Mythic Tales From the Subconscious

Once, in a fit of inspiration on a sunny day, I began writing a story about a man who found himself totally enraptured with a woman whose beauty and raw sexuality were terrible and overwhelming.  The story was intended to have both a literal or mundane element, as well as a mythic element (though ultimately I couldn’t pull it off, because I’m awful at writing fiction).  Anyway, the feller was at the beach – my favourite one, incidentally – and he sees this woman (girl, really) emerge naked from the waters and is immediately awestruck by her presence because he understands that he is not seeing a woman, but a goddess.  He sees this surfacing not as the plain event that it was, but as her birth – and, indeed, he sees and understands the impregnation of her mother, the waters, by the sky, her father.

Birth of Venus (Aphrodite)

Anyway, I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was doing was vaguely reconstructing the story of Aphrodite’s conception and birth.  And I was doing it without having actually heard the story (obviously, we all know the pictured art, so we all know she came from the sea, but I didn’t know the sky is her father).  Anyway, I find this fascinating – even though I had only the barest of knowledge about the mythologies at the time I was writing, the same general outline emerged.  I acknowledge that, yes, I may have heard the myth and had it kicking around the ol’ brain for some time, but I don’t think so – my hunch is that my mind spontaneously went to the same place as that of the person who first created this story.  If I’m not wrong about that, it says some interesting things about the human mind and mythology.  Something to think about.

Advertisements