Monday, August 18, 2008

Mystical Journeys

At a picnic this weekend, Tamesha Hawkins (see video below) was wearing the T-Shirt shown in this photograph. And, I thought, “Good for you,” because it speaks to what lies at the root of so much personal evil. Whatever shape your mystical journey takes (and make no mistake – everyone is on one), there’s always something or someone on the side of the road, waiting to mess with it.

You dream some dream that fits who you are, or who you think you are, or who you want to be. You either painstakingly map, or just stumble upon a path to toward that dream, and go. Hopefully, you are somewhat prepared for a path that will wind through unexpected places, and know that it will likely lead toward destinations that aren’t even on your map. And, hopefully, you are not completely bound to your envisioned path, realizing that dreams – like life – are a journey; that the journey is what you really need; and, that the final destination is where you were suppose to end up all along.

And, along this journey, there are all these unforeseen (and even foreseen) circumstances and situations that rattle you, that make you question your path, and too often, even turn you back for the safety of the familiar “back there”. Then, there are the shiny things (or sort of shiny things) that entice you to abandon the path. They lie right in the middle of the road, twinkling like treasure beneath the X on your map. Hey! Aren’t I pretty? Aren’t I what you were looking for? Pick me up! Yes, that’s it. Yeah – let’s just move over this way …

And, suddenly, you’re in some empty pasture, up to your knees in weeds, trying to remember something about a path.

And, then there are the people who think you are blocking their path, or might be a bit more valuable if you were dedicated to their journey, or might be good for whatever trouble they anticipate up ahead, or just want to mess with you on general, twisted principle. And, there are others who are knowledgeable, with good intentions, and may help you if you ask. But, they are not you, cannot navigate your path, or truly say which branch you should walk.

How to guard and guide our journeys? How to press on through the twists and brambles, conquer the precipices and floods, and overcome the thieves and interlopers? How do we know which shiny bits are true treasure, and when the Emerald City is more than mirage? How do we decide when to leave the path that runs pleasantly across the open field for the one that descends into the dark, unmarked forest?

I don’t know, but I’ll see you on the path.


Spartacus Jones said...

I wonder if you're a Joseph Campbell fan (Hero with a Thousand Faces)...

All those obstacles are what makes the journey the journey. You can't polish a diamond without friction. The keenest blade is forged in the hottest fire.

Or, at least, that's what my fortune cookie said.

Me, if I have a choice between the open field and the dark, unmarked forest, I'll take the forest.

Much more of an adventure.


CoyoteFe said...

No, but I used to be a Castaneda fan - does that count? :-)

See, I keep running for the forest, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn't try staying in the open sometimes.

Man, I need an upgrade on my fortune cookies.