Loren left a comment about images that reflect who we are, and I thought I would post this collage, which is based on a dream-image I later worked with using 'active imagination' during contemplative prayer. I tried to draw the scene, but was not satisfied with the result, so I resorted to clip art to create this collage. The original dream image featured myself sitting on a bench beneath a heavily-laden pear tree, outside the gated, walled-garden of my home. Sometimes I would sit alone on that bench, and at other times passers-by would sit down with me. Sometimes we would talk, sometimes I would listen and at other times we might both just sit together in silence.
I think this may perhaps be a rather odd vocation, but it seems to be mine. I've managed to translate my vocation into work (in different forms at different stages in my life: pastoral visitor, acupuncturist, elder companion), and using this image in active imagination I was even able to view a future event that was quite meaningful in my life. Later, after I became initiated into the Sufi Order of the West in 1988, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that my 'sufi name' is often written calligraphically in the form of a pear!
It seems to me that in our culture we are bombarded with images of certain kinds of people: businesspeople, sports people, music-culture people, celebrity stars, and to some extent political icons. We fancy that we 'know about' such people thanks to their prominence in the media, but do we really? It seems as if these are really the only choices of how to be. But actually, there are all sorts of other kinds of people who rarely make an appearance in film, sit-coms, the news, or even in documentaries. People who have vocations such as mine do not make a lot of money, as a general rule, and so we are probably not considered to be attractive subjects for the media. There are a few exceptions, 'Babette's Feast,' the Danish film from the '80's, some of our films that feature western types living in solitude on remote ranches (can't think of any titles, just images from a few films), and I'm sure you could also name several more.