Weaving the Web: Myth, Metaphor, Meaning & the Muse
Writing is a lifestyle, a physical practice in mindfulness and awareness, ending in a story. As authors, it is up to us to find the seemingly disparate thematic threads floating in the air, and weave them into a cohesive web of metaphor and meaning. Work with your core beliefs, translating them into a defined theme in your story, and iterating them through writing devices such as characters, conversations, symbolism, and landscape. This interactive, immersive, experientially-based workshop first taps into the muse through a sensory conversation with physical nature, and what Greek philosopher Plato called the anima mundi, or World Soul. What inherent metaphors exist in the red-tailed hawk spiraling overhead, the wind in the trees? How do these players of an animate nature spur memories of mythology, folklore, fairy tales, or natural history from your past knowledge? We’ll bring in Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theories of the collective unconscious and archetypes to tap into the universal themes and characters in relationship with your own. How might they be showing up through synchronistic conversations you hear on the street, or serendipitous encounters giving you just the piece of information you were missing? Bring in your own emotions around your theme, as well as identify what stands in opposition to it. In the end you’ll weave the web, pulling together all the threads into a cohesive story shimmering with layering, depth, and meaning.
Any genre—fiction to poetry to creative nonfiction and beyond—is welcome. Generate new material or apply the activities to a current project (consider bringing a copy). This is an outdoor workshop with a small amount of easy walking, and sitting on the ground. Wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a small backpack with water, warm layers, and a portable camp chair if you have one. We will work visually with the material, bring colored pencils if you have them. Otherwise, they will be provided. A journal or blank paper and pen or pencil is strongly recommended for the generative freewrites and other activities (instead of a laptop, tablet, or cell phone).