Why did this drama resonate so deeply in the collective psyche? Perhaps it's because each of us has personal experience with the Belly of the Whale. At some point in our lives, we are swallowed into the unknown. It may be the unknown of a blank page, blank canvas or blank checkbook. We may be swallowed into the belly of disease, divorce, or a loved-one's death. Whatever tips us over the lip the predictable into the unpredictable, we find ourselves engulfed in forces beyond our control. We are walled in with no clear path to escape. Everything in us screams to eject from the crushing circumstances, but the only way out is through.
Often, the passage through the Belly of Whale demands that we wait. With nowhere to go, we hang in limbo, not dead and not alive. That in-between state can be excruciating to mind and body. In that intense pressure and heat, however, profound alchemy can occur. The dense, opaque stone of our self-centered, selfish frameworks for living can be squeezed into shimmering gems reflecting the wider light of the world. The confinement of our soaring fantasies can force us to see the treasures sparkling in the dirt beneath our feet.
Today we cheer and cry for the heroic passage of the Chilean miners. In the process, let's include those closer home. Let's honor the dark journey each of takes through the Belly of the Whale.