I remember reading a book on Harry Houdini, Magician. I was maybe 10 or 12. I was fascinated. All those impossible situations - and over and over, he got out.
Unlike him, I'm not in a box of my choosing, my own making. But I am feeling that, quite possibly, a box is closing in, and not only on me.
My first self-image, when I started writing about this box: Cassandra. She knew of danger, warned of the danger, but no one would listen. The self-image comes from long ago, from childhood I'd say.
From my father.
Even with her, my question was: how to get out of the danger, how to get heard?
Last year a different alter ego came to the fore - Paul Revere.
He called out. People listened, responded, took action.
I liked the image of Paul Revere.
And then today, the great magician, Harry Houdini, popped into my mind.
No alter ego is a complete fit. He chose the seemingly impossible situations. He designed a way out.
I'm no magician - but like him, I'd like a way out.
The box I'm concerned with - the restrictions of Islam. The magic right now: Islam's spell on the West, Islam's frequent insistence that no one must do anything that offends it, denigrates, criticizes, etc.
I remember a saying, from Confucius (I think): clean up the mess in your house, before criticizing the dust on your neighbor's doorstep. Few in the West hold this. Instead, I hear mainly positive platitudes about "Islam, religion of peace."
What would Harry Houdini do, I wonder, to break such a spell?
First, everyone wanted him to break free.
How, then, do I get people to see that there is very likely a box closing in? And how do I get them to be on my side, to want me to break free - and to want to break free themselves - to want freedom for me and for themselves?
I feel like an accidental Houdini. I haven't chosen what's happening around me.
But a lot's been accidental in my life. The story of my parents' decision to come to Canada - the story of a series of accidents that suddenly altered the course of their lives and their children's. And so much else has been accidental. I don't now I would ever have become a professor, had I not - rather accidentally - been offered a couple of courses as I was finishing my MA degree.
What isn't accidental is how I'm living this. Not with resignation. With persistence. With searching and trying to find. Most recently, I've been creating a telesummit, 20 interviews to be aired in September. A tiny little bit of magic.
In case you're interested, here's a link:
All the best to all of us,
July 3, 2012
PS. Cassandra of Troy. Paul Revere. Houdini. These haven't been my only inner role models. All my childhood favorites are people who accomplished despite the odds. Helen Keller - deaf and blind, she still went to university, wrote, gave speeches. Elizabeth Blackwell - first American woman doctor. Clara Barton, nurse - and the first woman to reach the front lines to help the wounded in the Civil War. She went on to found the American Red Cross.
I also loved Superman, wanted to have super powers and save the world.
The more recent ones -
not quite like Superman and saving the world. But I'm not a child anymore. No magic powers. Yet no giving up. That has continued.
And what are you inner role models, by the way?
To go from Houdini magic to
hidden knowledge, forbidden knowledge,
To go from these blog journals
on trying to be heard,
to quotes about the truth,
Wanting to be a hero.
Like accidental Canadian,
and hopefully accidental Houdini.
Template, pattern, model -
nothing that works fully.
Model, ideal, icon, example -
shifts and changes.
Maybe it's lacking mentors.
Maybe it's so much learning.
Anyway ... next ...
a very different part of my life -
having a band doing something
akin to country music.