The Quest, questing and questioning
I see life as a quest and embrace the magic of that as much as I can.
King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, the sword Excalibur, and even the birds – hawk and falcon – resonate with me and Arthurian legend has captivated children and adults alike since medieval times.
By the way, there’s an owl in my life too (like in Harry Potter). Really. It comes often and sits outside the window, hooting. There are hummingbirds, and eagle, great blue heron – there are a lot of birds in my life – but that’s another story.
As I explore history and the idea of myth and legend for my own writing, I see something in us – in what we need in our lives… great stories that incite us to new action, new perceptions, transformation, community, and change. Not only that – but I see what it is that aids us – that Magic that comes to us in dream time or waking dreams, a source of enchantment, Love and divine mystery that so empowers us that we go forth and do what we do to achieve our greatness, like Arthur did at least in our collective minds.
As Ash Silverlock writes on his blog, no one can prove that an Arthur as king really existed. Yet there are countless histories and stories that show bits of fact here and there. They point to the possibility that a man or men like Arthur existed and give enough information on which much fiction has been based.
There are so many facts and fictions now that I personally can’t keep straight which are true and which are made up. Thank goodness I don’t have to do so.
Arthur and his knights quested for the Holy Grail. Some of us quest today for the holy grail of understanding, for the greater meaning of our lives and who were are in them.
Arthur and his knights with their round table strove for an age of chivalry, which we could use as an ideal today in dealing with the challenges we face. But what does that mean? How do we use the ideals, the round table metaphor now?
What is chivalry? To some, it’s a code of conduct, the virtues of courage, honor, and service. To keep it more open, chivalry could be perceived as – a choice. The choice to do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time. That definition allows it to shift to any age.
What an ideal to live up to – chivalry! Can you imagine that in the House and Senate? All of them sitting at the Round Table? Would the United States be better for it and what would have to happen for such an enormous change of mindset?
What exists today that could be seen as similar to then? One idea is sword mastery, fencing, and similar practices that do not have killing as an endpoint… Perhaps also, chi gong, tai chi, and the sword mastery of Aikido… It’s nice to remember that Mikao Usui, the founder of today’s Reiki, was a sword master who worked with chi/ energy and saw Reiki as a spiritual path with mindfulness behind it.
What is it about Arthurian tales and chivalry that so envelopes us? The story is about a mere man – who could be any one of us – and not only men but today, women, too. This man Arthur pulls a sword from a stone and that establishes that he’s to be king of England. When did that aspect enter the tale? And is this really what established him as King of England – as the King Arthur most of us know today? Or was it something else?
Fact. Fiction. Which is which? Speaking of that – what established Jesus of Nazareth as so many things – King of the Jews, the Christ, the son of God, a savior, founder of Christianity? Was he OF Nazareth or somewhere else? I’m sure there are other men like this, whose lives became larger than life.
So that makes me wonder about me and you. What establishes you in your life story as your magic sElf? Is it how you look or what you do or did, or that more mysterious maybe less pinpointable quantity of – who you are?
And what are you questing for? What was Arthur’s main quest? Peace? Finding the Holy Grail? Ruling England amicably? A way to live together?
So many questions. Centuries of answers… What’s that? Arthur still lives? Hmm… Is he a Jedi?