"It's all Joseph Campbell's fault," she said with a grin...

...I open his book, A Joseph Campbell Companion*, and no matter where my eyes land, my mind gets blown. Today it was this:

You become mature
when you become
the authority for your own life.


The moment of becoming one's own authority -- the author of one's own life -- changes everything (...and nothing; such are the bittersweet ironies that the YinYang forever imparts) ...

I realize that the moment of authoring one's self is both a heartening and relinquishing of ego -- a dying and a birthing ...

... and part of me wants to run screaming from this awareness.

Of course it does. We tend to run screaming from truth. Is there another way? -- I'm thinking here of the stream of hexagrams 17 ~ 18 ~ 19 ~ 20; an imperative towards maturity seems to run through this quartet.

Perhaps a truth has been imparted (Hex. 17), made a significant, possibly jarring impact (H18), and called for a choice to move beyond a condition and perception of woundedness (H19) into a more contemplative, seeing-what-is state of mind (H20). A witness consciousness is born -- call it vision: unclouded. We apprehend what is real.

In other words, we get whacked upside the head and it's a huge OWEE! for a while. We're hurt, and we're down. But Life comes along and says, "Up now; bloom again; you're needed!"

It's time to grow up.


You see, in the last few days I've had to seriously consider the possibility of becoming a mother. My husband and I just passed 11 days with our chosen daughter, B, who flew from Germany to Canada to visit. What a leap of faith for all of us. My husband, G, had been cultivating a friendship/mentorship with her through a billiards site they both play at. I'd been skeptical: How can you come to love someone you've had an onscreen, one-dimensional connection with? Most of us humans have a hard enough time loving the ones we sit close to and share breath with, I think...

Well, my skepticism -- its cynical side -- was debunked. I remained curious, though, and a tad antsy. B and I didn't easily bond, but bond we did and I feel this ... mothering feeling, an imperative of presence and a firm kind of love that checks the cynical, petrified sides of me; it opens my eyes and my heart.

I'm nearly 50 years old, and I'm becoming a mother for the first time.

I feel sick to my stomach, and I'm daring myself to move through it. I'm coming to love someone in a way I've never loved -- never dared to love. I realize that I want to do this, and I'm scared shitless. I have to be this honest about all I feel, for I am assuming a profound responsibility: I am choosing to love someone as my child.

B has two living, natural parents and fairly steady relations with both -- and haven't we all at some point, way deep down, wanted more ideal parent-people; yearned for more elders, protectors and guardians -- safe sources of love? Someone who would be what our first parents could not be?

G felt like a father to B from the start. He's 56; both of us are childless. B took a trans-Atlantic leap and lived with us for 11 days. We all had our moments ... but something's among us; a relational choice.

We've all chosen Yes.


... Through the wisdom of Hexagrams 19 and 20, we apprehend what is real and aspire to it: we begin to understand it and move to embrace it within a circle of love and unknowing. I mean, what first-time parent has any idea, really, of what s/he is doing?

We take a stuttering, stammering leap of faith -- one heartbeat at a time.

* Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living, ed. Diane K. Osbon


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