As a boy I felt isolated about who and what I was. This led to a rich fantasy life in my play and in my reading. I wanted to escape this world that had no one like me. How I longed to go down the rabbit hole or through the wardrobe to somewhere that at allowed me to be who I was.* This is an archetype in which one longs to be claimed by a tribe that recognizes you as their own – and one far better than the lot you were stuck with up until then. ** The Archetype of The Divine Child has its Shadow side of course. One of its elements is the desire to run away and not face facts. There is no Warrior energy in this: one crawls into a hole with their books and tech-toys to become isolated and alone. The Japanese have a word for this sort: The Hikikomori. 

Ever since my youth I continue to struggle not to let escapism dominate my life and actions. It is a constant challenge. Whenever confronted with bad news or a conflict or injustice (especially when it comes to politics or the world) I want to close the doors and shutters and withdraw into the inner-compartment of my mind where no one has ever entered.

One of my favorite poems is “Stolen Child” by William Yeats. The fairy folk try to lure away a child to join them. One gets the impression what they are offering hands-down beats the dreary life the child has:

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

This week synchronicity linked me onto a similar siren song: “Come little children” from the movie “Hocus Pocus”, which is beautifully sung by these two handsomes :The Fox and Hound:

Their rendition captures the weariness of life; leaving would be no loss – although what is being offered doesn’t sound much better:

When I succumb to the siren song of escapism there is little peace in doing so for the other aspects of my Psyche see this as copping-out if not downright cowardice.  Yes, they say, the world sucks and bad things happen but what if Gandhi or Dr. King or Susan B. Anthony took the approach you are choosing?  ‘Turn around!’ they say, ‘Get out and claim your spot (yes you have a right to have one) and do what you can!”

I know my strengths and weaknesses; I know which screws are loose. I was not a brave boy and this (worse luck!) did not improve in time. I don’t so much pray for Strength but draw on the Archetype of King and Warrior and the folks in my life more in touch with these energies than I. They comfort me, they stiffen my spine. There is no Wonderland or Narnia. I am part of the world; I have a right to be here, although this involves battle. These next four years will be the test if I implode or rise to the occasion.



*Later on in life I heard Dorothy sing “Somewhere over the rainbow”; I thought it was the most spot-on song ever written.

**Harry Potter is an excellent example of this. A unremarkable boy trapped living with an awful family is discovered to be a wizard and an extraordinary one as well.  What child does not long for similar discovery?