In the classic hero’s journey—the archetypal plot structure of myths and movies—the protagonist reluctantly departs from normal life, enters the unknown, endures successive trials, and eventually returns home, having been transformed. If such a character exists in the coronavirus story, it is not an individual, but the entire modern world. The end of its journey and the nature of its final transformation will arise from our collective imagination and action. And they, like so much else about this moment, are still uncertain
If you could speak for that global persona—modernity as hero—what would his/her task be in this changed new world, the travel and trials, the treasure and its rewards? Have pandemic and climate change turned the kingdom into a wasteland, if so, what is it that can heal the aging king/queen and restore the land to vitality?
This extraordinary prompt comes from https://earthweal.com/2020/05/04/earthweal-weekly-challenge-humanitys-hero-quest/
The world is split in two.
There are those that yearn for change
and those that cry for a return
to the excesses that went before
this time out of time.
Out in the desert
the world’s aircraft are parked
nose to tail
in long lines on half forgotten tarmacs.
People tend them every day,
tuning this and that,
cleaning off the desert dust.
One day, they say, the planes will fly again.
It will be a long time, our PM says,
before Australians can take to the skies
and go off across the globe shouting
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy,”
No great loss there
you might well say as
the great Australian hero
of everyman and everywoman
yearns to go to the pub
and murder a beer.
Outside in my garden
the currawongs sing their tuneful anthems.
Mystics say they are singing up
the spirit of the trees.
Their song transports me
to future worlds found in dreams
where people of many races
live together in harmony
we do not yet know.
We are all heroes now
and we get to choose
as we emerge
from our time out of time.
We can sing the old raucous cries
of mass consciousness
or we sing up
the spirit of the Earth,
the spirit of the new.