Introduction to Writing Your Odyssey
"Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who traveled far and wide" begins the first sentence of Homer's Odyssey. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "odyssey" as "a long series of wanderings to and fro; a long adventurous journey." What follows in Homer is an aging soldier-of-fortune's epic tale, filled with adventures, hardships, gods and goddesses, demons and monsters, beauty and wisdom, and in the end, peace. It is the story of a life.
Every life has a story; every life story is a hero's journey. Each one of us has dreamed dreams and set goals, met demons and angels, learned some hard and some graceful lessons, and confronted unanswered questions as we approach the fullness of our days.
The exploration of your life's journey and the story you want to tell about your life will be intensely personal. As each person's life journey is different, so will be your expression of what you discover. One person's journey may result in a diary, another in a book, yet another in a video. One person may introduce their journey at a brave and intimate evening with family and friends. Another's journey will remain essentially private, tied with a broad, smooth ribbon, placed in a special envelope, stored in a drawer and in the heart, forever belonging only to the one who wrote it. Whatever the result, it will be a hero's story!
This program invites you to share your journey in a particular way—through the writing of an Odyssey that you share with the High Hill group. You may choose also to share part or all of it with others, including people in your family and in your congregation. This guide offers suggestions for how to organize and collect information, stories, and mementos and how to discern what to include in your story. It also offers guidance on how to structure your Odyssey, how to write and edit it, and how to prepare it for presentation at the second High Hill retreat.