Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Men's Movements > Men and Grief (part 4)

Men and Grief (part 4)

I don’t usually post on Sundays but my exchange with Joseph Gelfer on the “mythopoetic men’s movement” has me continuing to think and explore both Joseph’s critique of the movement and my own experiences with it. So, here are a couple random thoughts on the subject:

Over the last couple of days I’ve listened to part of a recording of the 2002 Men’s Conference hosted by Robert Bly in Minnesota. The first full day of that conference was on September 11, 2002, just one year after “9-11.”  Through that listening almost eight years later, I recalled  the feelings of anger, grief, and a remaining disbelief that this had happened. We were encouraged to share all of those emotions and to explore them in the much larger context of the world view of that event. Many of us expressed dismay at the lost opportunity to better ourselves and learn from the event and our responses to it. Most were alarmed at the “saber rattling” and desire for vengeance that seemed to be gripping so much of the nation at that time; the call to war! Grief was at the core of the emotional attitude in that group of 100 or so men. We were experiencing it and getting guidance in how to deal with it. Participants and leaders alike shared in this common and heart-deep sense that the world had changed and we were being called to change with it. At the end of this sharing and grieving we were led to express our feelings in song: “Oh, the distance between us is holy ground.” The words themselves are enough to plunge me into deepest feeling; the sound of a hundred male voices singing with full hearts was an awesome experience; and the sense of separation, among individuals, nations, continents, beliefs, cultures,  melted into holiness.

And if you have been reading the exchange between Joseph Gelfer and me about the “movement” I offer this poem about archetypes and development which came to me the other day:

Wounded Man

Wounded healer,
Heal thyself;
Recover that lost piece
Which bleeds in some far place.

Wounded warrior,
Come home now;
Sooth thy fevered brow,
And sing songs of peace.

Wounded holy king,
Rule in peace;
Strengthen thy green land,
And love your people free.

Wounded poet,
Write thy verse;
Create the songs of peace
To heal the warrior-king.

  1. April 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Somehow this didn’t get published yesterday…stay tuned for a post later today (Monday) as part of my continuing review of Joseph Gelfer’s book.

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