Thursday, September 21, 2006

Do You Realize?

ON WHY CHILDREN ASK ABOUT DEATH
or What I Learn In Life Will Be the Death of Me

That one day...In a reverie that I once thought of as bliss, an afternoon was spent watching all 5 channels in Air-Conditioned splendor. Never one station for too long because, as the sages have said, "it's not what's on TV, it's what else is on TV." Nonetheless, I was in rapt attention when I clicked upon the imposing and all too cool mien of the dark father himself, Darth Vader"Holy smokes! Vader's on PBS?!?!?" What an incredible find! Star Wars on public television! The unseen hand of my adolescent existence became a cataract on my hardscrabble summer. And then I realized it was a mundane interview about religion. Well, not religion as I understood it, but I was willing to watch in hopes that I'd soon see a Tauntaun. Heck, even a glimpse of Ewok would've been sufficient in those days before I could watch Star Wars at whim. Turns out, it was my second step into a larger world. The first, Obi-Wan had mentioned. The one that George Lucas had written about, inspired by the writings and later the friendship of one Joseph Campbell. He was the subject of said interview. Skywalker Ranch was the setting of 4 of the 5 released hours of the Bill Moyers conducted series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. Now, being raised a Lutheran, Bill Moyers had a lot in common with me and asked many of the same questions that I had only whispered in clandestine thought; Meaning of life this, where souls go that, what's up with the Star Wars thing, et cetera. Thus began a long-standing, although itinerant, love affair with the teachings of Joseph Campbell. Knowing the ebullience with which I write, I should say preachings, but I've learned Joe (we've got a good vibe) didn't care much about what others believed. His was not to proselytize. His was a journey of Self and Other. His Other was not you, her, or Johnny Bagodonuts down the street, but the incomprehensible everything that is. The Unifying Theory that moves like handheld sand in rational thought could be peeked at through Myth. All Myth. All human experience, religion, disposition and feeling. His life's work was to find a common path and perhaps THE path. In the end, I hope he found it. In the end, feel he did. Feelings. Nothing more than feelings. In many respects, I think...er, feel that we are in touch with everything in ways that we're not trained to be. Break out your crystals and incense because it's time to recognize. Ever been in a situation where you had to make a choice and you went with your gut? Ever been in a situation that you couldn't define as right or wrong, but you felt was either/or? Ever created anything? Ever let yourself? It's at these times I feel that we allow...that we trust our feelings (sound familiar?). Something compels us if attuned, yet we spend much of our life learning about the ins and outs of civilized societal rules or what Nietzsche calls the "thou shalt." Propriety binds much of our understanding of self. Am I to do this or that? Am I to think this or that? But! There is an age at which we have not preconceived. We have only notions. These are indefinable truths we know with answers we can't. So we look to our authorities. Mom, dad, priest, teacher, butcher, baker, you know the rest. They impart to us at best what they feel and at worst what we need to know. A child asks about death because a child recognizes it, feels there is something to be known about it. Just like the sky or her fingernails or mommy's booby. Or why things end. Pretty simple question. Why do things end? I need fresh ears...lost a thought...will come back tomorrow. I'll change it tomorrow, I'll post it anyway.

2 Comments:

Blogger Laila said...

I love this blog! It reads almost dream-like. I'm looking forward to whatever you're going to add!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Moxy Jane said...

I'm glad you got it out there...see how it takes shape. I love to see what life our thoughts take on once we set them loose.

6:37 PM  

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