Finally, we have reached the 10th metaphor in Matthew Fox's book The Hidden Spiruality of Men - Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine. As a man who is a father but not a grandfather I wondered what I would be able to get out of this metaphor. As I am writing these blog posts with the hopes that I can help others, what can someone who is neither a grandfather or even a father get from this metaphor. For my second reading of this metaphor though, I did get something out of for myself and hopefully for others. We have already had a few father metaphors, what is Grandfather Sky and how is it different?
The Grandfatherly Heart
Grandfather Sky, the grandfatherly heart, isn't that different in relationship to the father metaphors than the relationship between grandfathers and fathers ( and sons for that matter ). Grandfather Sky is the father metaphors at new stage of life. Where the father metaphors are still about providing for family and community through (great) work, Grandfather sky is about providing for family and community through wisdom.
Beyond just sharing its own wisdom, the Grandfatherly Heart is also about taking in the wisdom of youth - be that the sons or be that the fathers. The Grandfatherly Heart knows enough to know that there is much he doesn't know. Thus, Grandfather Sky, learns from youth as much as they teach the youth.
My Own Experiences
In reading this chapter again I remember a conversation I had with my step-father in law regarding his relationship with my sons. I couldn't ask for a better grandfather figure in my sons' lives than him and I was telling him how much I appreciate him. He D'Artagnan and Draegan so much time and I know when I come home I often don't have the focus or energy to give the same amount of myself to them as he does. He just smiled and told me it was the same for him with his kids. He reminded me, I have to drum up the energy every day and he only has to do it when we come to visit. His energy, his heart is not only a gift to my sons but it is a gift to me as well.
Then there are the projects. Both my step father in law and father in law spend time doing projects with my kids. Often woodworking projects, something they are both good at and I have no experience in. I so appreciate their passing down of wisdom to the boys. That is the Grandfatherly Heart giving freely, not so much wisdom, but love of a craft.
My Inner Grandfather
Rather than wait the many years until I, possibly, become a literal grandfather I decided to take a look at what this metaphor means for me right now. Often the modern versions of the father looks at their actual work as the way they define themselves. The grandfather, on the other hand, now looks at their family, their communities and their contributions as the way they define themselves. There is also the difference in relationship to death. The grandfatherly heart is much more aware of death, and accepting of it. It is, after all, a natural part of life and they know enough to see it for what it is. In this way Grandfather Sky is connected to the Hunter-Gatherer who just sees death as and extremely natural part of life. In a recent national geographic article on the Hazda, they have only begun to bury their dead in recent decades after pressure from governments. Instead they just let nature take its course. It takes a bit for my modern mind to even deal with that - even though it makes perfect sense. [ad#Google Adsense] If you liked this post please subscribe to myRSS Feed and/or follow me on Twitter. If you only want to read my Wednesday Warrior posts subscribe to the Wednesday Warrior feed. Until next time, thanks for reading.