I could have chosen a sports car or a women half my age, but the year I turned forty, I chose a carousel. This magical carousel gave me an incredible ride into midlife, turning what could have been a period of crisis into one of amazing creativity.
Midlife is the time for going home to the Self and giving intense attention to living soulfully. I did not set out to write about transition; I was always going to describe the fascinating process that had brought Chuck Kaparich along on his journey.
The metaphor was just too strong. I could not help seeing the similarities of Chuck’s pilgrimage and mine. As I observed Chuck’s transition, I was experiencing my own. The magic of a carousel spoke to the midlife transitions of two men from different parts of the country. Two kindred souls met and received the gift of the carousel’s magic.
|Publisher:||Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.19(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Taking a Turn Toward Home
You never know what events are going to transpire to get you home. - Jim Lovell, Appollo 13 Astronaut
It was not quite time for their dinner reservation. There was still some time to look around. Chuck and Beth strolled along the street in Spokane, savoring the evening's leisure, wondering where that delightful music was coming from. They followed the music to its source and slowed their steps as they drew within sight of a bright carousel filled with happy children.
As he entered the carousel, Chuck began to cry.
The music and the movement, the laughter and the colors, magically transformed Chuck Kaparich, a life-hardened adult, into Chuck Kaparich, the boy who existed before the hardening began. The whirling animals of color and fantasy returned Chuck to another carousel, the one at Columbia Gardens just outside his boyhood home in Butte, Montana.
The carousel at Columbia Gardens had been Chuck's place of escape from the unspeakable trauma of his father's sudden death. It remained Chuck's place of solace through the years that his mother tried to deal with problems of her own. The carousel was the one place of sure and certain joy in a childhood of added responsibility and difficulties beyond Chuck's control.
As they stood there in Spokane and watched the happy scene, Beth saw a carousel. Chuck saw his childhood. It was a rare and sobering opportunity for him to return to his Self, the Self he knew as a child, magically spontaneous and wonderfully free of death and disappointment. There is little wonder that the carousel sighting in Spokane changed life forever for Chuck and Beth Kaparich, and for many others who would ride Chuck's carousel dream back through their own years to encounter their own true selves.
"For some people, it might be walking into a cathedral that creates that sense of awe," Chuck recalls. "For me, it was walking in and seeing those kids spinning around on those horses. I went up to the horses and I touched them, and I felt them, and I thought, 'Who would do this?'"
The emotional encounter with that Spokane carousel planted a seed in Chuck Kaparich. It initiated a yearning that would not be denied even though it would take many years to fulfill. The carousel represented home for Chuck, home to the Self he knew as a child. The carousel was about to become Chuck's tool of personal discovery. So, it is quite understandable that Chuck had to have a carousel of his own. Even if he had to build it himself, Chuck Kaparich had to have a carousel of his own.
"This is a story that will be told again and again," wrote Sherri Devlin of The Missoulian, as she began her account of the Chuck Kaparich story. Sherri realized that something bigger than a carousel had been created and donated with love to the city of Missoula. The story of Chuck's carousel is also the story of many others who reclaimed their own dreams as the carousel came into being.
Table of Contents
|Taking a Turn Toward Home||13|
|Unpacking the Carousel's Gifts||15|
|A Metaphor from Montana||19|
|No Such Thing as Coincidence||23|
|Call of the Hero||29|
|Chuck: Find Life in the Cemetery||33|
|Cyndi: Take Time for Adult Play||37|
|Beth: Let Unanswered Questions Ride||41|
|Chuck: Reclaim your Childhood||43|
|Ione: Ride the Horses of Your Youth||47|
|Ginnie: Relocate your Secret Place||49|
|Scott: Make your Own Kind of Music||55|
|Mac: Find New Bearings For Your Life||59|
|Chuck: Nourish your Roots||63|
|Ron: Choose a New Turning Point||69|
|Jim: Cook Up a New Future||73|
|Greg: Schedule a Shake-Up||75|
|John: Start a Brand New Hobby||77|
|Jerry: Look for Familiar Landmarks||79|
|Missoula, Take Two||83|
|Soul Mates in Search of Home||87|
|The Powers that Lie Within||91|