Monday, July 23, 2012

The Grand Odyssey

They say it only takes 21 days to form a habit. Good, bad or otherwise. Twenty-one days. I used to think "they" were nuts. Turns out, not so much.

One thousand, nine hundred and nine days have passed since I first began this incredible journey into what can only be called my Odyssey. Cool word, "odyssey". Merriam Webster defines it as "an extended adventurous wandering; a spiritual or intellectual quest."

I like that second definition. "a spiritual or intellectual quest". It seems to me that these past five+ years have been exactly that. Because as much as I thought I knew before all this began, I didn't know jack. At least not where it mattered. Not saying that the education I managed to gather wasn't worth something. Surely it was. But the bulk of knowledge that seems to be the most essential (to me) is that of this quest I now speak. Quest indeed.

Perhaps it doesn't seem all that important at first. When one begins a quest, I mean. But there is a Force; a kind of knowing that urges us along even when we seem to be completely unaware of what we're doing. Funny thing is, it is precisely that kind of blind obedience to the Voice that Whispers that is the most fulfilling adventure of all. The utter reliance on Faith that is required to navigate such an adventure is beyond anything I'd ever imagined I might hold. Not to mention the casting off of Fear and the sheer tenacity required. An Odyssey is not meant for the timid of heart. Oh no, my friend. One must either possess or acquire the courage of a fireman running into a blazing building. No stopping to think. No half-assing it. It's an all-or-nothing kinda thang. Even if you don't know it at the time.

Then there's the occasional Rest Stop. Like those oh-so-welcome signs on a long stretch of highway after you've traveled far too may miles without a drink of cold water. Just seeing the sign gets your salivary glands a-pumpin'. And your bladder screaming for mercy. Ever been there? I have. A bunch. And I can tell ya that there's little more thrilling than to finally pull off the road, walk into an air-conditioned building, and grabbing a big, tall cold one, (after the bathroom break, that is). You stand there with your head in the cooler, breathing in the refrigerated air, praising the genius who invented refrigeration.

That's what Rest Stops are for. So it is with an Odyssey of such magnitude. One must take a break every now and then, to empty the Self of waste and fill up the tank of One's spirit. Get where I'm going with this?

It has been a strange and wonderful Odyssey thus far; and it isn't over yet. But, for the moment, I am basking in the freshness of cool air, feeling the deepest kind of gratitude, knowing that no matter how much further this one takes me, I will make it. I will find my way through the tangle of bramble that may rise up in the road. I will eat from the trees that offer me nourishment, and sleep knowing that when the new day comes I will have all that I need to go on. 

That, my friends, is what a Grand Odyssey is all about.


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