“When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own.”
― John Berger, Keeping a Rendezvous
Nothing can draw us in like a good story. Also at times nothing can be harder to escape. We tend to get trapped in our own mythologies, the stories we broadcast to ourselves for years on end. Somewhere in there is a cautionary tale not only about the stories we tell ourselves but the stories we expose ourselves to. Not only in books but in movies, plays and tv shows as well. Too often it seems that we fall into stories that we haven’t chosen. There’s way too many cool ones to visit to allow that to happen.
Today I had breakfast with some wonderful friends who among other things are narrative therapists. I told them how much the story prompt “What do you remember?” helped me and asked them for others that might prove equally inspiring. One friend looked at me and said “Canadian Customs”
“…?” I said
“Canadian Customs always gives a really great story prompt “Who are you? Where are you going and what do you have to declare?”
Wow… Just imagining how the answers to that can change from day to day or hour to hour. Just wow.
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“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
― Joseph Campbell
Soundtrack for song and entry: Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly”
Funny how much of my young adult life Pink Floyd provided (at least part of) the sound track to. High school days began with Us and Them and ended with The Wall. I still intend to write an essay someday comparing and contrasting The Wall and The Who’s Tommy and map them both against Campbell’s mono myth . They are essentially the same story but then according to Campbell most stories are variations of the one story. Tho bending my mind to far in that direction makes me want to try to map silly things like The Cat in the Hat onto the hero’s journey and that just gets bizarre and distracting.The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a lot easier..
Learning to Fly came out when I was first studying spirituality, questioning and starting to read Carlos Castaneda (and Joseph Campbell). The synchronicity of jumping a chasm was amazing.
At that time I became so convinced that I needed to jump a chasm and missed the metaphor. At least until the metaphor hit me in the face and I found out that the number of chasms to be jumped is only limited by the lessons we need to learn.
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“Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?”
–Ludwig Von Beethoven
I seem to be spending this evening reflecting on the goddess force and how she has manifested in my life.
Through my mother who didn’t always approve of how I lived my life and was never shy about saying exactly how and why she didn’t approve yet always told me she believed I could accomplish whatever I wanted in my life. She made it a rule that no matter how wild her wayward son got, she would never let my antics throw her. I miss her but feel her presence often
Through my stepmother who has tried as hard as she can to civilize me and what good manners I have I owe mainly to her. She has endured the most from me but somehow manages to remain supportive.
Through my older sister, who saw me as a wild free spirit (her words). I always wondered if I was a free spirit what that made the rest of my family but love held my tongue there
Likewise with the Goddess I feel the female force of the universe willing to set me in line yet always loving and healing and always showing me more grace than I probably deserve.
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Goddess of Many Moods by G A Rosenberg
More Moods Explored by G A Rosenberg
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
― John Lennon
Anyone who has read this blog before knows how much I agree with the sentiment above. Yet this believing in all things and all faiths (or elements thereof) tends to be a difficult thing to explain to people who believe in one standard belief (including atheism which as far as I can tell is a very strong conviction that there is no guiding intelligence in the universe. I see this as being a slim possibility tho too much in life seems to me miraculous to hold on to that notion as anything more.
“Do you believe in Jesus?”
“Yes I believe many things about Jesus.”
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krisna
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Om Namaha Shivaya”
Also entreaties to almost any deity from any pantheon including some of the darker ones. They to me are all part of the whole.
Tonight I received a stern talking to from my son who due to normal adolescent curiosity came across a conversation I was having about Satanism. I had to explain to him that no I am not a Satanist. His curiosity is usually sated by telling him I’m eclectic tho he still tries to find a box he can fit his father’s beliefs in. Still he’s concerned what his grandmother may say. I reassured him again and sent him to bed.
It’s funny tho when you consider how our belief systems tends to demonize that of others. The nature gods Pan and Cernunnos oft get mistaken for Satan and when you start talking about Wiccan beliefs, forget it. I have known Satanists in my life and many of them nice people tho a bit extreme but self-limiting as well. Most of them are just Christians at heart trying to show how rebellious they can be.
As always I try to understand the underlying centre of all beliefs and show respect towards them all.
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A Stranger’s Dream – Some doggerel
I’ve met the stranger
looking out through my eyes
the strenght of his lies
He tells me about liberation
He knows the depth of my frustration
My life at a crossroads, he offers the key
I hand him the lock; it turns effortlesly
Solitude overtaken and given away
Secret rituals take place inside
my head; returning memories
I can barely abide
And yet I heed this stranger’s dream
and dance to the beat of his drum
New rhyms beyond those I’ve known
New obstacles to be overcome
My feet now placed upon this path
I can walk it or run away
I make the choice or does it make me?
Perhaps greater purpose holds sway
If this way contains love at its root
then with a light heart step I
Holiness, Virtue, Meaningless words
Useless by far to ask why