I have been busy, spending several hours, each morning, writing a story that began 22 years ago. Have tried, several times, to write it, but was always blocked at some point and would just throw my hands in the air, and admit defeat. So, when I awoke one morning, with a definite nudge to write a specific opening line, I had no clue that it was the beginning of that story that had always been my nemesis. (See The Tricky Path of Impulse on this blog).
Now, it is weeks later, and I’m still at it. And each time I sit to write a new section of the story, I feel that old urge of resistance, ignore it, and fill the empty pages with words that come easily, even smoothly. The surprising aspect of it is that I am learning even in the process. Learning about that person I was who moved through the story all those years ago. Synchronicity and my own curiosity are pulling me along. That and the magic to be found in music, mythology, and the making of story.
At one point, I was writing about some of the music that is a big part of the tale that was unfolding. I got out some old CD’s and turned them on as I was writing. That isn’t my normal mode. I often find music too distracting while I’m writing, so most often don’t combine the two. Yet, the music, the bits and pieces of story in the songs, gave me other ideas to explore within the writing itself, because those songs hold pieces and parts of my own experience. The way I thought, the beliefs I held, and definitely what I was feeling back then.
The music was far more than background noise, it became the background of the scenes I was creating. It brought with it, vivid images, memories clear with color and sound, that allowed me to breathe in those older moments, giving them details I might otherwise have missed.
It also reminded me of other music that informed the story. So, I spent some time researching specific songs and artists, and hit the mother-lode. The songs I was researching were part of a concert tour, written to express a series of dreams, and thus loaded with symbolism and even mythology. The mythology just happened to be some of what I had taught years before. Taught it, thought I understood it, but now it took on even greater depth and meaning.
For example: I was in my early forties at the time the story began. One of the lines in the song I was researching was about a middle-aged woman who was blind and seeking a guide to help her through the noise. I was in college, at the time, and that is definitely seeking guidance. The woman’s name was Lilywhite Lilith (yes, Peter Gabriel and Genesis, and the tour, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway).
Back then, the Women’s Movement was in full flower, and I had become quite intrigued with mythological Lilith. Had done some research and discovered that her name meant “from the darkness.” The last portion of the Lilith myths speak of her coming into the world of light to “heal what had once been destroyed.” For me, she became the epitome of the Women’s Movement, which was trying to bring women and men out of the darkness and into the light of new relationship.
Years later, while teaching others how to use myth to inform their own stories, I had become just as enamored with the Legend of Percival, part of the Arthurian Tales. To me, his was the story of the Individuation process of which C.G. Jung writes and elaborates. It made it much easier to understand the process and clarified the rather heavy and sometimes ponderous jargon that the Jungian theorists were want to use.
And as synchronicity will have it, I then stumbled on to a video of Joseph Campbell, my favorite mythologist, teaching the Legend of Percival. Found out that Percival was pointed toward, and on, his path by a middle-aged woman whom Campbell called the Grail Messenger. Did some more research and all the pieces started falling together. Don’t you love it, when that happens?
One of the biggest reasons, I had never been able to actually write the story, was because I’d been too busy living inside of it. Moving from one moment to the next, without ever really being able to clearly see my own role within that story (sounds a lot like blind Lilywhite Lilith, doesn’t it?).
And now, years later, I find myself blindly following the signs and symbols, and suddenly stumbling into my own reality. With an extremely light touch, I have been guided into a place that has banished so much of the fear, doubt, and even regrets I’ve been carrying around for most of those years. I will continue to write the story, but with far more willingness. I may be it’s only audience, but then that might be its only purpose. Does it get any better than this? I don’t know, we shall have to wait and see.