Snow has hit the ground this morning and the white blanket immediately takes me into the vortex of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am sure in a few hours the snow will melt all over the rain soaked ground, which is not a bad thing. I am sure my soul will melt into a gooey mess this holiday season, but let it come as it may. Whatever, I am ready for it. I am excited right now for this cold, frozen, dark season to whip through my life like a maddened cougar running form naked hunters. I will stock my tea, perfect my bread baking abilities, read and write prolifically, and work toward a future I can not imagine.
I know that the term "warrior" is not popular right now, especially in progressive left-leaning circles. I am well aware of that, and it is not a popular term for many good reasons, mainly because it has been co-opted by violent men for violent purposes. But I think to be a true warrior in this age is unusual. We have many soldiers; of fortune, professionals, coerced kids, insular gangs. A true peaceful warrior must look toward the pain with delight, as one who know that the pain means growth or death. These are some of the peaceful warriors that come to mind when I think of true warriors: the Dalai lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ghandi, Will Steger, Martin Prechtel, Robert Bly, Pablo Neruda, my friend John Brian Becker, Alice Walker, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Winona Laduke, Rosa Parks, and Rachel Carson. Feel free to add your own list of peaceful warriors that have impacted your life in the comments.
I feel as though I have cultivated the inner farmer in me to the exclusion of the other soul parts that make up my Self. The inner farmer could be thought of as the corollary to the warrior, in terms of the diametrically opposed cultivator consciousness and the hunter consciousness. For such a long time I thought of the hunter in me as something bad, something culturally tainted, but now I see it as simply a part of me, a part of my genetic and soul make-up that needs to be addressed. There is no simple action to take, just simply an awareness of how I interact with this world.
Know this though. I have come to the strong feeling that you can't successfully embark on a path of healing without embodying some aspect of your inner warrior, your inner hunter and gatherer. Without this type of inner strength and fortitude, you run the risk of losing your Self to some force in this wide, crazy world.
Like the ancient Yamabushi, I strive to embody the warrior/monk attitude toward life right now. To connect directly to the divine with poetry and art, to live simply, to fight for what is right; these are simple ideals I hold deep in my heart.
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