Plucking away at the Guitar of Life
I am not a guitar player, I am a writer, and a literature teacher. That being said, or in this case: written, I felt it was time to write a hubpage, and the title came to me instantaneously. Trying to find an image came just as quickly on a google search for images. And being a "Martin" by marriage made the metaphor seem even more amazing!
Enmeshed in the world of academic research methodologies, taking and facilitating online courses and working diligently to balance all the rest of my world, is like trying to fine tune a guitar. Some days the chords seem to be off key, and a discordant sound permeates. Other times, those guitar strings bellow out a melodic tune that aligns me with the music of the cosmos and ingratiates my soul.
Life takes unexpected turns as we all know. And yet, in the midst of them all, if we could but see ahead, we realize these turns were always connected to the path in our individual journey.One of my mentors, Joseph Campbell the philosopher mythologist reminds us that when we are following our bliss, we:
.." put ourselves on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for us, and the life that we ought to be living is the one we are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time." Campbell.
The first time I heard this concept, it struck a chord for me that has reverberated again and again, over and over in my heart. I ended up buying sweatshirts for myself and my dear brother that had this saying on it, embedded with a yellow labyrinth in the middle of the center of the shirt. When he died, I wrapped the box of my brothers ashes with this during a sacred ceremonial funeral we held for him in the desert.
Where does the plucking of life guitar include the moments we so dearly need to reflect upon the beauty that surrounds the journey for which we undertake? Like a student of the instrument itself, we must take the time to practice the intention to create this space. We need to consciously remind ourselves that life is full of work to do, places to go and people to see, but non-withstanding the duties we self create in the world, we have first a duty to strum the chords and strings of our own guitars. For what good is any life without those moments of self-reflection and introspection of the processes we bring into our lives that teach us theose things we most need to learn and heal?
So I"m strumming along, pluckin' and pickin', wishin' and hopin", livin' and learnin' while tuning myself to the melody of my soul.
I invite you to do the self-same thing!