Monday, August 18, 2014

The stories we tell...

I spent the weekend at a festival about two hours north of my beloved city.  It wasn't just for fun, it was gig, and though I am today still feeling the tired from it I did manage to have a mostly good time.  I do find these sorts of event exhausting.  Though I tend towards being more extrovert than introvert I do require a lot of down time to recharge my batteries; this is something not always easy to find when one is sharing space with 600 or more other people.

The down time I managed to find came in the form of sitting by the fire at our campsite on the hillside while the festival continued on below.  I was able to enjoy the silence and comfortably carry on a one on one conversation.  It was during one such conversation that the subject of my next few blog posts.

About six months ago I read a book titled Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire and The Forging of History by Kenneth Lapatin about the murky origins of one the Boston Museum of Fine Arts most well known items, the statue of a Minoan snake goddess.   The book is not only about the origins of the statue but also how when someone wants a certain idea to be real they can often make the evidence fit the story we want to tell, even if that story may not be true.  A fellow performer and friend who had also read the book a few months after I did was also in attendance and one evening we found ourselves having a fireside chat about the book.

It was he who brought up the idea that is isn't just early 20th century archaeologists who are quite willing accept less than verifiable evidence to support a theory or story, but how this is something that human beings do on a personal level all the time with the stories we tell to ourselves and to the world about ourselves.  We can buy into the story so much that even when there is ample evidence to the contrary we insist on continuing to tell it even when we know it is not longer true.  Sometimes it is because we think it is the story we should be telling, or maybe it's because we are too afraid to let the story shift and change, or perhaps it isn't even the story itself, but the character we play in it that we don't know how to let go of.

In any case the discussion left me writing copious notes in my pocket journal the next morning so that I'd not forget the many points raised that night and the questions I found myself asking about my own story. As often happens when I find my brain lighting up over a new idea I have decided to blog about it.

So expect some soul searching posts over the coming days...hopefully without too much self indulgent navel gazing.

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