The Flood Myth

The next part of my book that I have to write is Deucalion and Pyrrha, the end of the flood.

All mythologies have a flood myth in their beginning. Noah, obviously. Deucalion and Pyrrha for the Greeks and Romans. Utnapishtim for the Sumers, from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Nata for the Aztecs. Manu for the Hindus. Cessair in Irish myth. Korean. Aboriginal American. Egyptian. Chinese.

“Many cultures have myths relating to one or more inundations, referred to as the Flood or Deluge, sent to eliminate the human race, usually with an advanced warning to enable a few to survive to repopulate the world.” - J. A. Coleman, The Dictionary of Mythology.

The flood is always to punish the “sins” of man. Man, once made in the image of the Gods - a creature above all other creatures on Earth, has transgressed, has fallen to chaos and discord. And so, water - the great equalizer - falls from the sky to wipe away Man and press the reset button on mankind. Always, there is a man chosen to survive. Deucalion.

So what does this man - the chosen man (or in some cases the chosen woman) feel? Think? Want? Remember? Do?

The earth is of utmost importance in Ovid’s version of the myth. Imagine what Deucalion feels the moment his feet touch dry land. Imagine the first taste of food. Deucalion is a sailor returning from months at sea. But what is he returning to? Nothing. The end. No, the beginning. A new beginning. Just him and Pyrrha. His wife, whose name means fire. I imagine that legs itch to run against the simple solidity of rock and dirt. I imagine that he bends to pick up a handful of dry sand and watch it slip through his fingers. These fingers, there are only twenty of them left in total. The toes that bury in the earth - there are only twenty of those as well. And the eyes that survey what’s left of the world - the swept clean, silt lined, downtrodden world - there are only those eyes and two others. What a mighty task that awaits them. One man, one woman. To repopulate the world and rebuild the cities. And all the time, to tell the stories that will prevent this from happening again. His story. The story of his father, Prometheus, who gave fire to Man. The story of Zeus and the Titans and the beginning of the world. The story of the downfall of the ages of man. What stories he must have in his head to tell his children and their children. To tell the race of men that spring from the rocks they cast behind them, the bones of the earth. The children of the Earth. Mankind are born from Gaia, from Mother Earth.

My musings on the flood myth, and on Deucalion, as I prepare to write about his first steps.

Plan to be surprised…

I watched Dan in Real Life today. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy, I feel like that’s how they marketed it.. plus, Steve Carrell was in it. But it’s not. I actually found it really sad. And cute. And I loved it. It made me want to curl up and eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches (comfort food… don’t ask).

I loved the part at the end where he was like “What advice should we give our young people about plans? Plan to be surprised.” I love that. I think I’ve always felt that way, especially about love. I plan to suddenly fall madly, irresponsibly in love, someday.

In short, I thought it was a really good movie. Of course, I’m far from a movie critic - I tend to love most movies.

the sky would be so big that it broke my soul…

we meet here for our dress rehearsal to say
I wanted it this way…
wait for the year to drown

spring forward
fall back down
I’m trying not to wonder where you are…

I want to tell the story again.

I want words like crushingly good songs, words with power and meaning, words that steal the wind. Words that follow each other like the right notes, words that go together like the four right chords to make me cry. Words like those first bars where your heart swells in your chest and the world fades away. I want words that make me weak, for the power of them.

My words tonight are butterfly’s wings.

Dear Mr. and/or Mrs. Sender…

I followed some links on my friend Lea’s journal, to a feminism website that entertained me for a portion of the afternoon. The Hathor Legacy is a website that examines TV, movies, etc from a feminist point of view.

I honestly don’t know what I think about feminism. I’ve been in enough English classes to resent someone saying that every piece of literature has to do with feminism. I’ve also been attacked by feminists for my apparent lack of sensitivity. The terms “feminist” and “feminism” are loaded for me. I mean, technically it means that you believe in equal rights for both sexes. But it has grown to mean so much more. If someone is a Feminist do they automatically think that everything is about repressing women? The word has come a ways from it’s roots. I suppose like a lot of isms have, communism for one. Not all feminists are man-eating bitches. Not all communists are Soviet spies.

My problem is that I can’t figure out where I stand. Do I believe in equality? Absolutely. Not just for women, but for all people. But do I believe that our society has a serious problem with repressing women? Not as much. I believe that women have come a very long way in the last century. And sure, there’s probably room still to grow. But I don’t really see it as being one of our biggest flaws. Racism and homophobia are much bigger problems today than chauvinism or patriarchy.

Another problem I have is that I do think men and women are different. Inherently. At the base of it we are all mammals, after all. And in every spicies on the planet, males and females differ. Biologically, we are made differently. Females are made to be nurturers. And to stay close to home. Why? Not because females are weaker. But because they’re more important. They make babies. If they die, there are no babies. If males die, well, one male’s sperm can impregnate a whole species of females if it has to. Biologically, females are supposed to be protected.

Now, before anyone gets angry with me, I know that that isn’t the case in a modern society. I know that I’ll never be a stay at home mom. I know that some women aren’t nurturing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Things have changed since we were animals. But that doesn’t change how we’re wired. Men and women are built different for different tasks. They think differently. They move differently. Neither better than the other, but for different purposes.

I have come up against a few examples of repression in my life (though hardly any). Someone told me once that photography was a man’s profession because you had to carry all the heavy equipment. And I did resent that. Which is why I’m so torn.

The basic truth, though, is that I want to have babies, and would probably give up my dreams to do so. I like cooking and baking and taking care of people. (I don’t like cleaning though… THAT trait has to be learned, there’s obviously no biological use for it). And I like men who are Men. I like feeling protected. I do want a guy to open the lid of the jar, or to scare away the bird. I’m a girl, so what? Does that make me a traitor to the movement of women’s rights? Besides all of these things I am also intelligent and motivated and obviously going somewhere in my life. So where do I fit in the feminist spectrum?

Maybe I don’t understand enough about true feminism, maybe I only see the stereotype. That’s what the website showed me. It’s really insightful. I suggest you check it out.

I still don’t want to hear about how everything in the world is about feminism, though. Sometimes, it’s really not.

making things difficult

I’ve been making a conscious effort to steal from the music industry less often. I even bought the new Death Cab for Cutie CD.

I saw Prince Caspian tonight (which, by the way, is wonderful) and they had a beautiful new Regina Spektor song in it. So, I decided that I would buy it on iTunes, and be nice. Because I love Regina and I loved the movie.

Of course, iTunes wouldn’t let me buy just that one song. I would have had to buy the whole album. Which I don’t want. This happened last week, too, when I was going to buy that Nora Roberts’ Lifetime TV movie (yeah, I know) Blue Smoke, with Alicia Witt. For Alicia Witt, I swear. Anyway. You could buy it on iTunes, it said. Apparently, only in the States.

So all of my best efforts to not be a thief have failed and now I am downloading the new Regina Spektor song. Sorry, Regina. Put it on one of your CDs and I’ll buy it.