Thanks to everyone who visited this year, old friends and new. Here are a few year end musings on where this blog may be going in 2014. These are not resolutions. Remembering Yoda’s words to Luke, “Do or do not, there is no try,” I don’t make resolutions. These are sort-of-predictions, aka guesses, based on a line from a Grateful Dead song, “I can tell your future / just look what’s in your hand.”
In the case of theFirstGates, it should probably read, “look at what books are piled up on the table beside you.” Looking at the titles in the stack, I predict more of the same, only new and (hopefully) better.
I’m currently reading a book I got for Christmas, Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales. The key word is complete – I haven’t read all the tales before. The other great feature is the Arthur Rackham illustrations. No one has ever painted Faerie like Rackham, and it’s a place I never tire of visiting.
Another new title is Trickster Makes this World by Lewis Hyde. Not only is Trickster an ongoing object of fascination, but he pervades blogging just like the rest of life. I’m reminded of this every time I hit Publish while meaning to click on Save.
And perhaps most important for TheFirstGates, I’m rereading The Dream and the Underworld, one of James Hillman’s important early works. Here he turns the tables on psychology’s habit of translating the night world of dreams into the language of daylight; serving the ego, in other words.
Instead of asking what a dream means, Hillman asks what it wants. This shift is fundamental to all of Hillman’s thought – psychology, the science of the psyche, in service to soul and soul-in-the-world.
Of great interest to me as a blogger is Hillman’s effort to see through literal events to the fantasies, the mythical layers that underly the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we see on the evening news. The reality in our fantasies and the fantasy in all our realities.
The coming year is unique in one respect: 2014 marks the centennial of the start of that worldwide disaster misnamed “The Great War.” The first world war has haunted me for years with its end-of-an-age immensity and sadness. There are millions of stories to tell, and I’ll try to post a few here, from the bumbling youths who sparked the conflict to a young lieutenant named Tolkien who was sent to Mordor in 1916, though the generals called it The Somme.
And finally, as always I will continue to be on the lookout for those stranger-than-fiction events that leave us shaking our heads, wanting to laugh or cry or both at the strangeness of it all.
I wish you all a joyous New Year, and I hope we will all continue to share the emerging wonders of this online experience!