Monday, July 20, 2009

The Ugly Duckling

The gosling thought it was part of the duck family. I came out of the egg, so how would it have known? It was only when it was grown that it realized that it's element wasn't a good fit. I can imagine that it just went along with it, making the best of it.

I've got this feeling that I hatched in a world diametrically opposed to my deepest sense of self, buried deep inside, unable to emerge. I took this situation on willfully to challenge myself at the deepest level to find my way to the top of the darkest waters. Once there, I found myself alone.

The most difficult aspect of meeting Jin-Sang was that she was a light in this dim world, this darkness that blinded me. She brought a faint light into that obscurity and helped me see just a little of what could be. The light was murky and flawed, but it was light none-the-less. When it went out, all that darkness came rushing in again and I thought certain it would completely overwhelm me.

So, I think I also agreed to allow Jin-Sang to come, and then to depart again, to help wake me up to the situation, to help remind me of why I came here. In her absence, I began a quest that for the longest time I thought included her coming back. Now, I see that the quest has led me to a place where I stand alone in the world, able to know who I am, able to stand in the darkness, or the light and be okay.

When the ugly duckling learns his true nature, it is that point he is no longer an ugly duckling, but a beautiful swan. He gets a new name. I've known since I was a boy that my name is a Greek work meaning "warrior." When I looked up that Kanji, I found "Samurai." I've never felt like a warrior. In fact, I feel like the opposite, being quite a pacifist. But I feel as if I got a new name to go with my new life. As I go to Japan, I go as one able to stand on his own feet, come hell or high water.