Although my last blog looked to be a departure from the things I have been writing about (Wild Thing), it really wasn’t. Go back and reread the words to that old folk song that introduces the previous article. The little bird that is its subject is just such a Wild Thing. In my mind, the little bird is a hummingbird. The hummingbird is forever in movement, and it is the symbol of joy. Joy dies, fails to flourish in captivity. Restraints render it less than free, exuberant, and radiant with its genuine color and flow. Joseph Campbell, the leading mythologist of this past century, has written that in order to know true fulfillment and happiness, we must follow our bliss. And again, one must see that in the humble little hummingbird and its movement. It is constantly propelling itself toward what it needs and that which will sustain its very life.
Should we be any different? There are connective links in each of our stories, we simply have to find them. Find and acknowledge them, then possess and celebrate them. That is following our bliss. That is propelling ourselves toward what we need and what will sustain the lives we choose to live. I can remember the startled shock I felt the first time I realized that happiness wasn’t something that just happened randomly, or occasionally, in my existence. It was something I could and did choose at any given moment. What an extraordinary revelation that was. As well as extremely difficult to hold onto, given some of my circumstances. But, I remember thinking, if that revealing thought held any truth at all, then it was one well worth pursuing.
That was the beginning of my hummingbird flight. I am a Seeker, curious to a fault. And the trail I have left can be found inside of my journal pages and the poems I have written, as I flitted from one topic of interest to another. There was Mythology, especially personal mythology, Symbolism, Dreams, the human psyche, the Soul and Soul Work, inner dialogue and Imaging. Because of circumstances within my own story, I wanted to know how the brain functions, and was fascinated by Psychology. And through all of that flitted my love of language and curiosity about words, meanings and definitions. History and how it pertained to the individual as well as the whole of Society, and many other tangents and paths along the way. To be honest, the list continues right up to today and my present fascination with color and its meaning and flow.
I have followed my bliss and yes, have found happiness within that flight. Far more happiness than I could have imagined when I was sitting there waiting for some magic miracle to fall into my hands or lap. And yet, there still resides within me the awe of the child that I was, the believer in magic that I have become. We make our own magic. We do have that ability and that choice.
In my last writing about the Wild Thing, I created a young boy as an example. Through no fault of his own, he chose to lock away a piece of himself, to silence it, to suppress it, to dismiss it and cut it out of his existence. I have no desire to leave him there, struggling to contain what needs to be set free. That is his hummingbird, his Wild Thing. Instead, I would encourage him to sit down and attempt to learn the language that Wild Thing speaks. To make friends with it. And most importantly, to learn how to listen to what it is trying to tell him. It is a genuine and natural part of his person. And it is trying to tell him something about himself. He may have formed a habit of not hearing it, but habits are learned, and as such, most definitely may be unlearned.
I would tell him that wild creatures are often shy, so it will take a lot of patience. That he must not go to the place that Wild Thing inhabits with a cage or weapon. He must not try to capture it, but with sincerity, must truly just go with only his senses and wait. That Wild Thing is also curious, it will come to sniff and to learn what has entered its space in order to discover if this new presence is friend or foe. The boy, now man, might want to take a pen and notebook along to keep track of his progress and to note the environment he has entered into. It all helps. Who knows, he might find himself writing a poem about the tree where he sits, leaning back and waiting.
I can only promise him one thing. If he is steadfast, eventually that Wild Thing will make itself known. Will begin to speak, perhaps as no more than a whisper in the boy/man’s mind. It must, for it is self calling to self. It may speak of anger and hurt, the pain of being locked away and how that has resulted in a depth of mistrust. Mistrust that only the boy/man can change through his steadfastness. For it is the boy/man who locked the creature away and must, therefore, seek its forgiveness and prove his worthiness. And within that process earn and reap the rewards of connective links rejoined as they were always meant to be.
Then, and only then, will he be free to follow his bliss, perhaps truly happy for the first time in his existence. Free to find and follow his own dreams, express his own story, make his own defintions and free to walk upright, or even launch himself into his own hummingbird flight.