in that day’s Evening Standard and saw that one of the clues was "Retain - 4 letters." I took the answer to be "Keep".

That triggered thoughts about the film Ghostbusters
which I had seen some eight years earlier, where Sigourney Weaver’s character becomes possessed by some dark forces and calls herself "The Gatekeeper".

In one scene she opens the door of an apartment to a man who says
"I am the Keymaster".
She replies "I am the Gatekeeper."

I was to stay at the home of Bill and Sheila Evans-Evans in Peterborough.
At about 10:p.m. I knocked on their door.

It was answered by a gentleman who introduced himself as Marcus, a cousin of the householder. He said he was a psychologist from Sunderland and explained that my hosts were out for the evening.

"I am the Gatekeeper."

I do not think that anyone else has ever said that to me.

N.B. Later that evening Marcus was reading from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The author of this mediaeval tale is unknown.
It is part of the Arthurian mythology and, Marcus explained to me, concerns the arrival of the mysterious Green Knight at Camelot, who delivers the challenge that he will take any blow from any knight, on the condition that this knight come to his court in a year’s time and receive the exact same blow in return from him. Gawain takes up the challenge, and beheads him.
The Green Knight then picks up his head and departs!

Marcus then mentioned that some Jungian psychologists he knew had even written on the symbology of this and other Arthurian myths (especially The Grail) and their relevance to the integration of the personality and the quest for wholeness.

At that I greatly surprised him by saying, "So have I."

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