Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Will Meet You on the Hero's Journey

By Brenda Bauer

Sitting in a coffee shop, I watch people. It is a favorite pastime of mine. There are coffee shops that I avoid because they have become internet cafes. I like people and when I step into a coffee shop filled with people that have only the awareness of the screen in front of them I am left feeling alone and disconnected, but they have a story too. I wonder why they go out into the world and then not take a part in it. The stage for people watching is not isolated to coffee shops.

My voyeurism has an element of storytelling. I tell myself the story. Taos, New Mexico is a perfect setting for this pastime. There is a rich diversity of people here that fires my imagination. In the laundromat one day a beautiful woman came in dressed in old but well designed clothes. She stepped into the middle of the rows of washers and dryers and began to sing in a clear lovely voice a sad sweet ballad. Immediately I began to tell myself her story. What had prompted her to break out in song in this unusual setting? What did her journey look like? I tell myself the story of what barriers she had to face and what battles she had had to fight. What choices had she made to bring her to this town , to this state of being, to this laundromat? I tell myself the story of her sadness, her humor, her brokenness and her laughter.

I believe that we are all on hero's journeys and in telling myself the story of others' journeys I no longer feel alone in my own. So my people watching is not just about observation. It is about connection with the whole of humanity.


  1. I agree that technology has somewhat severed the intimate connections that people once valued. I also think that a lot of jobs are now more internet oriented though, and cafes are a good place to get out of the house but still work...
    I do believe that we are all on our own hero's journey in a sense. It's cool how you connected the lady in the laundromat to the hero's journey.

  2. What a marvelous analogy, Brenda! You painted an amazingly vivid picture with your words and I even felt a bit melancholy when I read it again. The fact that you are in tune with others makes THEIR journey valid and real. God bless you, Dear Heart, for acknowledging your Hero's Journey and the Hero's Journey of others who may not ever know that they were truly SEEN and FELT.

  3. The stories in which we choose to insert ourselves, or adventures we take with others can shape and influence our future. So if we can learn from observation but also interact with what we have learned then we can never be alone.