Sunday, June 21, 2015

Do You See Your Life as a Story?

A student of literature is soon taught to see all travel stories as allegorical journeys.

An allegory is a story ostensibly about one thing, but also about something else:  a symbolic journey that occurs in progressive stages.

Since the story is a journey, it often has a beginning and an end.

Since the story is an allegory, the end signals a new beginning.

Memorable journeys of literature include

Dante begins his journey
·                     the journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in Canaan, a land seen as  home for the Biblical Israelites, a journey of 40 years
·                     the journey of Odysseus from the great mistake that was the Trojan War back home to Ithaca, a journey of 10 years
·                     the journey of Dante, who finds himself in a dark wood in the middle of his life, then travels from the Inferno to Paradiso and to an understanding of "the love which moves the sun and the stars," a journey of 32,000 words
·                     the journey of Dorothy Gale, a rebellious child betrayed by adults, to Oz and eventually back home to Kansas, a film journey of 102 minutes

Along the way, these characters are tested again and again.  The tests reveal to them their deepest selves and the strength of their spirits.

If you see your life as a story, later on, you will see the tests you faced along as the components of your evolving and forming identity, as the way you became your self.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.
                            from "Little Gidding," T. S. Eliot

1 comment:

  1. Gather your tin man, your cowardly lion and your scarecrow, put on your red shoes and dance arm in arm down that road, sing some nonsense and some sense, get lost and found. The best part is that it's a WRITTEN journey,
    dancing to the tune of the writer's subconscious..some tunes, some movies, some songs might sing to us, but it is our own surprising words that speak our truth, that create the sense and the nonsense, that take the whine from the song and pull the song from the wine.