The Mythos of Enders
During my all too brief time on the island with you amazing writers, I managed to create and post a video podcast for my online class regarding the marriage of Cadmus and Harmony at Mycone. This is when all the gods and mortals ate at the same table, and humans never knew sickness, loss, or struggle. In other words, it was paradise just before the fall, and so it can also, in my humble opinion, be aligned with the birth of art (thus I have betrayed my first core value: art emerges from pain). Also during this time, after conversations with several of you, I proposed to Mike the idea of a workshop (or series of workshops) for summer 09 on the topic of mythology. After all, being virtually surrounded by water, away from loved ones, cast into a common fate with strangers…all this is archetypal and alludes to Odysseus (your choice: Circe or Calypso’s island).
So what is at stake here? What are the lessons, the tests, the gift that looks like a trick or the trick that looks like a gift? Water is the literal and metaphorical symbol of life while winter denotes death, isolation, loss. So the ions are charged with meaning. We sit, watch the horizon, dream common dreams, and muse. The ships will not return to the shore, so like Odysseus, if we are to leave it is because the dream of home hasn’t faded. When we leave, we leave alone but with gifts from the gods. We build our rafts in bricoler fashion: rags and bones and driftwood…memories, dreams, blood. And the return is always mythic…always illo tempore (in that time). By this, I mean prodigal son, Odysseus, Portia. We return home a stranger, both to ourselves and to our loved ones. This isn’t negative per se, but it births art so it is essential. If we never leave home, if we never travel beyond, if we never cross into darkness, we shall have no gifts to bring back.
Wishing you all god speed on your journeys, and the cool part is that this summer, ironically as well as mythically, will now suddenly constitute your journey home as well.