MYTH AGAIN!

HELL, it’s all too easy for some moderns to look at Greek, Inuit, Hindu, Viking, or anyone else’s myths and dismiss their stories as the workings of unsophisticated minds. What I got from my Latin class in High School was a validation for believing in the superiority of my beliefs. After all, Venus was the Goddess in a mythical pagan pantheon and Jesus, the Son of God, a historical fact. To step out of one’s own myth and scrutinize it with equal veracity is not something I would recommend for the feint of heart.

My stepping-out started in college. Having moved away from my family to another state, I found myself going to church less and less. I knew this back-sliding was not acceptable in my circle, but things had started to unravel in my thinking. Ideas were fomenting my brain i.e. General Sherman was not as revered as I’d been led to think by the North American history book used in the public school I attended (I have a gr-grandfather who was in Sherman’s Ohio army and my college was in TN), OR the planet might be older than the 6,012 years I was taught in Bible School as fact, OR could it be the Garden of Eden story was just another myth like Pygmalion and Galatea?


During this period a trippy event happened to me, while sleeping soundly in bed one Sunday morning. A large clap of thunder vibrated my dwelling, and I nearly convulsed onto the floor. My body seemed to have a mind of its own. Lightening was not the culprit. Fear shook my bones. I was afraid of being cast into the fiery pit of Hell for all of eternity. My entire being felt the second coming of Christ and the onset of Judgement Day. A hologram of the event appeared all around me in living color with fiery dragons and seven-headed beasts. Withdrawal is rarely a smooth transition—and this was B.D.E. (Before Drug Experimentation). Somehow I survived this crash. Working as an actress on stage at the time helped me navigate this adventure. In the process of analyzing and portraying another person, I started to analyze myself–an ongoing process to this day 🙂

Along the way I decided to search for the root of this addiction to myth, and not fall into the trap of replacing the big hole in my heart and brain with more useless babble, or mind numbing addictions. (OK I admit it – I’m addicted to coffee and sugar) Some in my current circle might say I took up with Juno. “If I cannot sway the Gods above, I’ll stir up Hell.” (Virgil – Aeneid, VII.312).

All this led me to Mary, who represents the female aspect missing or maligned in the Jesus story. For all the arguments about how inclusive Christianity is, I have yet to see it realized in any society or historical events.

I regret not getting more of my writing in print before the media splash of The Da Vinci Code, so as to seem more of a leader than a follower (my hero journey), but que sera sera…

Utor Mens!

I SPEAK FOR THE DEAD

I speak for dead people—some with real historical lives that can be read about in books, some who live only in my head, but I hear them speak. Just because people are dead doesn’t mean they never existed. Just because people are dead doesn’t mean they don’t have a story.

The challenge for this writer is to portray these people as authentically as possible, a daunting challenge at best. Sometimes the facts of their story have been written down, at least some of the facts. As any writer or reader knows, sometimes there are big holes in the facts of someone’s story. How they thought and felt is another matter. Even writing what I think and feel about my own life can be a mission sometimes, at least in a way that others will feel compelled to read it. Throughout history, I bet people who journaled felt the same pressure, at least the ones hoping to publish–very tricky this stuff of portraying a story, anybody’s story. And what about the one’s who didn’t journal? Who speaks for them, especially when someone else tells their story and gets even the facts wrong?!

So, in walks the Trickster to help move this process along, sometimes referred to as one of the Archetypes found in all stories. Carl Jung, an inspired psychiatrist who explored mythology with the idea of explaining a collective consciousness, found Archetypes to be shared by all cultures, all human stories, just wearing different costumes, events, hairdos etc.. The Trickster with a dual nature—half animal, half divine—creates havoc for all, and presto-chango, here comes a story. One must have some sort of havoc to get the ball rolling, the story, that is—the events of a life. I have yet to meet or hear of anyone who doesn’t have a story.

How can I explain my need to write the words of the dead? The Trickster enters into my stomach (through a process I don’t entirely understand) and creates this “havoc” or a “gut feeling,” and away I go. I start hearing dead people talk. Dead does not mean silent, as long as there is someone to hear them and type down what they say (I hardly write anymore, my hand hurts). So, I hear it, and I type it. Whether or not the dead are happy about this, I have no idea. They haven’t said one way or the other, but they keep talking, and as long as they’re talking, I’ll keep listening, and typing, speaking for the dead, as best I can.

Then there’s music, I hear that, too. But that’s another story…

Green (my addition) Dragon from the 13th century Southern Song Dynasty.
Trickster, is that you?

And Happy Birthday to my daughter Ashlee! What a story she will tell…