‘What?’ I asked. My wife doesn’t read too many posts, so this modest little reaction warranted further inquiry.
She read: ‘It was understood, as it had always been understood, that the parade was for the men.’ ‘That’s interesting,’ she added.
Ahh, a reader had picked up on that one!
She had been reading my post: ‘A Dream: The Festival Of Life.’ In it an imaginary community was celebrating their holiest day of the year, the culmination of which was a Ceremonial Parade. The parade represented the Grand flow of Life, from the present generation of all living creatures back in time through the preceding generations, the flow symbolized by the golden-blue umbilical-like ribbon linking each individual in line with all the others behind.
I wrote: ‘Women somehow instinctively comprehended the True Meaning of the ribbon, but men required teaching, needed orientation. The community sought to instruct them, so that their lives could be channeled towards serving what the ribbons represented.’
Something therein lies at the heart of the Omphalos Cafe. Something quite difficult to delineate. So I’ll jump right in where the water’s deepest.
Let’s face it, men make better mass-murderers than women. Men are capable of any and all violent crimes. Perhaps women too, but to a far lesser degree.
We have this tendency to honor and revere great artists, profound thinkers, but what I’m referring to here is more along the lines of supreme athletes. Not the winning and fame, but the sheer bull-like power of those pinnacles of masculine form.
The book and word loving class discount such unlettered behemoths, but they are as much a part of Life as a cute song or poem, more so.
‘We will probably never know why he did what he did,’ the authorities intone after the latest heinous crime perpetrated by a ‘madman’.
But the Poets know. It is Life!
Thwarted Life. Bottled up. Dammed. The male energy, unfocused, unharnessed to Life’s cart. What has built the pyramids, the cathedrals, the gleaming cities we inhabit, what has sailed the seven seas and rocketed to the moon, what created the innumerable works of wondrous art through all time and space, can tear it all down too.
Urbane city dwellers, and aren’t we all now?, beware! The energy that traversed the oceans, explored the continent and fought off the indigenous folk, cleared the forests, plowed the fields, built house, village, town, and city, is amongst us still. Ignore it, discredit it, at your own peril.
Young women, thoughtless of the morrow, heedless of anything but their own whimsical desires and fancies, are frequently (but not always) yanked back into their senses by pregnancy and motherhood. What takes place within a woman’s body on a monthly basis, the preparation for Life, man can never fully fathom.
Young men revel in the sense of burgeoning power swelling in them. There is a sense of invincibility, a surging potency capable of trampling everything before it. But where is the grounding principle? Where the ballast? Where the guiding light which will direct all that ungovernable energy towards the good of the community?
And that is why I wrote ‘It was understood, as it had always been understood, that the parade was for the men.’
When asked what were the consequences of a society having lost touch with an overarching Myth, Joseph Campbell responded: ‘Just look around, read the paper!’
This post has grown long enough. But it feels like I’ve only scratched the surface.