A little while ago, I received a compliment about my blog, which referred to the manageable lengths of my posts. I do try to keep them tight, pithy and readable. I don’t want people to pop in and feel daunted by a lengthy missive. Sometimes my restraint is in an effort to carefully parse my words on topics that are too private or too painful to delve into fully.
The subject of James Hillman’s “The Soul’s Code”, and one’s daimon could certainly be the focus of an entire college course. But perhaps yesterday, with my relative brevity, I did a disservice to the topic of daimon.
I say this because of the question posed and posted today by barbie2be: “What does one do, if their daimon has never cracked open and exposed the who or what that they are supposed to be?”
Two responses (neither particularly brief!):
I am many “things”. The first batch defined by relationships: daughter, sister, aunt, wife, friend...
I am other “things” by traits: intelligent, quick witted, funny, introspective, loyal, articulate, a problem solver, creative...
I have been lots of “things” by job: cheese seller, CCD teacher, lector, researcher, desk clerk, housekeeper, drug and alcohol counselor, auditor, data entry clerk, administrative assistant, census worker, educational specialist...
I have been interested in many “things” which have ranged from passing fancies to passions: crafts, art, singing, candle making, sewing, writing prose, writing poetry, cooking, photography, paper making...
I am all of these “things”. I am all of these myriad facets of me and more.
My daimon lies within me and therefore somewhere within all of these “things”.
The “important question” I referred to yesterday, was in response to my agonizing over not “being a something” and the feeling of “never having found my daimon”. I was bemoaning that I hadn’t emerged into this world asking for a violin to play or adding great sums of numbers using my baby blocks. I was frustrated that my daimon had not manifested itself in me as PRODIGY - caps lock, writ large, with a brilliant white follow spot on me and my “gift”!
Then my husband Chuck asked me “What if you already “met” your daimon, and you just didn’t realize it?” He asked the question as if my internal daimon was a traveler on the road, but it was the right question. I immediately zoomed back to that moment in the playground as I wrote my first poem. When I say zoomed, it was a feeling akin to the way filmmakers used to show time moving with spinning newspapers and pages of calendars being torn off.
I chose to trust that extraordinary experience. Since that was the moment my mind zoomed back to, what could I connect to it? Words, language, self expression, feelings, creativity, writing, communication, poetry...
That day I made a contract with myself. I decided to write a poem every day for thirty days. I did. Then I re-upped for another thirty days. I kept that up for a total of 365 days. During that year I missed only a couple of days due to illness or travel. Some days I wrote more than one poem. Some of those poems were excellent, inspired. Some of them were decisively mediocre. After a year I stopped counting, but kept writing.
Will I ever make a living as a poet? Being the sole winner of PowerBall is more likely. Does it matter to me? I have decided that I want to be published (with ink on paper) in an established publication. In order to have a chance at that, I have to send out my poems - lots of poems, lots of places. I also want to incorporate more of my poems and prose into my artwork. But my poetry matters deeply to me.
So dear barbie2be, thank you for the question and for pushing me further. I do believe every one of us comes to this world with a daimon within. I fear very few of us have it emerge as PRODIGY. I think part of our journey is to keep seeking and asking questions. I think we have to allow ourselves the time to sit and think and make connections. I am also not convinced that one’s daimon is tied to how one makes a living. I also believe there is a goodly amount of trial and error involved. I mean I was a really good cheese seller. My Mom and Dad came and watched me make my pitch and my Dad was all choked up with pride. My manager wanted me to stay on and offered me a promotion with a raise. I like cheese and all, but deep down I knew I was not destined to be a cheesemonger or an artisanal cheesemaker. So I had to move on.