Myths Originate Everywhere


In my own writing and reading I’ve recently been interested in the mythologizing of personal stories: enlarging metaphors and themes to blend truth and existing folklore with newly created heroes and villains. It seems that sometimes, the only way to get at a story so big you can’t see the whole thing is to write on a scale to match it–quit trying to fit it into the ordinary confines of reality. I think there are some stories that are impossible to be told straight out, either because they are our personal legends and contain parts that we don’t even fully know–or because their implications have been so enormous in our lives that we can’t tell them without folding their consequences into the telling.

So here’s your prompt:

Mythologize the story of your birth or a family member’s birth in the third person. Think about the parts of the story that have stuck in all the tellings. Fill in details that you don’t have to support the theme you’re trying to build. For example, “She was born in the winter, into a day when the sky was heavy with the promise of snow. She arrived with circles under her eyes and a head of thick black hair.”

The weather part I don’t honestly know, but the circles under my eyes bit is in every telling (and picture). Take what you want and make up the rest, baby. It’s your own damn story. And myths are everywhere. Even in New Jersey.

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