Saturday, July 10, 2004

Iron, achilles and the lips of all eternity

Speaking of cyclesarya (sorry--I should try to me more respectful towards my friends name) "cycles arya", every four years or so I find myself reading the same book, a book called IRON JOHN: A BOOK ABOUT MEN by poet ROBERT BLY. It's very Tristan Legend-of-the-Fallish in terms of mature masculine archtype. As badly as I want to make a career continually as a "published-purveyor of language" (damnit I'm already a writer, no matter how much lint I pocket in lieu of cash) part of me desires so badly to be able to DO THE RIGHT thing; become the man that I'm somehow suppose to be, to treat people the way they are meant to be treated....and to know what's the write (sic)...right thing to do at the time.

It's so hard, which is part of the adventure, if not the initial fun.

IRON JOHN is a Grimm's fairy tale that Robert Bly mythologically dissects like a game of Operation (when you feel an uncomfortable nasal shrill blinking through your body you know you've recognized what stage of the fairy tale your currently in)....I'll save you a book report but here's the chapter I was reading today (again)....The golden-haired boy has been exiled from the Wild Man to learn poverty (descending into his own wounds)...

"The man today, as he embarks towards the father's house, is in between these two mythologies. If he is an ascender, he flees from earth, dust, and flesh and effectively asks women to take care of the earth. By contrast, the old men, in traditional initiation lead the young man to the Beneath Father, near where the ancestors live and where the snakes are. The voyage does not exile him from heaven, for snakes can be found even in the crown of the tree. The snake swims in water as well. The snake is the Lord of the Waters. Mythologically, then, the snake resembles the Wild Man, the King, and other being who lie in the water at the bottom of our psyches.

"We surmise then when a man accepts Descent as a way to move to the father's house, he learns to look at the death side of things, he glances down at the rat's hole, which is also the snake's hole, and he accepts the snake rather than the bird as his animal. The father ins a middle-class household may own the car and the credit cards, but the motehr lives longer, and comes back form the cememtary after the fatehr is burried. The son feels a pull to identify with the mother's sturdiness and, beyond that, with the vibrant energy of the Great Mother.

" Initiation asks the son to move his love energy away from the attractive mother to the relatively unattractive serpent father. All that is ashes work (errata-like Cinderella )When a man enters this stage he regards DESCENT as a HOLY thing, he increases his tolerance for ashes, eats dust as snakes do, increases his stomach for terrifying insights, deepens his ability to accept evil facts of history, accepts the job at working seven years under the ground, leaves the granary at will through the rat's hole, bites on cinders, learns to shudder, and follows the voice of the old mole beneath the ground."

-(pgs 90-91)

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