heroic tales
Family Dynamics,  The Sacred Arts,  Writing

Can You Hear Me?

“I have a movie for us to watch,” I too-casually mentioned as we crawled into bed after another soul-crushing week.

“Oh yeah? What is it?” Mike asked, squirreling around under the bed covers as he did every night, trying to get comfortable.

I turned off the bedside lamp, then nestled into a snug cocoon, as I did every night.  “Finding Joe. I saw the trailer. It looks like something we should see.” I neglected to say that I had already watched it while getting ready for work that morning. I was still testing the waters of spousal receptivity.

“Wait,” he said, “did you read the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes?”

I winced internally. How did he know?

Then I back pedaled.

“Yeah, I know, I know, but it’s good. I already saw it. It was thought-provoking, at least.” I couldn’t play my hand too strongly, he might resist. Then I wondered…

“Wait, how did you hear about it? I only heard about it through a blog.”

“You left your browser open this morning. You always leave your browser open. That’s where I find most of my good reading.”

Hmm, well at least that was complimentary.

He then surprised me by saying “I watched the trailer, too. It looked decent.”

Temporary victory obtained, I let the subject drop.

– – –

The next morning as I fought my way out of sleep, a wide-awake Mike came into the bedroom and surprised me by asking, “Where is that movie you were talking about?”

I woke up fast, but played it off well. “It’s on my iTunes. We have to watch it on the computer.”

“Well, if you make the coffee, I’ll set it up.”

Walking in a few minutes later with steaming mugs, I settled together with him on the couch. As I listened to the same opening sequence I had heard the previous morning, I glanced sideways at him. He seemed to be paying attention: good sign.

Joseph Campbell’s theories on the universality of the heroic journey in mythology unfolded through the film, reaching across time.

I don’t think people are much looking for the meaning of life as they are looking for the experience of being alive…

As it progressed, I felt myself wanting to say, “Can you hear me? This is why I cry and fight and break down and get back up again. This is why I write.

Instead, I remarked, “We studied this in school. You know, the hero’s journey?”

“Hmm,” he replied. He was watching.

I think the person that takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave […] find what makes you feel most alive, then go do it.

He turned to me. “That’s how you feel, isn’t it?”

My heart leapt. “Every day.”

He grabbed my hand, and I smiled with relief.

My well-worn copy of The Odyssey.

– – –

This was inspired by Erin Graves’ post last week, where she wrote about the movie Finding Joewhich spoke to the literary hero in me…

heroic tales
A portion of my hall of heroes. Obviously, I’ve spent years studying the hero’s journey…and way too much Medieval Lit (if there is such a thing).

Also hooking up with Yeah Write again this week, because they challenge the writer in me. 


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