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Archetypes, identities

I think I have a pretty nifty worldview. It's not infallible, but it can shift and change if there's cause to. I like it; it's worked for me this far and continues to work for me, and it's fun and enriching and lets me be who I want to be. But, at the same time, I realize that it wouldn't work for others; incompatible natures, and all that jazz.

For a while, I invested quite a bit of time and effort into figuring out what precisely I was--what identity I could claim in a thrope/mythic/soulkin sense. I considered and rejected many, many things--demon, hellhound, dragon, sphinx, raven, lóng, lion. Elements of each appealed to me, but never the whole--something was always a shade off. I think I'm beginning to understand why.

The identiy I come to know myself as has nothing to do with species. It is a role, a position, a calling. It transcends species, just as species transcends role. I do not consider myself a dragon, though I can assume that mantle; I do not say I am a sphinx, though I can be if I choose.

I am a storyteller.

I can say things like this because I identify with the archetype of the storyteller from the days when storytelling was codified into the common culture--when stories had to be found, and remembered, and shared, and preserved because this sharing was a backbone for entire nations of people. I can say yes, take my stories with you and revel in them and take part and partake because I don't see the stories as a part of me--I see them as a part of Everything, and I too am a part of Everything, and I want everyone to come to understand that Everything inasmuch as they are able to. I don't want to keep any part of it to myself--though sometimes, I would like recognition for showing people, and I don't want others to take credit for the work I have done unearthing these things and displaying them, beyond that, I am not a proprietary person. I want people to see what I see, to feel what I feel, lest something that meant much to me be lost upon my disappearance.

That's what a storyteller does.

A storyteller passes on the truth and beauty to the next generation, so that they may use it and come to know it on their own. Sie is a custodian, not a guardskeeper. A storyteller lights one torch from another to spread the warmth and light, does not hold the torch and say to others "Look, but do not take." Such a thing is anathema to a storyteller, and why I have such a hard time understanding it. For a storyteller, the failure to pass on that power entails ultimate failute--the confidence I have seen in others that "I have found something which you shall never have, nor never understand" is not, for a storyteller cause for joy or acheivement but for lamentation or despair.

Which is why I tend to balk, when others say things like this. Which is why I try, over and over, to capture those elusive feelings in my works, why so often I'll revisit something time and time again until I've found precisely the way to communicate it. Which is why dialogue, communication, feedback--why all of these things are so important to me. And why the words "You've moved me" or "You've inspired me" will mean more to me than "Your writing style is very clean, very professional" ever will.

And that's me. Not most people, not everyone, but me at least. "Tiger gotta hunt, bird gotta fly, man gotta sit and wonder 'Why, why, why,'" and I gotta share tales. "It's what I do, darlin'. This is what I do."



Февраль 2012

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