Thursday, April 26, 2012

I am the River

The mother represents Nature, but the father introduces the son and daughter to social relationships.
From Reflections on the Art of Living: a Joseph Campbell Companion. Pg 56

Myth is the art of personal and cultural story. It is the waking dream. It is not truth, but it points to truth.

A Personal Myth:
At one time I longed to visit the Rocky Mountains, to stand at their feet and feel the power of their size. I have done that, and enjoyed it, but it is not the home of my heart. They are too harsh. Perhaps they represent my father in my personal mythology.

I can see my mother as the glacier
, running off those steep, gray mountains, a little bit at a time. I hear The Mountain speaking to the Glacier with derision, "Why do you take no initiative? Why are you not a powerful River, a Goddess equivalent to my own magnificence?" (Of course, HAD she been, she would have changed him greatly.). But my mother replies, "It is not for me to be the river. To be the river or the lake, that is reserved for my daughters."

The second daughter is a tall, slender waterfall. She is 300 feet of silver water, leaping from the arms of the father and yearning all the way down to land in the arms of a man who will understand her, appreciate her, and encourage her to be more of herself. As long as she yearns, she will always be falling, always returning to the top to leap again.

Her son is the Eagle: smart, strong, and determined. The mountains and lakes have nurtured him, yet he covets not their stability. How can it compare to the freedom to choose?

Her daughter is the Moon: graceful, benevolent, shining on the flanks of her own gray mountain, soothing his ragged edges, and her son is the little bear.

The third daughter, is a deep blue lake. She is still, calm, and dependable. Her daughters are the doe and the horse. They draw sustenance from her cool clear water, and the rich meadow of love and support that she has made with her own mountain.

The fourth child is a son, and he is a forest. He climbs the flanks of the mountain, and the mountain embraces him, but there is a point beyond which he fails to conquer. Though he flows across the valley, along the creeks and lake shores, he is always looking at the ragged line that separates the forest and the mountain top.His daughters are the Cougar and the Trumpeter Swan.

And I? I am the first daughter. I am the river, running free of the mountain, cutting a path that leads away, tumbling noisily over gravel beds of jewel-tone stones, roaring over raft-eating rapids of self-discovery, and slinking along the shallow sandy bars, warming in the sun. I will have no child, I am racing to my destination, the great Sea.