Back in the early nineties there was an odd phenomenon called “The Iron John” movement, spearheaded by the poet Robert Bly. It was composed of men, middle aged and older; men who harbored a deep spiritual yearning to connect with their ancient, archetypal manhood, and to attain “self hood”, not unlike the feminists who were on their own search.
These men would form groups and meet out in the woods and make bonfires, then strip to their skivvies and retreat to makeshift sweat lodges, emerging cleansed and glistening. They would then form circles and beat tom toms, their breasts and bellies flopping in sync with the primitive beat; they would wail and cry and and hug each other, trying to heal and fill the void created by their fathers who didn’t spend enough time with them. Then, the climactic moment. Holding hands with fervent solidarity, they would perform the Heron Dance.
I don’t like to sweat and I don’t like other men sweating on me, especially when they wail. I wish I had never met my father.
And if you ever catch me doing the god damned Heron Dance- shoot Me!