Tuesday, April 7, 2015


For a long time I have had a recurring scene pass in front of my eyes, a flickering black and white clip of a man with artificial wings affixed to his arms, running dead set for the edge of a cliff. He runs, flapping like hell, only to pull up short just feet from the edge, not trusting his homemade contraption to hold him against gravity.
He is Icarus, Daedalus' son, anxious against the bright sunlight, worried about his own weight on the wings, worried moreso about his undescribed and hidden desire to fly to the highest heights with abandon.  What that will mean and what that will make, his desire to fly is thwarted by last minute doubt and worry.
But tonight, Joseph Campbell's recording of ancient wisdom rang true:
“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.
It is not as wide as you think.' "
--from A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

Today I bought a house, cementing my decision to move to a city long considered a future home, under different conditions and for different reasons, but an idea set in motion long ago. And I'm here, now, and happy and excited, this bittersweet taste in my mouth not crowding out my delight at new discoveries, but also not salving pretty profound feelings of loss and change.
It's like coming back to something and knowing it for the first time, like T.S. Eliot talked about, but not really. It's holding the space of what was with the space of what might be. It's being unsure about how to marry what has already happened (the people you love(d), things you've experience(d)) with an unchartered course.
My girl, Bridget (who is truly a gifted spiritual advisor) noted that this is a time to accept & be, explaining that if things could be different, they would be. And so I move forward, buying a house on a familiar street under radically different circumstances, celebrating a new life in environments that hold many memories, stitching together what is new and old without being totally clear on the design that will unfold. More crazy quilt than the careful block pattern that has governed the stitching of my life for so many years. Stepping into it, breath deep in my lungs, stomach tight, arms strengthened and ready to hold these heavy wings aloft, trusting in my own ingenuity, ready to take flight. 
Light as air, it's not as wide as you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment