Monday, February 21, 2011

The Portals of the Muse, or How I Discovered the Nine Worlds in a Package of Crackers.

This blog was created at the insistence of my son, with the express purpose of erecting and detailing the framework for the narrative space contained by the Nine Worlds. I didn't even know that the Nine Worlds existed until I referred to them in this comment, so no one was more surprised than I to find that they required not only a blog post devoted entirely to them, but an entire blog of their own.

It is a strange and wondrous thing that, often, I find that I do not truly know a thing until I say it aloud or write it down, and then suddenly, it is spread out there before me, crystallized into reality. It is as if giving voice to it brings it into existence, echoing both Lao Zi's assertion that "The Named is the mother of the Ten Thousand Things.", and the biblical account of the Creation proceeding from the Divinely spoken word. Or as if beginning to speak the words opens the gates of mystery, or portals through which the Muses can speak, and I am merely their scribe. This was certainly the case for the Nine Worlds. A packet of caraway, sesame, and poppy seed-topped Lavasch crackers that advertised "Authentic Seed Overload", a son with a penchant for punning, a momentary mis-reading by a person on the internet, and suddenly not one, but nine worlds appear, demanding that their histories, songs, stories, and fates be detailed.

This triggered some musings (and I use that word intentionally) about the creative process, intuition, and the nature of truth, reality, mythos, logos, psychological archetypes, and their relationship to fiction, poetry, and song. The arts and even the sciences are, at their most compelling, a way for us to tell ourselves and our community truths that we cannot express any other way. They are a way of exploring the boundaries of our mental, social, physical , and spiritual worlds while staying safe from the dangers inherent in pushing those boundaries to their limits in "real life". They are portals into the highest and deepest recesses of our minds, bodies, and souls, surrogates for rituals and rites of initiation, trials and tests and templates that we shape through the lenses and filters of our own temperaments, times, and cultures, and that shape us in return, but they are also, first and foremost, amusements, ways to engage the mind and the senses, to divert us from troubles and pain, to help us make sense of our world, and to open us to a greater capacity for joy and delight. It is with this understanding, that amusement is of the essence of the creative process, that I begin the task of making the Nine Worlds manifest, here and now, if my Muse allows.

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