A few weeks ago, I put off a writing project that I’d been working on for a while. I’d spent many hours researching what was intended to be a new take on some of the Greek myths, similar to earlier interpretations that I’d produced for selected fairy tales, and stories from the Arabian Nights.
I had drafted 6 or 7 chapters – not far off half of the total that I imagined. But then my inspiration for the project stopped, at least for a while.
I’ve not since felt ready to pick up the writing again, and it’s now feeling like an abortive, or at least stalled, project. Writing cannot be done to order – if it is forced, it will not have a voice. So I had to stop.
There may be several reasons why I’ve seemingly lost the thread for this project, but the one that resonates most strongly with me at the moment is that the myths are too powerful for me to handle just now. Their messages and messengers speak with great potency.
There is a complexity, and an interweaving between many of the stories and the characters that I don’t fully understand (each god and goddess displays intense energies that aren’t obvious when just reading them as ‘fairy tales’). I need time, openness and strength to receive their wisdom.
The myths are, of course, messages for the unconscious. They explain truths and give guidance for life. For the Greeks, they were a religion – and they still are. I knew this when I started my writing, but I didn’t realise just how alive they would become for me. No less powerful than verses from Scripture, no less inspired, no less worthy of being called a major ‘faith tradition’.