I seem to regularly wake up in the deep stillness of the night these days. Often it’s hours before I get back to sleep, hours of quiet, reading, and sometimes jotting down errant thoughts drifting past the windows inside.
My move out of the city and into the mountains is complete. I walk or ride my bicycle every day for at least an hour, often more. One of the results are my first two blog posts in ages it seems, which is a sort of return to the roots of what the Cafe is and was about. The many boxes of books have all been unpacked and are shelved neatly about my new place. Perhaps all my life I’ve been dreaming of such a place, the majestic beauty of nature all about and what I can find or create of beauty within. There are paintings, one at least of mine, and photos, all of mine, on the walls. There are guitars upstairs and downstairs.
My Joycean books, twelve of them (which includes two copies of Stephen Hero and two of Ulysses) take up a tidy little section of the bookshelf not far from my right shoulder as I write this. But I rarely glance at them. Maybe that’s a result of the work I did putting together the videos and the responses they elicited.
It’s like nowadays I am distancing myself from excessive words, because there are so many other ways of returning to the core, re-attuning to the wonder and mystery that is life, re-atoning (re-at-one-ing).
And of course with each word I put down I fly in the face of this unspoken resolve.
I suppose the point I am trying to make is that there are so many paths back to ourselves!
But, then, why do we yearn for paths back to ourselves? It’s a simple question that should be asked to my thinking, and it’s one that I’ve been asking for over thirty years now since embarking on my own life’s journey.
And the answer to the question of why we yearn for that pathway back to ourselves is the obvious but difficult one: that the society and now the increasingly citified world civilization we have been born into is unbalanced, off key, and from even before we emerge from the womb we are being indoctrinated into the prevailing imbalance.
We are lost before we are even born!
And for some of us that reality simply doesn’t sit very well. We sense it and feel it in every relationship we experience, even with our most trusted and indeed loved ones. Our parents and teachers, in fact everyone we come into contact with are complicit in the imbalance.
It sounds stark, and yet given that scenario what is someone seeking a rebalancing to do? Well, as Campbell would put it, go on the Hero’s Journey. Take on the difficult task of separating oneself from the prevailing imbalance, severing oneself from all the imbalance that one has been raised into, and work backwards towards the centre, the core, the source of all that is…Life!
And then, if we succeed in our quest, because we are human and as such live in community with others, we find ourselves confronted with a dilemma. Do we return to the community knowing what we have come to know, do we return with our retrieved balance to the fundamentally imbalanced world? Or do we remain outside, go to the mountains or otherwise remain aloof, perhaps removing ourselves to a retreat or hermitage or even founding one ourselves?
A weighty question. One Joyce and his alter ego Stephen struggled with.
Especially considering this: What if in returning to the essentially imbalanced world we were originally raised into nothing we say or communicate can be understood by those clinging wilfully or not to their imbalance? What if we, having regained our essential balance, appear to everyone else in their imbalance as the imbalanced ones? That is the difficulty in the return, as it just so happens I alluded to in a blog I posted within the last week or so.
Anyway, this has gotten long enough. It’s nearing five in the morning. There is absolute quiet outside, or nearly so at any rate. The pre-dawn air is cool and I’ll try for a couple more hours of sleep before getting on with my day.
I wish you the best. What else is there to say when you think about it? These words and what goes on at the Cafe are not about me showing off, they’re meant as light and water flowing down and nourishing others so that they discover the strength inside to follow their own path back to themselves.
It’s your life, take the ball and run with it. In becoming fully yourself you rejoin the oneness of the whole. Growing into all that we can be, not in the societal sense but in the meta-spiritual sense, we return to the fulness that is all Life!
Okay, that’s enough.