Last night I was watching a special program about Judy Garland on public television. Judy’s role as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, which has become the myth of our time, was the introduction to the program.
Whether Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz or Dorothy Seeger, or some other Dorothy, it doesn’t matter. The story of “Dorothy” has become embedded in America’s collective unconscious as a tale of loss, search, and empowerment.
So I will tell you my Dorothy story. Some of you will find that it is very similar to your own. That is why I am telling it.
Ten years ago, in New Mexico, following a devastating storm, I found myself transported to a magical land where everything was strangely familiar and nothing quite made sense (California) and I wanted to go home. I wanted to go home more than anything else. I wanted it so badly that I was willing to risk anything, even my life, to go home.
Some Little People told me that the Wizard, who lived in the Emerald City of Enlightenment (Los Angeles) could take me to my true home. Full of hope, I started out on the Yellow Brick Road (Highway 101) to meet the Wizard (the Master).
I hastened down the road to the Emerald City, on the way meeting other lost souls, who joined me in my journey. We struggled against powerful forces determined to prevent us from reaching our goal, until at last we entered the Emerald City. We had conquered all of the frightening obstacles in our way. We were ready for the Wizard!
But the Wizard was not wise. He was another lost soul.
I was shattered. Nothing in the Emerald City was real, not even the Wizard. As the enormity of this deception sank in, I became angry. And in that anger, I found the seeds of my own self-discovery. I became my own Wizard and found my way home to my heart, using only my red slippers, the power of my fervent wish.
Perhaps you are seeing, as I did, that the Great Teacher is not the answer. I prefer a smaller teacher, someone who is simple, someone who is his own Wizard, someone whose red slippers are his daily practice.
For your Holidays I am wishing you your own red slippers of everyday wisdom and the power to find your way home.
If you would like me to help you find your ruby slippers, I would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary getting-to-know each other conversation.