Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Can you write a myth today?

Myths are an interesting thing. 
They narrate about strange happenings from a time long forgotten. No one really knows anymore what actually happened. But it must have been something so strikingly different than normal daily life that it has been handed down over many generations.

Some of these myths are about catastrophic events. About earthquakes, floods and other natural phenomena. So vast, that they were affecting the whole world. And are now "known" world wide too.

A few centuries ago scientist and thinkers mused over what truth lies behind the myths, making bold statements. Now a "modern" author, Rens Van Der Sluijs, has summed up all these with his own ideas to them.

Catastrophism in the Humanities - a Low down - Part one
Catastrophism in the Humanities - a Low down - Part two

I observed, that news, that get reported and remembered, are mainly those that are out of the ordinary. Things normal are forgotten easily and neglected. 

It is not only bad things, though, that are being remembered this way. Not only catastrophic events but also the too good to be true things are being remembered longer. 
There is the common phrase of the "good, old times" when everything was so much better than it is now. Not because it really was, but because the "bad" parts, that are similar to the ones now, have been forgotten. They have been there all the time so they did not get remembered - only the outstanding good things, those that were not everyday experiences.

What will be remembered about our time, the era we live in now? 
Will there be a myth about worldwide connections and friendships without ever having met the other for real? [social networks as example] 
Of making money from things that do not even exist as material things? [example here could be the "Wall Street"] 
Or will it be remembered as a time of war and hardship for most and luxury for some? 
Or a time of natural catastrophes that are "only" regional but still had impact on people far away through the media that connects them worldwide; with some then actually physically helping those affected and many just giving money (to help - or calm the conscience) but actually wanting to ignore that it had happened at all and will never happen or affect them.

Or will there be nothing to be remembered at all? An era that will be forgotten completely? A blank page in the overall history of humanity. Maybe there are some outstanding "discoveries" in the field of science, medicine or exceptional things done in art to remember. But assuming a long, long time has past (thousands of generations): what of these will be left? What stories, that could become myths, will be handed down over generations? What will remain in the common memory of all? 

Maybe we should write and tell stories to our children and grandchildren about things that we deem important to be remembered. Not about us, our "mundane" daily life. No.
Stories about all the great discoveries and inventions and other happenings that had an effect on our world, the way we live. And about the dangerous things we have "created": nuclear weapons, oil spills, damaged ecosystems to name a few. And how we went about, once we realized those dangers, to eliminate them.
For a "better" world to live in. 
A world we "remember" as it can be like.

In 2009 I have self-published my first story, a small book. I received a comment on it then that said the story is "out of time": it could have been way back in the past, now, or play in the future. Like a myth. 
I did not really understand it that way when writing. I was just bringing to paper (computer) the images and emotions that were buried so deep inside me. Maybe it's just that "common" memory that surfaced. Maybe there is more to it.

Here is the free link to the PDF file of this story:


Yes, it's free! I want to share this little book. I'm on the lucky side of life that I do not have to earn a living with writing.

I hope you enjoy reading it. And sharing it to the people that mean a lot to you; those that you trust.