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As we behold, we actively transform the image.
Joseph Campbell’s writings describes the hero’s journey. It begins with a call to adventure. In my case, this call to adventure began with my experience as an exchange student in Switzerland. One of my ultimate physical tests was when I returned for a semester abroad over the winter. I trained to be able to participate in a ski touring trip from Arolla to Zermatt on La Haute Route. By changing settings and adventuring to the top of the Alpine peaks, I initiated a transformational process. Not only did I want to change myself, but I wanted to bring that change to the world.
This is the village where my husband Angelo grew up. I was an exchange student in Valais in 1981 and came to this village with my host family, Angelo’s aunt Marguerite.
Here is a documentary that shows the village life in Isérables:
Here are pictures of our ski touring expedition in 1984-from Arolla to Zermatt:
Here is a documentary on La Haute Route from the same era, when we did our ski touring adventure:
Here is a map and explanations about navigating the trails between Chamonix’s Mont Blanc and Zermatt’s Matterhorn: https://www.thehikinglife.com/2010/10/chamonix-zermatt-walkers-haute-route/
Joseph Campbell wrote about the Hero’s Journey. Here is an article about the power of myths. The hero’s journey is a transformational expedition that takes us out of our familiar environment and into a new landscape of meaning. An excerpt from the article underscores how the transformational process is enkindled saying, ““…Without a change of setting, the hero cannot change herself, and without a change in herself, the hero cannot change the world” (p.381)”
A Call to Adventure.
While visiting Americana landscapes over summer and winter vacations, I discovered places that constituted how I would grow into womanhood. My feet walked the sacred North American land, adventuring into the wilderness. The great outdoors as well as the stories we choose to read influence our becomingness.
As a young teenager not only did I travel to sites to encounter the natural world of beauty in North America, but I discovered Ernest Hemingway, the American author, who introduced me to Europe through his novels. His books were an invitation to adventure into the world. After reading “A Farewell to Arms”, I heard a call to adventure.
Here is a video, Remembering Ernest:
Here is a link that briefly describes some of Hemingway’s best books:
Another great American artist, Jamie Wyeth exhibited his paintings at Joslyn Art Museum when I was a young girl. Our family friends, the Larkins, owned “Agnus” painted by Jamie Wyeth. They brought the painting from Denver to show at the Josyln Art Museum in Omaha. I got to watch as they prepared the exhibit with Wyeth, hanging the paintings on the wall. I remember seeing a wonderful painting of a Newfoundland dog that hung together with the “Angus” painting. My Chesapeake Retriever had webbed paws like the Newfoundland dogs, to better swim in water, and was bred from that line, so I was especially partial to the large black dog that had the instinct to save swimmers from drowning, a quality I loved in my own dog, Brownie. Wyeth captured scenes from North America that developed my appreciation for American art.
Here is a link to a video entitled “Art as Witness to History”, an interview with Jamie Wyeth:
Here is an interview with Jamie Wyeth, “Art and Inspiration” 2014:
Here is another interview from “A Conversation with Artist Jamie Wyeth” 2015:
Here is a link to his painting Angus:
Photographer Fred Larkin’s interpretation of “Angus” was a wedding present:
My father David Mossman returned from Canada with these moccasins for me. Walking in moccasins reminds me to ‘walk my talk.’
Author of Homing In: A Story Mandala Connecting Adoption, Reunion and Belonging