Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I feel like Odysseus, many miles from home. Not necessarily literally, but spiritually, a sense that I have not realized my place of belonging in this world, my true identity, my core self.

I am reading this book, Care of the Soul, A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. It was given to me by my friend Marathon who undoubtedly read it in his own pursuits of understanding.

The section on Father in the Myth and Childhood section revolves around the Odyssey by Homer.

I remember reading the Odyssey in high school and recall being entranced, perplexed, and fascinated by the story, its mazes, its parallels, and lessons.

The sense of life as a great adventure in one’s journey home. This is true in anyone’s life, whether we realize it or not, I suppose. The question is how many twists and turns do we face along the way, how many detours do we find until we realize the path we are walking on.

In my present situation, I have often thought that I was in some distant outpost of such a journey, that I have been detoured so significantly, that I am no longer even on the map.

But this book provides me with a different perspective. "A genuine odyssey is not about piling up experiences. It is a deeply felt, risky, unpredictable tour of the soul."

When I read that, I thought to myself that in my struggles, I have strove to uncover the terrain of my soul, and many times, I did not like what I found. That my experiences, my struggles, my despair have not been in vain, that I am pushing and being pushed to find myself, and in the cocoon of my recent existence, which at times feels suffocating, that I will uncover, realize, and push out to a new found understanding and identity, a transformation of my character.

My decision to marry was one more exploration of the universe, and the answers I am looking for may not be there. But the answers, its questions must still be pursued.

My challenge is to be a man, a Man. When I married, I did not marry as a Man. I was still a child, or an adolescent, or pre-Man. That circumstance is one of the underlying causes of the angst and fault lines in my soul’s terrain now.

So, I take heart, knowing that my journey continues, and with each day, a new experience, and a new realization emerges.

The one thing I can hold onto is my truth, the truth of my experience, my assessment and evaluation of what is transpiring. For honoring the truth of my experience is the foundation of cultivating my soul, the raft that I create traversing this great Ocean of Life, and my constant friend and companion.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought....

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me---
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Excerpts from Ulysseus by Tennyson

I am glad that I decided to shut my practice and find something new, something challenging in a different way. It is a sign that I am trying to be my own person, create my own identity. Yes, I wanted to create my own practice, but also it was very much tied to M’s support, hopes, and long-term plans. Also, I did not feel myself being able to grow being in a isolated office, not stimulated by the company of other colleagues and the daily intersections of people and experiences that are prevalent in a larger office.

So I push off professionally, and I seek to push off personally as well. So I do, and so I must.

Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

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