I recently posted this map of Lake Sojourn, the territory in which the story of Fallen unfolds, on my Facebook page and asked people to pick a location they felt drawn to so I could tell them something about the meaning of that place. It turned out to be an engaging post. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, every location but one was chosen.
Nobody, apparently, wants to be in the Boggy Marsh.
Who would? The full name of this place is actually the Boggy Marsh of Fear. It’s a noxious, smelly, sticky place where one can be too easily trampled by beasts or torn up by talons. Nobody in their right mind would CHOOSE to be there.
Except we do. All the time. It seems like most of us, myself included, spend a lot of our time there, stuck in the muck of our inner fears or the fear de jour being fed to us from the constant stream of political and media messaging that permeates our awareness.
Like the leaf characters in Fallen, we wail and moan, we tremble in fear, we voice our outrage while we wait helplessly for the next calamity to strike. We grow numb to it and, as our feet sink deeper and deeper into the mud, we become paralyzed. We lose consciousness and when we lose consciousness, we are no longer in our right minds. We lose our power to choose.
Ah, but there’s opportunity here. Opportunity to name the beasts of fear that plague us, to observe their patterns and habits, to call them out, to stand up to them, to resist. We can help each other out with this. Lift each other up.
The hero of the Boggy Marsh is the one who says, “Enough!” and learns to harness the wind of self-determined action. One by one, we can leave the Boggy Marsh of Fear and set a new course. The map is full of unexplored territory, full of possibility.