This is kind of a footnote to yesterday’s entry on Creative Mythology. Maybe I have to start with a confession that I’ve always been an intellectual thrill-seeker. As a child, I decided that my life and my so-called culture were boring, so I studied foreign languages and geared up for the day when I could start traveling. Like Dorothy, I was always dreaming of somewhere over the rainbow.
So I went to Oz. Some might say I live in Oz, still looking for the next adventure, still studying the religions and art of cultures foreign to me, still searching for the Other.
But — to make a long story short — this book on Creative Mythology is leading me to conclude that there’s no place like home. I had that feeling when I visited the Vatican, and when I visited Ireland (and of course at every family gathering) — these are my people!
We stand on the shoulders of giants, each of us, within our own culture. I will only ever have a superficial understanding of the meaning behind African masks or a Japanese painting, because (even though I may have them in my hands), I have no real experience of the culture — it’s all book-learning and hearsay to me. If I want to swim deep, it may have to be with Terese Avila or Thomas Aquinas, Michaelangelo or Picasso, Shakespeare or James Joyce. I already half-get them; I have half a chance of knowing their world. European civilization, especially the Celtic/Catholic strain, is in my blood. Why not take advantage of that? Why not use that as my platform for further exploration?
I guess what I’m saying is that this Dorothy is enjoying Kansas right now.