Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mythmaking: Beauty and the Boss

A discussion with Jenna and Mr. Pond

"Remember the morning we dug up your gun
the worms in the barrel, the hangin' sun"
 ~Bruce Springsteen

Every time and place needs it's own mythology, it's own prophets and poets and myth-makers, the "necessary other" as Kathleen Norris calls them. They create myth by being so much a part of the world they live in that they understand in an interior sense what drives their people. Myth-makers pull moments out of time to make them mean more than the moment could on it's own, and as Jenna reminds us in her post, "Myth is not made alone," it belongs to the whole culture. The myth-maker weaves the dreams of his society into realities that hover just out of sight, dreams that are sometimes joyful and sometimes nightmares.

When I think of our myth-makers, I think first of the Boss, whose lyrics make myth out of the mysteries of American life, out of factory work, long drives at night, out of trampled dreams and broken love. Like the character's Jenna so loves in her writing, it's " dear these people are" - unreal, imaginary, but "more true than if it had really happened" (Hemingway), the people of myth populate our souls, forcing us to grow into a muturity they can never reach. Myth-makers are artists, shaping the souls of those who fall into the myth, they offer each of us a chance to believe in beauty, to remember who we are, and to step out again into life, strengthened and renewed.

1 comment:

  1. This post should have 100 comments about how Bruce Springsteen should have a Pulitzer Prize in literature for Nebraska (and another one just for "Thunder Road.") Good talking to you; hope Yarrow got un-fussy in record time (preferably with the help of The Squirrel)