The Well: Transformation

Unknown artist, ([?sic] Hugh Hambleton), Hermes Leading Persephone out of the Underworld, undated, Yale Center for British Art.
The Well. 48.

Deep in the chthonic chaos of the mud at the bottom of The Well, transformation

Wilhelm writes, “The well is the symbol of that social structure which, evolved by [people] in meetings its most primitive needs, is independent of all political forms.”

Myth also meets the primitive needs of people to understand our lives. The well nurtures with its clean water. Yet our deeper selves know that it is in dark underworld of the mud that our deepest transformations happen.

In the most ancient of myths, Inanna travels to this world and is dismembered and then revived. The Greek version is the myth of bright Persephone’s annual reluctant journey to her husband, Hades, dour lord of this dark realm whilst her mother, Demeter, mourns. The goddess of agriculture and fruitfulness plunges the world into winter while she waits for her daughter, Spring, to return.

This is ancient and deep wisdom indeed, transcendent of social structures fulfilling humans’ deepest yearnings to understand our place in the Universe and the world. Only in the deepest chthonics depths are we renewed: Each of us in that Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, as Douglas Adams titled a book.

In nature, the example is the caterpillar that willingly dissolves itself into an oozing mass that resembles neither of its two states of being — to emerge as a butterfly. Nothing is the same in the two beings, except essential DNA mapping the universal patterns.

I have been silent long, because an oozing mass does not speak. That does not mean nothing is happening. Wait.

The Dao of Despair

My retirement plans are in shambles since the Election last Tuesday. My dreams and goals have become of little interest, like something from someone else’s life.

Change is always challenging for me to navigating.

Navigating the installation of a white supremacist in the White House is a change I find disgusting. I am not sure the Republic can survive this.

I researched many countries to which I might emigrate for many months this year as part of my retirement planning. There are places with large expatriate communities.

I am fond of my comforts in the USA. I don’t wish to die alone in a strange country.

It would be easier to move if I had a partner, be it lover or close friend, to negotiate such a thing.

I have an ongoing stomach ache, headache, and fatigue. All that seemed bright and shiny and full of hope when I started this blog is sucked dry of meaning.

The dao teaches us there are times of fullness and times when the tide goes out.

This Dame is grieving this repudiation of the values of my country.

How to Follow the Dao to Retirement Reinvention

An old flame called me, and I decided to change my life.  Probably not the way you think.

As I talked with my long-ago lover, I realized I had no photo of him nor any other around my home — just one of the man I have been divorced from for decades and will always love.

But there were two of the great love of my life, L’Ombre the Magic Doberman.

In an epiphany, I remembered promising myself I would train Dobes when I retired. And here I am, on the brink of leaving my profession with only the vaguest of plans of when and what I’d do.

The Dao Demands Change

Yet here was the dao demanding a complete retirement reinvention of my late-life self. Once the moment of insight passed, I realized with a slight hitch in my breath that I’d have to change every part of my life.

Changequote

I have to move from my pet-restricted condo and retire from my local job.

I have to re-educate myself about the breed, because L’Ombre was chosen for me by Roslyn Terhune, an expert.  She helped start the Marine Devil Dog unit in World War II. I have no Roz to make a wise choice for me this time.

I’d have to get my financial affairs in order and face all the other end-of-life details I have put off for decades.

Yet I have an inner knowing of the dao.  It is a force inexorably pulling me forward toward my retirement reinvention. .

The Dao of Retirement Reinvention

This blog is about all the details and life lessons I learn about how to follow the dao to my retirement reinvention. I hope you enjoy the ride.