Thursday, February 27, 2014
A Mythic Definition as Mystery
Write with Impact
Albert Einstein said, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” Einstein called his imagination “a holy curiosity.”
Mythic mystery absorbs this concept of holy curiosity combined with awe.
“Manna—what is it?” Israel asked, mystified by the flaky fiber carpeting the earth, surrounding their camp.
“Bread from the Lord,” Moses replied. Gather as much as each needs, an omer apiece only, one day at a time.
They did not, could not, recognize the substance. They struggled to comprehend it, classify it, cook it. Food from heaven. Fare of the angels.
Mythic mystery creates a sense of yearning ‘awe’ that ignites a heart hunger. It combines a search for answers as well as a willingness to just absorb the beauty and questions left behind.
Science has given us detailed explanations of why the sun rises and sets. Yet the causes do not affect the unique beauty of each one spreading its palette of design across the heavens every day.
Jane Yolen refers to folklore as “constantly transforming and being transformed, putting on chameleon like, the colors of its background.” So despite the familiarity, the story is always new and unique.
The lure of a mystery is present in all genres due to the main story question. If we are hooked at the beginning we will read, even through dull sections, determined to find the end’s answer. Chapter endings, scene endings need to leave us with that pause of ‘will she or won’t she succeed or fail’. The books and movies that keep us wondering breathe that mystery thread with both multiple possibilities and/or multiple questions.
When we add and weave a mythic thread of mystery’s awe into our stories, then we can also leave a lingering sense of yearning and a ‘holy curiosity’ that fuels our soul language as well. We write with deeper impact and significance. Like a light breeze causes us to pause, mythic mystery leaves a catch in our throat.
Share: What aspect of nature continues to fill you with awe?
Read deep, marcy