The Journey Ends And Another Begins
Have to confess, I was very reluctant to get out of bed this morning. That is quite unusual for me. I rise each morning, knowing I am going to write something. It begins with a page in my journal and then I move on to my blogs.
Near the end of his book about the stages of the Hero’s Journey, appropriately titled The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler sums it up in this brief paragraph:
But take hope, for writing is magic. Even the simplest act of writing is almost supernatural, on the borderline with telepathy. Just think: We can make a few abstract marks on a piece of paper in a certain order and someone a world away and a thousand years from now can know our deepest thoughts. The boundaries of space and time and even the limitations of death can be transcended.
My personal reluctance earlier, came from the knowledge that I would be ending this particular journey this morning. It has been an exciting and very satisfying trip, and like any other human being, I feel a sadness to have it come to an end. But, mingled with that sadness is a deep sense of having come full circle.
Every life is a journey, many of them, as a matter of fact. My journey ends with the beginning of a new one, fueled by the one I have written here on these pages, which in turn was fueled by the one that came before it, and the one before that. I have often said, and written, that I have lived many lives, each journey is an adventure, a life coming full circle.
Although, I have been aware for many years, that the Hero’s Journey is an important issue in each individual life, as I wrote this story, I was again made more deeply aware of that reality. I may not have directly mentioned each of the stages within that journey, but they are here in the details and the encounters of which I have spoken.
In the Hero’s Journey, the task is to leave the ordinary world, to seek, find, and struggle to possess the magic elixir and bring it’s potion back to that ordinary world. Why? Because the elixir is always a healing element. It is always meant to heal that ordinary world, right what has been turned topsy-turvy, bring fresh air to a stagnant experience, to bring light into what may have become no more than shadows.
I am all about the nurture of the soul. Writing for me, became that most basic form of nurture. But, what was the elixir I brought back from my personal adventure? I’ll let Vogler explain that:
Writing is an often perilous journey inward to probe the depths of one’s soul and bring back the Elixir of experience –a good story. Low self-esteem or confusion about goals may be the Shadows that chill our work, an editor or one’s own judgmental side may be the Threshold Guardians that seem to block our way. Accidents, computer problems, and difficulties with time and discipline may torment and taunt us like Tricksters. Unrealistic dreams of success or distractions may be the Shapeshifters who tempt, confuse, and dazzle us. Deadlines, editorial decisions, or the struggle to sell our work may be the Tests and Ordeals from which we seem to die but are Resurrected to write again.
This may be my story, but it is everyone’s story as well. You don’t have to be a writer to learn from it, or understand all of its pathos. If you are willing to risk living your life fully, you will easily see and comprehend these same realities within your own process, whatever that might be. I wrote this story because another writer asked me some questions about my experience with the Grammy Nomination. And I couldn’t be more grateful that she did.
Story is healing, it is good medicine. No one needed to hear this story more than myself. If for no other reason than those issues of low self-esteem and confusion. Writing it, telling it here in this public forum, has allowed me to far more intimately know its details and connect them in a new and different awareness.
There is always some reward attached to completing the task and the journey. Mine was being allowed to teach others about the meaning within their own story. Teaching them the tools necessary for unraveling that experience, untangling all of its filaments, and making the connections that would help them move forward to even more of the same. The very tools I had discovered and learned to use in earlier journeys.
It is my hope that this current writing might do the same for others. I, for one, am once again leaving my ordinary world, setting out on yet another journey, a new adventure. I will be following in my own footsteps, this story echoing in my ears, keeping me good company, reminding me of those same tools, the world of possibilities, and the magic which awaits.
Thanks for listening,