There was a time I would laugh at the spiritual life and those that went to church every Sunday. Then I moved to WDC. I was without my connection – the people that kept me centered and connected. I was forced to create new connections designed just for me. I met many people that believed the way I did and learned that I to could practice a spiritual life designed just for me. Sitting quietly is the best way for me to connect to my spiritual life. I find LOVE, Peace and Hope when I am sitting quietly. Within these I find icons the best represents me. A few years ago, I created a series of paintings that represent the Icons along my spiritual journey. I now have the Icons tattooed on my body. They are the landmarks along my path.
“I was the best Captain America that I could be, but basically there’s no replacing an icon.” - U.S.Agent*
John Walker grew up in Georgia idolizing his older brother, Mike that died in the Vietnam War. John enlisted in the army and soon received an honorable discharge. Eventually he met the “Power Broker” that promised him super powers. Accepting the gift he received greater strength speed and agility. His senses peaked at superhuman. He became a highly trained fighter and marksman. Creating the identity Super-Patriot, he started a career as a superhero. Soon Steve Rogers was relieved and removed from the title rank and job of Captain America. John Walker was then given the title and rank of Captain America. Trying his best to protect and serve John Walker failed at the true mission of Captain America – to inspire and bring together the American people. Publicly John Walker gave the title rank and mission back to Steve Rogers. John soon returned to the public as a new superhero, U.S. Agent. He would become a member of the Avengers and making a new name for himself.
There are so many different understandings for the word “Icon”. But for our discussion an icon is a symbol, an idea or archetype that we strive to achieve. These appear in the form of an object or a person. For example, an acorn could be an icon for growth and breaking free to become a strong oak. A coffee cup could be a symbol for sharing. So we take our icons and find their meanings and seek to be like these icons. Like John Walker we fail often. It is in the failure that we learn to become better people. There are those among us that practice a spiritual life daily, and those that practice every now and then, and finally there are those that make fun and fail at practicing a spiritual life. We need to fail and laugh so we can grow. It is in the failure that we grow.
First Appearance: Captain America, vol. 1 #323 (November 1986), Marvel Comics
Creators: Mark Gruenwald (writer) Paul Neary (art)
* “The One That Got Away”, The U.S.Agent, #1, August 2001, Marvel Comics