Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I Will Meet You on the Hero's Journey
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.