We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.
Robert R. McCammon
This quote is resonating very strongly with me right now because I’m tuning in once again to the way in which the part of me which is “grown up” gives the part of me which has “childish” hopes and fears and wishes and dreams a really hard time. Every time my “Critical Parent” oppresses my “Free Child” a part of that wild, singing energy I embodied in my youth withers and turns away in shame.
This process of to-ing and fro-ing between embracing adult responsibility, taking on too much and then feeling a desire to throw off the shackles, to rebel, is a bit like breathing. It’s the most natural process in the world, but I cannot keep breathing in indefinitely! If I try then I will start going red, eventually pass out or explode with such a huge, dramatic, spluttering out breath that I’m liable to do myself and those around me some damage!
When I do breathe out after holding my breath there is a sense of deep relief and a visceral connectedness to the process of being alive. Breathing in rhythm, in balance, being aware of what my body needs and what my soul is singing out for is a way of inviting the magic back in.
I spontaneously stripped off my clothes and jumped in the river on Saturday evening. It was magic.