The hero/heroine’s journey

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The journey – of the hero, and the heroine – has been brought to my attention this week. It has popped up in conversation in a number of unrelated contexts, and appeared in the unlikeliest of places, stirring my thinking about the stories we applaud and celebrate.

In books, in the news and on the big screen, we see people – people just like us – who are faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, but who manage somehow to overcome, to conquer their fears and insecurities and find the courage to step forward.

I went to the theatre a few week ago to see a local community group present Man of La Mancha. You know the song – The Impossible Dream – do you know the story? It is about (my impression – apologies to those who have a different perspective) a wonderfully fanciful fellow, full of whimsy and hopeful expectation about life. Through his innocent eyes, the world takes on a magical quality, and his quest in life is to embrace and honour all that is good within those he meets. Through his childlike approach he manages to find the courage to rise above the mediocrity around him, avoiding the disappointments that life hurls at him, and through his indomitable spirit, finds his way to the light of his impossible dream.

My father used to sing The Impossible Dream. He died when I was eleven, and in my child’s mind I remember it as his signature song. When he sang it, everyone left what they were doing and came to listen, to imagine, and to walk, if only briefly, in the shoes of the hero on his quest.

We have such longing to become the hero/heroine that lies within us, and I’ve realised that the story of The Man of La Mancha holds the compassionate joy and inner grit that resonates for me. It speaks to me about my own journey – my own quest – to this point.

So I went searching to see what Google found, and have posted links (see Interesting Links) to a couple of intriguing sites. Have a look and tell me what comes to mind for you when you start to consider your own hero/heroine’s journey, and we will speak some more …

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