Saturday, October 1, 2011
There's a lot of talk about courage in my family right now.
Yesterday, Brian and I went to see a movie called "Finding Joe" which explores the ideas contained within Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey." To be a hero, of course, one must have courage. But what is courage?
For Brian, it has required courage to be a father. Being a father was something he thought he could never, probably would never, do. Still he does it and the very attempt is making him a hero.
For Trinity, right now, it requires courage to take her daily dose of Chinese herbs - herbs which, we are told, have a very good chance of making her well. She told me today that it will also require courage for her to be well, because being "sick" (with severe chronic eczema and allergies) is all she has ever known. For her to be well will require her to be a hero.
For me, surfing has required courage, of course. There's the courage it takes to face a big wave (sometimes I wuss out) and the courage it takes to awkwardly wipe out in front of people who are better surfers than I am.
But what requires even more courage than surfing is being broke. My adult life has been a twenty-year roller coaster between heights of adequacy (sometimes abundance) and depths of scarcity. In the past, I would always take the lean times as a sign that I was on the wrong path. So, along with being strapped, during these periods I would also undertake a frantic search for something I should be doing differently.
For the first time in my life I am able to say, without doubt, that I am not on the wrong path. But I'm/we're broke again, anyway. So I'm standing in a new space, saying to myself that "just because the money isn't there, that doesn't mean I'm doing the wrong thing."
For me, THAT is courage. And I believe it will make me a hero. At least to myself.