This sign is at a really beautiful park I visited over Spring Break called Bok Tower Gardens. When I read its message, I stopped and smiled because that was exactly why I had driven over 2 hours to visit this place.
Why do we go through bouts of worldly busyness then have a massive urge to withdraw from the entire world? Oddly enough, I think I'm beginning to understand the more I read and write fiction.
As part of my learning process, I've been reading Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey (which is inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces). Part of the Hero/Writer's Journey is Refusing the Call to Adventure. Vogler writes specifically about the Artist as Hero, saying this:
We writers, poets, painters, and musicians face difficult
contradictory Calls. We must fully immerse ourselves in the
world to find the material for our art. But we must also at times
withdraw from the world, going alone to actually make the art.
Like many heroes of story, we receive conflicting Calls -
one from the outer world, and one from our own insides, and
we must choose to make compromises...
When you are getting ready to undertake a great adventure,
the Ordinary World knows somehow and clings to you.
It sings its sweetest, most insistent song, like the Sirens trying
to draw Odysseus and his crew onto the rocks.
Countless distractions tempt you off track as you begin to work.
Oysseus had to stop up the ears of his men with wax so that
they wouldn't be lured onto the rocks by the Siren's bewitching song.
However, Odysseus first had his men tie him to the mast, so he
could hear the Sirens but would be unable to steer the ship into danger.
Artists sometimes ride through life like Odysseus lashed to the mast,
with all senses deeply experiencing the song of life, but also voluntarily
bound to the ship of their art. They are refusing the powerful Call of
the world, in order to follow the wider Call of artistic expression.
That explains a lot!
Below are a few pictures of the Bok Tower Garden. I'm pretty sure these pictures will appear in my stories somewhere. :)