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Reply To: Rocking New Year’s Eve,” with Professor Mark C.E. Peterson”


Thanks Stephen,

As always, good to be back!

I’m beginning to think that the worse the puns become, the more likely it is that we’re on the right track…. but let’s leave that to the Jungians out there. :^)

I think your musing here makes a lot of sense… or is the beginning of it.  One of the most fascinating things to me about playing around with mythological symbol and discourse is the process of making it make sense to us… these are relational narratives so we have to figure out what they’re relating us *to*, whether they’re doing it adequately, and whether whatever it is they’re relating us *to* even exists.  There are plenty of narratives that are meaningful to people and, yet, aren’t attached to anything.  That’s the danger of all narratives — and why “myth” is so often used as a synonym for “lie.”

My standard procedure over the years looks just like what you did here: stick to the details, assume for a minute that they ARE true, and then see where they go to determine whether we’re on to something or whether we’ve followed a false trail.  I especially liked your following young Zeus into the caves, hidden and nurtured by Mother Nature (here as Gaia) as preparation for confronting a dangerous and unresolved past.  In the most mundane, and weirdly powerful, sense there’s nothing like a good long walk in the woods (or the jungle of city concrete) to help put one’s past in perspective.  And yep, spending some time percolating (soaking? exploring? fermenting?) in the cave of the unconscious is a sure fire way to sublimate the demons still chasing us.  Maybe once you’ve done that you’re ready to make the past upchuck a future that doesn’t belong to it?

And now I’m remembering Satchel Paige’s famous aphorism: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”  That always seemed like good sense, on the one hand, and a terrible idea on the other.

I also like that parallel between Chronus castrating his father, but Zeus only feeding him an emetic and then, after a stint in Tartarus, giving him the cushiest gig in the Greek afterlife.  That reminded me of Prince Five Weapons from Hero with 1000 Faces — who confronted the dangerous and lethal Sticky Haired Ogre, but then converted and gentled the ogre into a being worthy of receiving offerings.  That’s certainly one way to purge yourself of the animosities and resentments, left over from old wounds, that can poison our futures.  Hmmm.

There is one detail still tugging at the back of my brain.  It might be nothing but: substituting a stone “swaddled” or wrapped to look like a baby?  This still bothers me.  Chronus was nobody’s fool, but apparently mistook a ROCK for one of his kids … while eating them?

I guess he didn’t chew — which suggests that a failure to “ruminate” about your future sets you up for a future that bites back.

Hmm.  See what I mean about the puns?  ;^D

Maybe some of our friends and relations in COHO have some thoughts about these wrinkles in the story line!