Tuesday, April 22

When I was 13 years old, my parents sent me on a coming of age quest. So I left suburban Massachusetts and was sent into the New Hampshire wilderness. I encountered there the woodland spirit-force of Uncle Otter, who led his energetic charges through our individual valleys and up onto a new mountaintop. We chose spirit names. I was Owl. (The first sentence I ever uttered, I am told was, "Owl flies.") There were other spirit names for each of the boys, and we made masks which showed our spirit. We reflected as we swam, and celebrated flying through the air into the water. We made a sweat lodge, a hot-house which we made ourselves from fresh saplings bent over in a frame, and heated with stones laid on sections of a once towering tall-standing, deeply-rooted one over a fire lit by fear-fire-fire-fear. Our old selves sweat and discharged their accumulated poisonous contents and we were born anew, naked in the cool air. We learned about honor. We learned from elders ways of navigating through life's stages. We heard how our elders had overcome their fears and built their lives. Uncle Otter and his adopted-son Wren modeled for us the correct living of the archetypes king, soldier, fool, magician and lover. We spent a night in solitude, with only the flicker of light in the leaves above us reminding us that the circle of men was still strong. At the end, we received our Excaliburs, and as we ventured forward we knew that we had many battles to fight.

1 comment:

adam said...

this is a true story, by the way-