Odyssey Spirit Caves Mom's Bones Tikkun Olam Weaving Totems


The Oar of Odysseus:
Symbol for the Second Journey


This sculpture is still in process. I anticipate it will be about 60 inches in length, and 12 inches wide,with an ancient trident clamp design to hold the inserted, replaceable blade. The oar is the last prop in the "islands of experience" within this series and within Homer's Odyssey.

As the story goes, when Odysseus visited the Underworld on his way home from Troy, the prophet Teiresias told him that when he returned home, Odysseus must undertake a second journey with his oar over his shoulder -- a pilgrimage of penance to a distant country far inland where no one had heard of him or of the sea.

When a stranger approached Odysseus and mistook his oar for a winnowing fan, then Odysseus must tell the story of how he had incurred the wrath of Poseidon and how although it might appear he had returned home on his own steam from the long Trojan War, it was only the intervention by the other gods of Olympus that had saved Odysseus from drowning naked, alone, exhausted, savaged by Poseidon and forever unsung. Odysseus must keep the gods' bargain and take to unknown and unknowing lands his own story and the powerful story of Poseidon, the immortal god of the sea.

For many of my generation, the baby boomers, Second Journey oppourtunities abound. With decades of potentially healthy years now available for many after retirement, we have the chance to offer to others the wisdom we have gathered over a lifetime, to share the gifts we have "brought home." I have read that by the year 2020, one billion people globally will be over the age of 60 and many of them will be retired from formal jobs. If every one of us offered only an hour a week on average, in service of others, fifty-two billion people-hours per year would be available to make a difference as we meet the new challenges facing our Earth and all its communities. What oar might you shoulder, that others might recognize as a winnowing fan, a way to separate the seeds of experience from the chaff?