Myths – Thankvember Fourteenth
There is an episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation wherein Captain Picard is trapped alone and defenseless on an alien world – with a member of a species whose speech is composed solely of metaphors drawn from his culture’s myths.
Not knowing those myths, of course, Jean-Luc Picard was initially unable to communicate with the other man, and, at first, thought he might be an enemy.
The complex problems of this fictional situation make me think about mythology. I’ve always had a fascination with myth, because I love stories and understanding zeitgeist, philosophy, human nature and experience. I love imagery and language and archetypes, and am fascinated when they are translated in new and interesting ways…
Myths help us to understand – ourselves, our world, our culture, history, the human condition.
Myths allow my imagination out to play, renew my sense of wonder, and connect me to people who lived and died long before I was born. I like to think that myths are a link in a chain that will stretch far into a future I will never see.
Sharing myths with my children makes their world richer, fires their curiosity, and informs their play. Because we have shared myths such as Pegasus, Thor, and leprechauns, they enjoy a deeper understanding of other entertainments. Shows rich in mythical references, like Star Trek, Phineas and Ferb, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Big Bang Theory are just more fun when you get the rich layering of them.
Having an understanding of various myths from around the world makes it easier to understand religion, and why people from certain places might live as they do.
More than all that, sharing myths with my children brings joy to us all, and often leads to many conversations that can go in wonderfully unexpected directions. Conversations and imagery tend to find their way, sooner or later into my writing and my worldview. Sometimes, I create myths of my own.
So today I extend my gratitude to all those who have had a part in creating myth, all those who have recorded and shared myth, and all those who have translated or re-imagined myth.
My world is more wonderful and magical because of you!
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