Many Bothans died to bring us this information.—Mon Mothma, Return of the Jedi
The ancient Greeks told stories of gods and heroes to explain the world as well as to make the long winter nights fly by. Tales of epic wars, capricious gods, valiant demigods, and bold deeds created the mythology now taught in schools and used as clue fodder for Jeopardy. The word mythos is Greek for any kind of story but the idea of a myth has come to mean something larger, a story about extraordinary happenings, extraordinary people, in extraordinary times.
While the Greek stories – and the Roman, Indian, Norse, Egyptian, African, etc. – took hundreds of years to percolate into tales that are now thousands of years old, there are emerging mythologies in today’s culture mere decades old. Yet, if you play the game of “what is a mythology,” it’s easy to claim that Star Wars is crossing from a collection of movie plots into the realm of mythology.
A myth is any traditional story consisting of events that are ostensibly historical, though often supernatural, explaining the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon. Myths are often stories that are currently understood as being exaggerated or fictitious. – Wikipedia
Continue reading “What’s in Your Mythology?”
Barbara in Montana likes my endings. From the time I started writing my weekly posts, she’s told me that she finds the endings are often the best part and reads them first.
Can you imagine how much pressure that adds to the process? Now, not only do I want something equally entertaining and interesting, thought provoking but not too heavy, words to make you go hmmmmmm and ho ho ha ha, but now ALSO the ending has to be Barbara-WORTHY.
I don’t really know where the endings come from.
Writing, inspiration, requires priming the pump which is why you have to be disciplined to do it every day or in a routine. Usually, it’s a pretty rusty pump. You have to start with a few vigorous thrusts of whatever quality, to get it going and get the brown stuff cleared out. Then, it just goes. Not all of the words will be funny or insightful but enough of it will get you started. And then you don’t really know where it “came” from.
Continue reading “The End is the Beginning”
My aunt Viola warbled like a cat in the rain. Uncle Casmir’s voice was raspy from fifty years of cigars. My grandmother’s voice was reedy and full of thick Polish sighs. My dad had a booming basso profundo that wasn’t exactly on key but nearer to the notes than his mother and sister. My mom was a wayward soprano but what she lacked in pitch, she made up for in enthusiasm, and she conducted us as only a former high school drama teacher turned speech professor could do.
In 1967 at Grandma Chmaj’s house, the Christmas Eve tradition was to sing Christmas carols. She had little books that were handed round with all the words, even to verses three and four which had to be sung. Everyone was allowed to pick their favorite, even us little kids. All religious carols, of course, none of your Holly Jolly or Rudolph. My mom’s pick was O Little Town, my dad’s was God Rest Ye Merry. My pick was We Three Kings. To this day, as soon as I think of it, I always hear:
We three kings of Orient arrrre…
Tried to smoke a great big cigar
It was loaded
God rest ye merry gentlemen…
Such was the humor of 1967. We didn’t sing the words that way — you would “get in trouble” such as that was. We sang the right words and without accompaniment. My cousins Pat and Barbara, ten years older than my brother and I, had choir-trained voices. One of them would bring an accordion and after the regular singing, they would do two special duets that sounded truly angelic, especially in contrast: The Little Drummer Boy and O Holy Night. Truthfully, O Holy Night is still a favorite because I can hear their harmony every time the song plays.
Continue reading “Holiday Traditions Don’t Come Out of a Book”