I want to break this myth.
I have spent so many years living stories that I was writing as I was living them. I was not writing them alone. I was in the invisible grip of systems – capitlistm, patriarchy, white supremacy – that I didn’t see and didn’t understand, as well as the ones that I did see and did, deeply, understand: the seasons, the rise and fall of the creek, the bud and fall of the leaves.
And I became the woman that I am today, by which I mean authoring my fate by stepping the edge of what I think is possible and thinking is this really possible? Can I get away with this? And finding that it is, and doing it, and finding a new edge, and repeat.
But there is a myth here that is so big that we are trying to break.
And in my work with myth, I’ve always worked the edges. Ritualized it and wrote it and followed it’s contours, explored it’s depths… but never broken it while I worked it.
I want to break this myth. I had coffee this morning with an old friend and we talked about all the women my age, who have risen in politics and communications by running into barriers and learning to be silent and find a way around. So much that we don’t even see the habit.
Another friend tells me she isn’t connecting with her animal yet. But every other kind of animal is appearing to her. Hawks and owls especially. She has opened the door to the wild.
I want to break this myth. Where does it start? I think about the other version, where the pea and lentil seeds grow in the moonlight, and help her find her way home. It has to start before that. Maybe it starts before she goes on the first picnic. Maybe as she goes into the woods, she opens the door to the wild. Maybe the animals speak to her, and she turns her horse from the path…
And then my beloved fellow witch, artist and myth-breaking friend Samantha Ravenna Shay sent me a video of a dance performance of Bluebeard by Pina Baush and I felt that woman, who was once me, dancing and being dragged through the sand and leaves and demanding to be upright.
When did I start breaking this myth? Because I know now that I already am. I call myself author, I have pulled on the thread of my author-ity like the long long string of a sweater that is woven all around me. When did I begin that? I began that when I began to write fiction 12 years ago… and I felt the intoxicant of creating a story that is mine and no one else’s enter my bloodstream.
So what if we broke this myth as if it were fiction and we were prepared to be totally intoxicated by our own authority?
What would we write then?