I woke up to the news that Tom Petty had died. Sad days indeed. I immediately played on of my favourite Tom Petty track:
I remember when this video first came out I was ecstatic. It was during those days that I played a lot of role-playing games one of which was Gamma World, a science fantasy role-playing game set in a 24th century post-apocalyptic earth. This video was like Gamma World brought to life and set to music. I raced to the television every time this video came on MTV.
Another one of my all time favourite Tom Petty tracks is You Don’t Know How It Feels off of his 1994 album, Wildflowers.
I could go on and on…
A vision came to me this morning of two paths. One path was labelled ‘existential angst’ the other, ‘the devil may care.’ I could see myself standing at this divergence. I’ve been down both paths at one time or another in my life, so the choice didn’t disturb me. Quite frankly, I’ve been on the chilled path for too long, grown too comfortable, so this choice comes at just the right time.
Rainer Rilke said the “Only journey is the one within.” That may be so, but I’m tired of that journey. I’ve been inside and there’s nothing there but a big dark void. One I’ve tried to fill with many things, but each time the object of my desire was devoured by the void.
So it’s with light heart that I begin to tread down the ‘devil may care’ road. I’m not sure what that will entail, but I look forward to finding out.
I wanted to say something about this whole inner journey thing. In Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, Once the hero has completed the quest and the elixir, he or she has to face one more trial – The Return. The road back is often dangerous and many heroes don’t make it back. Not always because they meet some demise, but because they have fallen in love with the enchanted world and refuse to return back to the Ordinary World where the hero belongs. By choosing to stay, the hero abandons the Ordinary world and doesn’t bring back the elixir that will help humanity.
I think that happens with a lot of seekers. They embark on the inner journey. They learn to meditate. They adopt some form of spiritual practice that unburdens their soul. They find peace. The bliss is intoxicating. They get trapped in non-ordinary reality, seduced by the bliss. They fail to heed the Zen Master’s warning:
“Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
I think I’ll hang out here for a while:
On that note, as you can see, my glass is empty. Gotta top up.
This is what I’m drinking tonight: