Saturday, April 16, 2011

losing touch with my own mythology

this morning i woke with a feeling of helplessness, as though my belief in my own abilities had evaporated. that's only happened once before. choreographing a dance for a class, i had a dancer go off and complain about me. the teacher jumped all over me. i became paralyzed until she came to a rehearsal and did with the dancers exactly what i had been doing. voila, the complaining dancer ended up experiencing the most success when we did a performance.

obviously i needed the support and approval of the teacher. it had very little to do with me and my methods.

the writer julia kristeva in black sun expounds the theory such dark states arrive because we've never mourned the loss of our mother. we ransack the earth trying to find the safety and comfort we once felt. we erect welfare states, we marry, we hit the bottle to feel warm and complete. it's a tough world when your mother done gone, as so many blues songs wail.

on the other hand, i like the thought of the portuguese poet fernando pessoa. he believes, as i do, we each have created a personal mythology about ourselves that keeps us going. the elements of this story could be made up of many things, some very mysterious. we might see ourselves as mirrors, always able to reflect the world around us. we might see ourselves capable of donning a cloak which makes us invisible.

perhaps we're all trying to compensate for the loss of community and family, creating an imaginary bubble to protect ourselves. and in moments of despair that bubble pops and the very things upon which we prided ourselves seem false and fear takes over. once that happens we find it difficult to function.

here's a series of poems dealing with such a story: