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Reply To: The Air We Breathe



Thank you for this Mythblast, for connecting the dots between the Corona Virus and Joseph Campbell’s ideas and quotes, and I enjoy hearing your thoughts on Corona, as well. I like what you did with the image in Campbell’s quote of the Spaceship Earth and saying we are all in the ship together. Maybe that is the Call to Adventure!–Where we will blast off to from here, where will we direct our ship, what will we discover there? I am thinking that I realize how hard it is to think of an uncertain time such as this one as an exciting adventure; however, sad as all this is, at the same time, the virus presents us with a wonderful opportunity to help the environment heal and get healthy again as we too all seek to be free of this virus ‘polluting’ our air, nasal passageways, and lung passageways. There are so many ways through which the virus can pass to our lungs (or settle in other areas in the body, such as in the cases in children similar to Kawasaki disease) and there seems these days so many other passageways to travail in order to settle so many things of various global and community challenges.

Odd as this may sound, I have found that for me the pandemic has been strangely peaceful–but not right away. At first, all I could think of was the virus and what if I and/or anyone in my family contacted it, wondered about chances of survival–and humanity’s survival. At first, I “phobed out” over it. I didn’t want people even just stepping into my yard, let alone 6 feet away, without a mask. It seemed I was more cautious than most people I know who were showing up at my door without bringing a mask with them, and I found myself having to set boundaries with people, to make my stance known. As the days went by, I began to relax into this isolation overall into what felt and still feels like in some ways a vacation. I checked into Hotel Home, felt less pressures of having to perform in the outer world. At first I missed my out-of-the-home job, but I could still do some of it from home (and I always did some of it from home, so that was not a huge transition for me). Then, I began to feel even more ‘at home’ at Hotel Home: I went through old file boxes of old old manuscripts I had abandoned years ago–I suddenly felt the time and thus the peace and freedom to write more of my own creative writing than I had in years. I began sorting old poems into book manuscripts, began working on a novel I hadn’t touched much in years (having just dabbled with it here and there about once every several years). This was accompanied by the fear that if I were to catch the virus I might not be able to complete the things I had always wanted to finish in my lifetime. Some people are now having to reassess their jobs or career paths and make decisions as to how to best move forward with their businesses; for me, I already knew what I wanted all my life to do but never felt enough time all the time to focus on my writing the way I wanted to. So for me, the adventure was in the writing, the travels in my mind–what adventures would my characters venture on next in their hero’s journeys. I also watched some old movies I had not seen in a while, such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and old Tarzan movies, King Kong, and  old Star Trek episodes. I even had some movie marathons some days.

I did pay attention to my breath. I spent time in TM and other meditations; I walked nature paths and breathed, and I walked the beach and breathed. I payed attention to my steps and my breath. And now I write when I feel like it, walk when I feel like it, eat when I feel like it, and nap if I feel like it. I am finding a new natural rhythm in this. The pressure is off in many ways–I can relax: Relax and breathe, breathe and write, breathe and do more gardening. I have had a lot of work to do too at times, but not in the same blocked time frame of Monday-Friday. I don’t much miss the money (yet), and know this cannot last forever.

I would like very much to hear more from Stephen and everyone in this forum about the myth of breath and look forward to reading more. I wish everyone health, wealth/sustenance, and happiness. We have a great group of people in this forum and it is a great place to all be together in this, thanks to the Joseph Campbell Foundation and to Stephen and Michael for hosting this forum and those who contribute to it. I just want to say I wish everyone well.

Peace and Breathe, Be Well,

Mary Ann