Straw Flowers

Straw Flowers
"Straw Flowers" by L. Folk

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Upon Waking: My Personal Mythology

We're studying Greek mythology in my World Lit I class and just this past week we watched an excerpt from "Power of Myth," Bill Moyers' classic interview with Joseph Campbell. Having reacquainted myself with Joseph Campbell's philosophy, I have more clarity on my own mythology and its symbols. This is made apparent in my dreams and what I'm trying to get at with the collection of shorts titled Upon Waking. According to Campbell, myth is the stuff of dreams; the two come from the same place--the subconscious, which is the driving force of our desires and fears despite what our intellects tell us. So this has been my project with Upon Waking, to decipher the mythology, the symbols of my subconscious and figure out the themes I grapple with, both subconsciously and consciously.

What are these themes? Rejection is one for sure. Despite my successes as a writer, rejection has damn well become commonplace, and although I pretend to shrug it off, I don't really. It manifests in my dreams as an experience with an ex-boyfriend, someone who, in the past, broke my sweet little heart. This person's ghost rises up from my inner depths and hurts me all over again in a situation that almost always borders on the absurd. "Dauphin" is an example of this, where an ex-boyfriend's ghost walks through my classroom on his way to a business meeting.

A second theme is my battle with the drudgery and the bludgeoning repetition of the days. This is accompanied by my desire to immerse myself in some natural and majestic place. "Roundabout to Wilderness" adequately portrays this theme, as does "The Ship." Both stories feature natural, almost mythical kingdoms, where I (through the guise of a persona, perhaps) experience a feeling of freedom.

It's a funny thing, writing about dreams. You think it's just a bunch of mishmash but when you sit down to record it, you realize there is an actual story there. The absurdity unveils itself into reason and it's curiously spot on with respect to your issues. Also, it's quick. It tumbles out onto the page effortlessly and in minutes. But this is what happens when your mind is trained in meditation; it's the focusing and the breathing that can get you back there. And it's funny how adaptable creativity is; as a mother with young children and a job, I don't think I would be able to write any other way at this point in my life.

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