Once upon a time, I fell in love with the Mythic Arts.
Ours was a relationship that built up over time. We started out as friends. I knew I had a fondness for fairy tales from childhood, and flirted with modern interpretations in my teen years in the form of Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow's Snow White, Blood Red anthology series. I listened without end to the music of Loreena McKennitt, and pored over the images of the Pre-Raphaelites. In my college years, I discovered through the suggestions of a friend the works of Charles de Lint and Steeleye Span, and I felt my passions deepen. When the internet was still young, I discovered the Endicott Journal of Mythic Arts. I wrote college papers defending the eponymous lady of "La Belle Dame Sans Merci." And then I realized that all of these disparate elements I so adored had a common thread and a common community. I discovered that I was not alone in my love for the enchantment and imagination that flowed through all of these media. By the time I returned to college in 2005 to finish school, I was prepared with an answer to the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer, whether the querent understood it or not, was "Terri Windling."
The vague properties of my quest were clear to me. I knew what the prize was for which I yearned. I just didn't know how to start the path to get there. And so the dream stayed a dream, a vague resolution of "someday."
Until one day I joined Facebook and started getting to know the people who so inspired my entire world view as people instead of icons. And one day I posted on Facebook how much I wished someone would make a book about decorating one's house and surrounding oneself with objects that are infused with fairy tale, myth, and story. And the response was: then do it.
Theodora Goss wrote me and encouraged me to start this blog. Bryony Whistlecraft suggested the word Domythic to describe the style. And so I started this blog as a companion and sister site to my already existing blog about Pre-Raphaelites, The Beautiful Necessity.
Once upon a time, I discovered that the point isn't to wait until the right weapon to fulfill your quest falls into your hands. The point is to use the tools you have now. Dorothy just had to wish and click her heels and she returned home: she had the magic shoes the whole time. September used her mother's wrench to save Fairyland instead of a sword. The point is not to wait. The point is to just begin.
|September, by Ana Juan, from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making|
This past weekend, I attended Faeriecon, and attended numerous incredibly inspiring panels on subjects related to living a (do)mythic life*. In one panel, Delia Sherman told us, with a deep-felt sincerity in her voice, that the person who paints her home, who cooks her meal, who writes a story...all are equal partners in creativity in their own areas. As long as we live with intention, with the desire for magic and wonder flowing through all we do, so many things become acts of art and creation.
|Robert Gould, Terri Windling, Shane Odom, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, and Eric Pope on the panel for "The Mythic Life."|
Unfortunately, another thing that was discussed this weekend is how very difficult it is to be accepted anymore as part of the established large-press publishing field, or to make one's living off of one's art. There are so many incredibly talented people out there struggling to make ends meet. It seems entirely unjust that people capable of gifting such incredible beauty to the world should have to work so hard to keep food on the table. And hearing about how difficult a world it is right now just cemented my desire to do everything I can to help.
|Myself, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman|
You see, reader, I am still working on discovering my own voice, my own creative vision and style. But that doesn't mean I can't contribute to the tapestry that is the Mythic Arts. At this phase of my life I want, more than anything, to promote the works of those who have learned how to tell their own stories, through art, through writing, through song, and yes, through the way they decorate their homes.
I will be working on solidifying my goals toward this end. For one thing, I will be joining Twitter and trying to establish a stronger presence on several social media sites. But I am also in the beginning phases of working on possibly creating a new website: a hub from which I can share my blog posts here, on The Beautiful Necessity, reviews of new and old Mythic books, announcements of new and upcoming creations in the Mythic Arts...a central location for everything I love and that I hope you love too.
And someday, maybe, I'll learn how to tell my own stories as well.
*I got a special tickle at a panel on Mythic Living to hear Terri Windling and Delia Sherman both use the term 'domythic.'