Thank you for that. I’m moved by your appreciation of experience and wonder. What a great magic moment with the “moving” chanting of monks. I’d call that a liminal event! 🙂 You mention going off-topic, but that is rarely the read I get in this venue, nor in things mythic, the great value of ceding space for effortless intuition, for imagining (to which you offer a great approach–as “vehicle”).
I am touched by the tragedy of the play director’s son, that kind of courage or light-heartedness, or simplicity, or sincerity, whatever it is, of saying a thing like that in the face of such loss–indeed of a magnitude beyond what I have encountered in this lifetime. I am silent.
I think, as ever, that we stay with the experience in our travels through myth. Whether Anasazi or Gaelic, Cherokee or Manhattan, I hear you, being there, touching it, breathing the air around it, all that, that only art can come nearest to revealling experientially. And like you say, the wonder, and mystery, that reveals that part of scienc which is, secretly, art. For me, any sharp, overarching or underlying distinctions between science and art ended some years ago–thank god. What a liberation.
As being serious about being a poet since 1985, my one rule was (and again until recently–when I learned that imaginal travel and experience are no more, no less, but equally valid) “If you’re gonna write about it, you better have gone there and done it first.”
So that was my brilliant recipe for too many misadventures, too many times hanging by the proverbial thread, and generous luck and grace and whatever else went out of her way to intervene. Though eventually, “she” (as this is the pronoun I intuit for such) became less and less available–she saying something like “I’ve been working overtime for you long enough, you reckless fool. Time you carried some autonomy, and engage the play thoughtfully. Learn your limitations. Find your freedom within them.” With enough heavy losses, I finally got the message. Getting old helped too. Ha.
Yes, Mesa Verde is special. I lived in Moab a couple years, and also in Durango along with many other parts of desert or mountain of North America, but recall the times the park rangers were very reluctant to provide backcountry permits–due to risk, severe conditions, 115 in the shade, no water for many, many miles. And many more from the calvary, as they say–and indeed on a couple occasions quite nearly bought the farm–from thirst!–ha, makes me think of Madame Sosostris’s “fear death by water.” So it would have been. Fortunate, anyway, in youth to have been driven by the unknown and seasoned enough to pursue it on such concrete terms, so took advantage of it while the window was open. Now a porchdeck and sunsets and starlight and birds are adventure and wonder.
I remember hearing first from a great teacher at Pacifica that you cannot separate a mythology from its geography. And to what you were saying of imagination as a vehicle, I think also, geography as a vehicle, a center of gravity, that holds the–or bends the?–archetype to that geography’s context so that it can be. So that it can exist within the pre-prescribed limits to accommodate phenomenality within the region or maybe laws of the dimension that holds/permeates it. Perhaps its a rule of resonance or harmony? (cf. Garfurius ‘music of the spheres’?) and in this way only, embodied, and walk through and among other embodiments–miracles–I guess they are, but only in the rare moments when the inspiration or “wonder” as you mention, is upon me. Those rare, welcome times–but made more frequent when the imagination is involved. I do believe it is the intermediary between spirit and matter, and has a foot in each world.