Thursday, July 08, 2004

Milking my Mara into curds and wey....

One way to intuit Mara madness in my life is this: Mara represents that creature that I had to volitionally surrender in order to live the life that needs to be lead. Like the mother of Moses planting her swaddled progeny into the nile I love my Mara's so much (Swissy-Missy and the Morning Mara of today)and know that they will transition into a Pharoah goddess someday. Mara comes back to tempt me, to show me perhaps what could have been, to say "This creature could have been yours if you'd chosen the path of society. The path of the village-compound."

Joseph Campbell--The Campbell crackhead that I am--says that in life there are two paths; The path of the society and the path of the individual.

{Please refrain from jesting the all-too-obvious Robert Frost "Road Less Traveled" chorus.}

The path of society is the path with road signs. It's the path that tells you exactly how-many-miles-there-is-to-the-next-port. It's the "coacktail" or "family holiday obligatory query" path b/c it shows similar passengers just exactly where you're at. When a relative asks you how many more years of school you have left? or what islands you plan on frequenting on your pending cruise? you know that your on the path of the society. On this path the landmarks are very well meted and emotionally measured. My sister and her husband are grand navigators of this path. They know exactly how much more schooling they have left, exactly where they will be in five years (Lawyer, Doctor) and even in fifteen years (senator, congressman--ooops, sorry Beth-- Congressbitch...or, I mean woman (smiles sis)...It's really beautiful in a way because the sole purpose of the village compound path is to ensure the continuity of the immediate surroundings and the cultural augmentation of society.

This is a wonderful path. The essence of the American dream is the pavement for this interstate. If you know how to read the signs, the destinations are endless and there's no telling how far you can travel and what sights will be seen! But, with this path, you have to obey the traffic lights. You have to stop occasionally, you can't speed. The detination is there and the atlas unfolds into a perfect map of your own heart. It's a grand path and one that ensures the greatness and vast depth of mankind.

The second path Campbell notes is more precarious--it's the path of the individual. The individual path is the path of which society has no notion, but it is a path that, if traversed, is often historically venerated with awe. It's the path that, if your at a family holiday and you inform your in-laws that you've spent over 2000 hours diligently milking a book mansucript they look at you with their holiday tonic and immediately want to know when you're going to be published and the net worth of your advance.

It's a very lonely path and it's dangerous because there's no stop signs, the sun sets are more luminous, the mountains are full of menacing dragons.

There are no stop signs on this path. No mileage charts or assurances to tell you "if you go here, you'll get here." You could write the perfect song on this path or push the realm of contemporary art to the next canvas and never see the destination port in your lifetime. Many artist have slip in unhealthy tendencies b/c, they are expecting to have the imminent rewards and mileage of the first path intesect with the spontaeous spring and torrential fall of the second.

"You can't have it both ways." Campbell iterates. "The insecure path is really the secure path."

In regards to my Mara all I can say is this: Swissy-Missy and other makeshift muses become emblematic of what might have been--what my life could be; could obtain if I spent more time crusing on the Society's freeway and less time scaling the side of my own Devil's Tower. When I was 'with' Miss Swissy I wanted so F'ing badly to give her everything; to kiss that tiara of sunshine on her forehead everymorning and tuck her in with my voice everynight. The problem being, as Campbell points out (again)....

"You can't have it both ways."

At least not now. I'll find the elusive queen or whatever eventually (find her so many times), I have no doubt about that, since I've found magicians, gypsies, trobadors, Kings, dragons, trollopes and fellow warriors on this path, I'll find the golden-tressed daughter of a King or whatever.

My Mara looks at me with those eyes that say "come" everytime they blink. Those eyes that say "If you come with me we could have a wonderful life on the Interstate path. We could be successful and have a morgage and a beautiful family."

I think the reason the last two Mara's have appeared "blurry" is because my inner-self, the self that serves a Virgil to my mischevious Dante, knows that I'm acknowledging this Mara and I know what has to be done. Knows that you can't serve two masters and be successful. Knows that, kiddo, you chose the road of the individual and there's so many more sunsets, so many more creatures and that every moment on that road will last forever.


2 comments:

arya said...

YES! That's it! "Mara represents that creature that I had to volitionally surrender in order to live the life that needs to be lead." For me too. But for me in some ways it's the opposite. I had to do the expected things but strangely not because they are expected. From outward view, I took the society-sanctioned path (married a man that could have come from an arranged marriage, got an MBA, work in corporate america). And I gave up the burning desire to be a bohemian artist on a deserted island unmarried to someone radically different and completely outside of my gene pool. And in my case, somehow, strangely, it was the right thing to give that up. The danger for me is if I do follow the road signs on this familiar paved road. AHHHHHH! All hell breaks loose. THEN I'm a sell-out and I did everything for the wrong reasons. But if I can manage to ignore the signs and break the rules (which is so so so so hard but possible) then I am living the life I was meant to lead. I try to arrange secret shortcuts through this highway for folks like you who are living my Mara and need a quick detour through our land every once in a while. Or maybe it's that I'm stealing road signs (which I actually did once, it said LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY - TCS) and replacing them with the ones I find on David's path...

daku said...

This is what I think: D has it black and white. A is unifying both paths and thinks it's grey (sometimes?). I think it's possible to have both and not end up with grey. Think the Material Girl.

You are an individual in a society. One is not without the other. But then, whatever I think and whatever I say is not what I actually have right now. Right now, I am still not clear what my path is. I thought I'd clear it more on the mountain - well, I cleared some things, but not this particular one. I'm still waking up from a long long sleep.