Monday, July 4, 2011

The Wilderness

I'm away! Tucked up in a bed and breakfast deep in the Texas hill country. I've been thinking ALOT. Too much-- it was tumultuous in my head as I drove up. I stopped and wept by a river that miraculously both actually had water in it and was completely deserted. Alone by a river, my favorite place to be. Then I arrived here, laid down on the bed, and stopped my own swirling chaos thoughts to read Joseph Campbell.

The tumult slowed, the chaos quieted. I'm reading Campbell's Reflections on the Art of Living and realized that another term for "retreat" (other than, you know, "run away!!"), is withdrawal or departure. Campbell writes:

The hero's journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, 'Look, you're in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that's not been touched. So you're at home here. Well, there's not enough of you there.' And so it starts.

Wake. Yes, wake. Wake up! Look around you! Be engaged in your own life!

Campbell's a romantic in the old sense, and by god I am too. Transformations, resurrections, thresholds to new life and experiences, new ways of looking at the world: these are the things of the great stories. We'll see. I haven't been alone with myself for a whole four days in... um, a decade? We'll see what restless dragons are coiled in my head and what jewels may be lying beneath.

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