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Reply To: The Metamorphic Journey,” with Craig Deininger, Ph.D.”


Stephen:While we are engaged in the mundane…

Yes! As a young dancer (15/16) had to take the “train” (subway) for classes in NYC. I was coming from out of town (so would spend a few months/summers up in the city over the years.)

I remember the train tunnels underground, the heat, the sound…it felt quite mythic. The subway was never just a “subway.” Those trains (were dragons.) And I wrote a poem ode to them entitled “Dragons of the Underworld,” which was published in a small periodical.
The trains “roared,” you could feel the electricity in the air…the heat of the tunnels, the ogle of the yellow eye of an oncoming train…and the power of these metallic beasts roaring past.
My favorites were the “red dragons,” the express trains now sadly long since retired. The whole underground tunnels would vibrate with sound and wind of passing trains…you could feel it in the bones…it was exciting!

Then as I referenced in the ode after queuing up like billiard balls, we would hop onto a dragon and fly into the dark!

After a long day of dance (tired and hungry) the roars of passing dragons in the tunnels never failed to inspire and excite as everything else was drowned out except their presence. I needed the trains to be dragons…something vibrant and alive and magical living in the urban jungle.
I felt for the other commuters who were exhausted from work and life and only wanted to get from point A to B.
But the dragons were mostly my secret. Except I was lucky to have a Mom who supported my “imaginative stance.” Grin. She too would reference the “red dragons.” And it was worth a poem after all!

The reason perhaps for my mythic experience also related to having seen CBS’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which has all the mythic symbols of a “real underworld.” A blend of reality and fantasy and classic literature/poetry.
Central Park as well has its own wonderful mythic feeling…it’s incredible even years later walking out of the city and into the park how the sound of traffic begins to mute as one passes through this “invisible,” barrier and is surrounded by the green.

And to be fair there are many wonderful parks in NYC, Brooklyn etc.

If one knows where to look!!