Category Archives: Power of the Myth

a place to “be”

I was introduced to The Power of the Myth a few years ago and it was/is compelling (Joseph Campbell, died in 1987, a year before his interviews, The Power of the Myth, with Bill Moyers were released). He is credited with many quotes, perhaps the best known is, “Follow your bliss”.

I remind myself to pick up this book again…it has a permanent home on the window sill of my little studio. His words never fail to renew my spirit. I especially love the way he explains religion in terms of metaphors and how we erroneously read life in prose instead of poetry. Anyway, thank you again to my cousin, Glenda, for turning me on to this awareness and I, in turn, will share a bit with you:

“This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be, this is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen”. jc

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p.s. I hesitate to include what follows in this entry…it doesn’t really fit but it is , I think, very thought provoking…perhaps something that makes us a little uncomfortable but perhaps something to think about…either way, agree or disagree, here it is:

“Marriage is not a love affair. A love affair is a totally different thing. A marriage is a commitment to that which you are. That person is literally your other half. And you and the other are one. A love affair isn’t that. That is a relationship for pleasure, and when it gets to be unpleasurable, it’s off. But a marriage is a life commitment, and a life commitment means the prime concern of your life. If marriage is not the prime concern, you’re not married….The Puritans called marriage “the little church within the Church.” In marriage, every day you love, and every day you forgive. It is an ongoing sacrament – love and forgiveness…. Like the yin/yang symbol….Here I am, and here she is, and here we are. Now when I have to make a sacrifice, I’m not sacrificing to her, I’m sacrificing to the relationship. Resentment against the other one is wrongly placed. Life is in the relationship, that’s where your life now is. That’s what a marriage is – whereas, in a love affair, you have two lives in a more or less successful relationship to each other for a certain length of time, as long as it seems agreeable.”

Yikes, huh?

something positive and non provocative to end with… a bouquet from Elizabeth from a summer a long time ago

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What if…

 I’m rereading Joseph Campbell’s Power of the Myth. It’s casual reading; the book sits on the generous window sill in my studio next to a fat leather chair we brought back from the twin’s apartment in Colorado. I sit there now and then during the day and read a few pages usually with coffee. I find something to think about, to ponder, and then I move on. It’s a luxury of summer – my life here at home consists of stations and I move through them each day – this for me is heaven.

I can easily, like you, get caught up in my world and focus on my immediate surroundings, but then I “hear” or see things and I am jolted out of it and flung into a realm that is bigger and certainly more intense than my little world on Vida Shaw Road.

To inject negativity into this pretty little portrait of summer, I am noticing the climate change in a colossal way. Here, at my house, a place I have lived 27 years, the figs are over before they were even ready last year, same with the concord grapes and the pear trees will be finished long before July ends. It is usually nearly August when my chickens have their pear fest under the pear trees – that’s when they enjoy all of the pears that have over ripened and fallen off and are laced with “protein” (bugs) ;this year they are celebrating in late June, an entire month earlier. I have no authority to get into this whole issue of climate change and global warming but I am certain things are not as they were. Of course, nothing that is alive ever stays the same; change is part of the universe – it has to occur. I suppose I just mention this to encourage all of us to be mindful of our habits that do harm. The little things really do, cumulatively, make a difference. All of those stores require destroying land which in turn destroys the homes of hundreds of animals and then those huge stores must be filled up with “stuff” that is mostly made of plastics that have to be shipped or trucked in from faraway places – many times, China – and then when we have enough of it it has to be trucked or shipped to some land fill and we can buy more “stuff”.

 I’m sure most of you have seen the vintage video, “The Story of Stuff”, but like Joseph Campbell’s Power of the Myth, it’s worth a “reread”. Ok, I’m done. {Perhaps you can find something on this beautiful summer day that you can recycle or reuse instead of buying and perhaps this action can become a habit and we can all take better care of our planet. Small footprints are so wonderful; I strive to leave one).

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