My Travels to Campus Every Quarter
by Dana Swain
It’s a mini Hero’s journey of quarterly proportions. It starts with a call; midway through a quarter the residential approaches and we prepare to leave our families, work, and home to sojourn to the alchemical cauldron that is Pacifica. We only have a sketch of an idea of what will happen when we get there based on the curriculum and the disembodied voices of professors we may or may not have met. But we can never really anticipate what will happen when we get there. It’s always more than we imagined, deeper than we planned, more inspiring than we’d expected.
I’ve made the trek from two different countries now; Brazil and Indonesia. I spend hours in the liminal space of generic airport lounges and hurtling through multiple time zones. The backdrop of my life falls away as I make my way to Pacifica. I shed whatever roles my life requires of me and I don the apparel of my soul; a rich fabric that conforms to the contours of my true self, and in which I feel seen by my fellow Pacifica journeyers in a way Gucci could never do for me.
This is just the threshold of the journey.
The real adventure is the four intensive days of learning and fellowship that happens at Pacifica. It can be challenging and exhausting but it’s also stimulating and even revelatory. We may have to duke it out with dragons of self-doubt, but the prize we take back with us is psychological growth and deeper knowledge of our selves and our world.
This is the boon we take back to our homes and communities. This is the work we do in the world. And then we do the journey all over again for the next quarterly residential.