I just had a burst of insight. I was reading Neil Gaiman's short story "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire". (Yes, he is being funny; read his book, Fragile Things.) In it, his character was saying:
"It's literature," he explained, as if to a child. "Real literature. Real life. The real world. It's the artist's job to show people the world they live in. We hold up mirrors."
Reading that, I suddenly understood something it didn't quite say. "Real life", aka consensus reality, is whatever we think it is. And we arrive at our thoughts from our experiences and input. We watch TV (well, I don't, but many people do) and believe it portrays reality. But not even "the news" does that these days. We imitate (especially when we are young or not really thinking) what we see there, and we imitate the attitudes we've derived from other people, especially people we admire — or fear. Well, I don't like the "reality" I see there of war and fear and paranoia and a greed that thinks it can never have enough. I don't like it at all. I think we, as a society, have lost our path. Not everyone is lost, of course, but far too many are. And I certainly am not interested in writing about that version of reality.
I want to write about the reality we could live in if we just shifted our attitudes and acted as if we truly cared about the well-being of ourselves and each other and our world — the reality of what we could become if...
I recently read "The Space Between the Stories" by Charles Eisenstein with great appreciation and have now subscribed to the author's blog. In it he talks about what we as a society of people tell ourselves about our culture — and how that story affects what we become. We are all, each in our own way, working on that story as we choose what to think and how to live. You could say it is written by the collective unconscious of all of us. He also talks about how the story we've been living by is coming unraveled as we face economic, cultural, and ecological crises. A lot of what he says so brilliantly makes great sense to me. I think our Story of the People is in serious need of revision — a new vision for a new way of functioning together. It's important — and it's unavoidable.
There are several "stories of the people" trying to arise right now. I hope that all of us are paying attention and giving real support to the ones that seem best to us — healthiest for Earthmama and for all of her children. A new story is coming into being amid the chaos of the old, disintegrating one. We are creating it right now.
What I'm most interested in at the moment is how we can rewrite the current rather grim perception of our future into some of the wonderful possibilities available. There is so much we could do and be; so many choices we have. I want my own writing, both of stories and of spiritual "how-to" ideas to help to realize some of those possibilities, and hope you'll find some of those enriching stories and thoughts here in these gropings toward a better path. Perhaps together we can find a story that is more loving, more kind, and more generous to live by.
That's all. It may not sound like much, but it could be important to all of us. I wanted to write it down where it won't get lost before I wake up later and face the day. It's 2:30 AM right now, and thoughts here sometimes get lost before morning. This is one it would be nice to keep. I could call it 'Rewriting the World' or even 'Righting the Tilted World' or (worst of all) 'Rites to Rewrite a World That Needs Righting'.
Copyright © 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.