So, my Tumblr blog is now officially renamed “Jody vs. the Volcano“.
This isn’t exactly a conventional idea, but then again, convention has never been a strong suit of mine. (Hell, I don’t even conform to non-conformists: I’m just mundane enough to disqualify myself from total hipster status). Put simply, this is just something I have to do.
Here are the Mission Objectives.
Primary Objective: Go to an active volcano in Hawaii and throw my wedding ring, engagement ring, and Mayan chain I obtained on my honeymoon into the lava.
What I hope to achieve from this:
- Final closure on the hurt, sadness, anger, and resentment of my divorce from my ex.
- Catharsis from throwing the rings and chain into the volcano itself.
- A new Life Story to tell about myself that I don’t feel I have to hide from.
- A book contract (Are you kidding? I’m a writer!).
- The feeling and knowledge that I can live a wonderful, joyous, satisfying life even if I never end up in another romantic relationship ever again.
- To have shared this experience with others who have gone through similar – but not identical – kinds of hurt from a divorce.
There’s a Hawaiian word – Ho`oponopono – which loosely translates to “to set things right, amend, rectify”. In a word, that’s what I’m doing.
As of right now, I travel alone. Even though my vision for this trip involves a small fellowship – yes, I know, my Tolkien is showing – who have gone through similar experiences as me, this is something I am prepared to do completely alone.
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, my whole life has been leading to this.
I wrote a non-fiction, largely autobiographical book in 2008 that didn’t go anywhere, but the process of writing it taught me all those lessons of planning, structure, and fear that normally deter those undertaking missions like this, and that I now don’t need to learn again for the first time.
My solo trip to California last summer, though unpleasant at times, showed me that I am capable of making a journey completely on my own (as long as I mind my travel documents).
All of the New Age books I used to read from high school onwards – notably started precisely because I fell in love with my ex – the philosophy tracts, the personal development gurus like Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Deepak Chopra, James Redfield – they’ve all given me perspective outside the rigid scientific, empiricist, atheistic paradigm that traps so many people and keeps them from doing good things for the soul, simply because it looks like nonsense to the 9 to 5 Western mind.
Finally, the perspective on divorce, heartbreak, recovery, and closure I’ve gained in the past two years, even the past month, have shown me that I can’t get all the answers just by thinking about this from home. Almost as much as my divorce has eaten up so much webspace and wordspace, I’ve tried to hide from it, for fear that my story would deter potential new lovers from entering my life, that those in my social circle would judge me as “unfit” for new relationships because of it.
But just as I’m tired of hiding my calling as writer from my day-job employers, just as I’m sick of hiding my dark side from those I try to impress in my social circles, I’m also tired of hiding from my own recent history, even just a little bit. I want to own my divorce, let the chips fall where they may.
But I need a better story than “I got my heart broken”. And I can and will have one by the time this is done. All I have to do is go.
Still not sold? Don’t agree? That’s okay. It’s not about your agreement, just about your being in the know about what it is that I’m doing. Still, if it moves you, click here to see the quote that helped remove all doubt in my own mind about the Volcano, and stay tuned for more.