No Glass Mouthful of Thwart or Victorious the Living Myths

It’s a smelly day. There’s asphalt being laid around the corner. The grass is being mown next door…but my mower man is MIA. After a longed for delivery there’s my favourite coffee making smells through my little cottage…and I’ve just poured it down my front…I clearly need coffee in order to manage having my coffee this morning…sigh…the washing has nearly finished…and the skydivers over the Writers Wrest seem to be pulling down rain clouds with them…sigh…

I feel thwarted. I feel like that word is a little stuck in my mouth, like an oddly shaped piece of glass trying to move around in there, purporting to be a bite of something nice. It’s got the word “wart” in it, it’s doomed to be awkward. Thwarted.

But thwarted is a challenge not an end. Come on! It’s a herald, challenging you to take it on. Find your bliss and follow it, make your own fanfare – tap on your water glass, laugh hysterically, do your best a capella version of your favourite song in the kitchen, put on some more coffee!

Joseph Campbell was a life-long student and teacher of the human spirit and mythology–not just the mythology of cultures long dead, but of living myth, as it made itself known in the work of modern artists and philosophers–individuals who searched within themselves and their societies to identify the need about which they were passionate. He called this burning need that they sought to fulfill their bliss.

(The Joseph Campbell Foundation)

A quick wiz around my bookshelves and I’ve counted no less than 18 books on mythology. And I noticed three things…I’m getting quite keen to sort out the library (which I haven’t done since I moved 9 months ago); I think there may in fact be more books there I’m prepared to donate to my friend’s second hand book store (shock, horror, I’ve already given away about 30); and none of my books cover living myth…except that they do!

Campbell sees living myth as being made known through modern artists and philosophers. My home is filled with modern music, art works, the writing of modern philosophers. I connect with family members, friends and people in the broader community who are seeking to fulfill their bliss and are making myths.

The thwarting of challenges and barriers as a part of modern and living myths. Isn’t that such a wonderful concept? Think about the people and events that you can see as living myths. I have a few favourites (click their name for more information) who inspire me and enrich my own life as a myth in progress (even if it’s only in my own pencil case) – versatile artist Anne-Marie Jean who continues to reinvent her art; epic pathfinder Matt Jones who is encouraging us to work together to improve the delivery of child survival; my long favourite lyricist and musician Neil Finn; and beloved authors Jeannette Winterson, Barbara Kingsolver and Australia’s own Helen Garner.

Notice the claiming of “Australia’s own”…of course we want to claim those who we admire and in doing so bring ourselves a little closer…so their magic can rub off on us! It’s bolstering as we both validate their efforts and our own myth making.

So beyond the glass mouthful of thwart…how are you myth making today? What’s your bliss? How are you getting one step closer? How are you celebrating our modern myth makers?

It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

(Joseph Campbell)

I’ll finish with a poem that I wrote a very long time ago in English class, about some characters from Greek Mythology, the thwarted Medea who did her own thwarting…not such a nice story. It’s not the world’s greatest poem and some of it no longer makes sense to me, however, I’m sure it was written with earnest intention! And I think there is something to the way in which we find ourselves getting drawn to respond and how we choose to inhabit the creative space, and for me over all of this time and through my life journeys it’s poetry. Be there. Be in your bliss making your myth.


(Trish Jean)

I held you to the sun…
Ah yes, the red fiery sun,
But you charred me!
You betrayed me
and dropped my trust
which I had so carefully
placed in your arms.
And shattered it.
A million shards
shooting from one end of my sanity
to the other and beyond.
And I no longer feel
the slight, though lingering touch of
your warm hand
stroking my face
your warm skin
keeping my flame alive.
Now there’s just a second hand heater
with leaking gas.
It scratches and laughs
and I bleed and cry
for lost love and the
bitterness betrayal
has brought me.

But I have to do this…
Toss me aside!
Kick me away
like a green leaf
turned a ripe brown for burning.
In my autumn turned to winter.
My eyes don’t see anymore
did they ever?
Frozen rivers.
You once broke the ice
now you have left me my skates
whose blades are yet unrevealed
young ignorant boys to be
manipulated toys
of my anger
left to simmer
and to boil?

You are behaving like an angry fool…
And what of you?
Angry no, but the fool.
Fine fool of wantonness.
A rotten pea in a fine pod.

Oh come on…
Yes! Yes yes yes yes
you’ve had your fill
and I in turn will have
my fill
by the gods’ decree or otherwise
I will mash your almond eyes
and kill your dreams…
oh the unfairness
it always seems…



2 thoughts on “No Glass Mouthful of Thwart or Victorious the Living Myths

  1. I found myself reading the post aloud. Beautiful writing! And what of thwarted?! A word for our time! A challenge, not an end. In an age when disruption seems to define what is happening, we have lost our connection with ‘to thwart’: again, that capricious wind of fate blowing us awry!

    Liked by 1 person

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