Descent & Perspective (Thanks Daniel Deardorff)

I read most of this book on the weekend, as much as I could on a flight from Utah to Ohio. The Other Within, by Daniel Deardorff. What a helpful read, including this quote at the bottom. My digital highlighting pen was quite active.

I started this book mostly because my friend Quanita is connected to Judith Kate Friedman, spouse to Daniel. Because Quanita knew Daniel directly before he passed. Because Quanita knows and encourages this lineage of seeing in the deeper ways.

I started this book because Robert Bly and Martin Shaw have often inspired my path of learning, particularly with men. There is a heritage of myth, story, and the deeply inner that brings me alive.

The quote below from Deardorff, is an on-going wonder for me, a key part of growing, that inspires how I contribute with Fire and Water, the 16-month rite of passage program that Quanita and I offer — the current group will be in final retreat later this week.

How can there be an experience which is both at once?
How can a person’s descents be sensed as being in the hole, in the pits, in darkness, in prison, in the midst of a gnashing of teeth, deep in the belly, among clashing rocks, earthquakes and war, and, at the same time, as an experience of the treasures of soul, a second birth, a moistening of a dried-out life, the initiation which is a key to the magic of life, a doorway to a deeper perspective?

For inspiration, and with continued invitation to know / feel the descent and to know / feel the clarity that can create such kind and conscious ways.

And a bow of thanks.

4 Replies to “Descent & Perspective (Thanks Daniel Deardorff)”

  1. Thank you Tenneson for lifting up Daniel’s book and words and that potent quote which I love. All blessings on the completion retreat for Fire and Water’s cohort. (Congratulations all!) At Saturday’s book event, Quanita and I talked alot about confirmation and the crucial need we all have to be well met and properly welcomed when we come through initiatory journeys and ritual transformations. Thank you for the work you’re doing that deepens and lifts us all.

  2. Remarkable how this shift to tending to the dead, dark, decaying earthy places within, to ultimately enliven, is showing up more and more, across contexts. I think of my affinity to Matt Licata, and current participation in Rewilding Mythology. Always my gratitude to you, and Quanita.

    1. A bow. For each of us. And the naturalness of life that keeps inviting. It is this “naturalness” that I continue to learn to surrender to, and, that continues to teach me. I continue to appreciate your thoughtful wonders Katharine.

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