This post is about the 3rd metaphor and follow up to my post about The Hidden Spirituality of Men - Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine. In that original post I said I would share my journey of reading this book. This is another part of that journey. Icarus and Daedalus
The metaphor of Icarus and Daedalus is actually more of an anti-metaphor. Instead of being a vision of what could be the story of Icarus and Daedalus is a lesson of what happens when sons don't learn from a father's wisdom and a father doesn't pay enough attention to his son to understand him. I'm simplifying of course but this lesson, this anti-metaphor is about the importance of generational wisdom. The fathers have wisdom to teach the youth but they must also learn from the youth while letting the youth fly.
I find that learning from my young boys is easy, or rather watching them learn is. It is amazing. However, I often find myself stuck in my own world - my own issues - and I don't take the time to be with my kids and enjoy how they experience the world. On the flip side, I am also someone's child as well. I didn't see my father much growing up and I still don't see much of him. I know that I have been on a search for some generational knowledge for a long time though. My love of the French language and culture comes from the bit of my heritage that is easy to see - a French last name. However there is another area of heritage from my father's side that I don't know much about. It is the part of me that is a 1/4 native.
This metaphor actually holds a little bit of pain for me. On the one side, I don't really know much about my heritage from my father's side. I've dug a few things up here and there but my dad isn't much of a talker. On the other side I'm afraid I'm becoming a non-talker for my sons as well. When I come home from work I usually need a good amount of depressurizing before I can really focus on the family. I know from some of my other men's studies journeys that I am not alone in this though. In fact, that is probably why this metaphor came up as an anti-metaphor lesson. It is easy to be Daedalus, but what are we going to do to give our Icarus the means to fly without melting his wings and falling into the sea.
I have had some small successes. There have been some times since reading this chapter where I was aware enough to consciously choose to be with my kids and have a good time. The other day my son had a birthday and one thing he got was a lego set. He's had the the larger versions of lego in the past but this was his first actual lego set. He was excited and started to work on them by himself but he asked me if I would help him. I told him, "maybe in a few minutes" then went downstairs. I thought about how I liked legos when I was a kid but was never any good at them. I knew I could do much better now and that the reason I wasn't that great growing up was I didn't have anyone helping me learn how to use them. So I went upstairs and played lego with my son. We had fun and he did a great job following the directions with only a little assistance from dear old dad. I was very proud of him.
He has since kept going back to the lego set to build other things when he wants to do something by himself and he is very patient with them. Anyone who has a 6 year old knows that having patience with anything is a big deal. This metaphor may have some spiritual pain associated with it but it may also have one of the largest payoffs.