Sometimes, it seems our modern lifestyle is doing a colossal amount of damage to our mental and physical health. We are extremely disconnected from nature, each other, and even ourselves. Everything is goal oriented, material oriented, status oriented, the physical is so over emphasized and all accomplishments must happen immediately, there is no time to waste. Yet all this rushing and exterior prioritizing inevitably leads to lack of self care, rejection of self knowledge, quieting of our instinctual voices that tell us when to rest and we end up chronically ill. Will humanity ever be able to adjust to modern life or make the choice to adjust modern life to favor our needs as they have evolved for millions of years. Modern life may be the death of humanity if we do not tune in to our wild sides and learn how to reconnect, care for ourselves regularly and thoroughly, and create space for everyone to thrive, especially ourselves.
Being in the city, I was constantly bombarded by noise, endless errands, non stop deadlines, 24 hours of entertainment, mobs of people, giant buildings, light pollution such that the night sky almost always appeared orange- never black and certainly never any stars. I felt like I was going mad, my anxiety was overwhelming and claustrophobic. I was in my late twenties and 9/11 was still keeping the entire country on high alert and the intensity of my need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life was pervasive and incessant. I literally felt like I was out of my own skin, over exposed to the elements and deteriorating faster and faster every day. I heard the expansiveness of Colorado’s mountains calling me home. Luckily, I got the husband on board in April, in May we drove up and found a place to rent, then in June we loaded up our four kids and our belongings and drove to our new home in Colorado. Honestly, that move probably saved my life, body and soul.
Now, I can visit New Orleans and it feels like home but in a different way than visiting the mountains or my original mother (our original mother) the ocean. All three share a similar terrifying, awe inspiring, thrilling, and captivating power, a certain ineffable mystery like the infinite expanse of the night sky. All call to me in an ancient, nearly indecipherable yet omnipresent voice which I seem to hear very clearly while so many around me seem to be oblivious. Perhaps because I spent my whole life training my ears to hear songs. I’m not just talking about listening to music (which is in itself a singularly complex skill), I’m attempting to convey a more comprehensive, multi-dimensional sort of listening; an ongoing quest for melodies, harmonies, rhythms, words, stories, characters, archetypes, myths, legends- any component which may lend itself to any particular story I am growing at one point in time or another. My ears and mind are forever functioning as composers, poets, writers, and even comedians. When the ancient voices call to me, I hear them booming through my consciousness like thunder, inscrutable, demanding and absolutely right.