Last week the fair came to town in my part of the world. I spent hours in this fishbowl of sensation -- the spastic neon lights, the cacophony of screams rising and falling, the midway hucksters calling and cajoling, the air saturated with fat and sugar and dust.
I am so relieved to see The Hermit.
He reminds us that there is a time and place for being in the outer world, but that perhaps we've been toiling in those hectic fields for too long. If you are a writer, you know that we tend to be solitary creatures, highly introverted, soothed by our time in our inner world. We cannot live in seclusion, however, no matter how attractive it may seem (and with the din of mechanical amusements still ringing in my ears, it seems very attractive). We must venture, yes. But we must also return.
The Earth herself is moving into the dark time, the cool time, the time of shadows. Humanity has created a million ways to pretend this isn't happening. We turn up the lights, sing louder, drape tinsel, laugh and plan and move hither and yon, busy and busier.
This week, consider the bear. Bears know how to hermit better than anybody, so start planning the ways that you can honor your inner ursine this coming autumn and winter. Plump the cushions in your cave. Make ready to spend some time in luxurious hibernation. It is a fact of our culture that one must carve away solitude, carve it like Michelangelo freeing the angel from the marble.
But do carve. Because the angel is there. And The Hermit promises to help you find it.