The road

I am out there.  The kids and I were at Mesa Verde today, home of the Anasazi  Indians (and their incredibly cool, almost overwhelming, cliff dwellings — they seem faked, but I’ve been told they’re not).

We climbed a ladder into a dark, ceremonial pit, a Kiva… It made me sneeze (not out of disrespect).

At this particular dwelling, called Spruce Tree, I imagine by white people, as the Anasazi disappeared even before the white folks showed up, there were 7 Kivas, which are, apparently, ceremonial circles dug into the stone and covered up.  There must have been a Kiva for every 4 or 5 people who lived in the cliff dweller apartment building.  That’s a lot of church to go around.  That fact, so much church, made me think of Joseph Campbell and Carl Gustav Jung.  They both said something about the loss of a functioning religion in western culture and the prevalence of youth culture that follows.  Did you know that?

Jung: It happens sometimes that I must say to an older patient: “Your picture of God or your idea of immortality is atrophied, consequently your psychic metabolism is out of gear.”

Mr. Jung says that statistics show a rising level of depression as people approach forty in western countries, because we want to be young and try to be young, but, simply are not young and, without religion, we don’t know what the meaning of the rest of our lives is, so we try to be young, but it doesn’t work.

I turn 39 in October.  Happy birthday!

While there, at Mesa Verde, in the bookstore, I found a book of Hopi Indian myths and stories.  Since I was already thinking about Jung and Campbell (they both loved myth wherever and however they could find it), I bought the book.

It’s quite possible I’ll buy a turquoise ring and a Navajo saddle blanket tomorrow.  It’s hard to be at the beginning of something completely different.

That’s where I am.  And I shall act in a manner I’d have found embarrassing in the past if I want to.

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