Flickering Lightbulb

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about maybe starting a kind of online journal focusing on creation myths. All submissions would be an original creation myth (originating from the author) or a play on/spin-off of an already existing creation myth, i.e. Christian theological tradition, Native American myths, etc. As a disclaimer, I'm a devout atheist willing to suspend my disbelief—or rather, I was a devout atheist, but, in recent years, I've been leaning more toward agnosticism. I enjoy theological discourse, though I know enough to know I know nothing. Regardless of my inclination one way or the other, I'm fascinated by different cultures' interpretations of how the world, how existence and life, came to be. I'm not nearly as well-versed in the subject of existing mythologies as I want to be, but I think this is a good place to start, a place for authors to create their own world and then tell how it came to be.

I’d really like to see fantastical yet serious and compelling myths of how a particular author feels or imagines existence and life, whatever existence and life are, came to be, but I’d also really like to see the most ridiculously funny and clever accounts imaginable, based on what a sad, silly culture like ours might possibly invent and cherish as its origin if we who live within it had no other alternative, faith-based or scientifically verifiable. These could hypothetically be the myths of lost oral traditions, prehistorical, though written from our 21st century perspective, so I think I'd like to see both prose and poetry. Maybe this journal would only be one issue which would exist either forever, in the accessible quantum universe of the internet, or at least until civilization destroys itself. Maybe it would just be forever open to submissions, so new creation myths themselves could continually be created and preserved. I don't know. I'm thinking about it. This might be really silly. I'm not sure who would be interested in it. I don’t have a name for it yet. I have a snowball, and I'm hoping a pretty yellow bird hatches from it...

26 comments:

Molly Gaudry said...

Do it. I support this all the way.

audri said...

you have to do this. i am all in. if i see any yellow birds at my window i will make them a nest of books and petals.

J. Michael Wahlgren said...

I've got a poem for you.

Eric Beeny said...

Hi Molly, I thank you. If I get going on this, I hope you'll send a creation myth.

Hi Audri, that nest sounds comfy. If I get going on this, I hope you'll send a creation myth, too.

Hi J, hold on to that poem. If I get going on this, I'd like you to send it in.

Ethel Rohan said...

Fascinating. Get going, and good luck.

Greg Santos said...

Hi, Eric. Thanks for your kind comments on TTT. Glad you liked it. I might have something for Unscroll 3. Laters, G

Eric Beeny said...

Hi Ethel, I really hope you'll submit something, too, if I get going on this. I'm thinking of soliciting a lot of this thing.

Eric Beeny said...

Hi Greg, my pleasure. If you're going to submit to Unscroll, you should do it soon because we're probably going live in a few days...

ben spivey said...

Eric,
I read this post last night and I've been thinking about it through out the day. I think that it's a good idea, an interesting one. I wrote a play that won a contest back in 2006 that was about the creation of a planet and the planet's life, I've been thinking about re-visiting it, or turning it into a short story, and I guess if this existed I wouldn't have an excuse. Plus I'm interested to see what other people create.

Eric Beeny said...

Hi Ben, if I can get going on this I'd like to see it. I don't think I'll care about pieces being previously published, or anything. I still don't have a name for this thing yet.

ben spivey said...

A potential name that came to my mind is: In The Beginning...

Eric Beeny said...

I don't know, I think that might be a bit too obvious. I think I'd want the title to be a subtle pun, or a portmanteau.

ben spivey said...

I agree that it's obvious. Titles are tough, personal, changing, meaningful, and lasting. I think that Auden's poems has some of the best.

Eric Beeny said...

Yeah, he had some good ones. I like oxymoronica a lot, too. Like 'Dead End on Progressive Ave' is an oxymoron, or "I'd give anything to keep what I have."

J. Michael Wahlgren said...

I'm holding it. Awaiting a response on it from a few places right now haha. I'm sure I'll have something to submit. Try WordPress.com they are good hosts & blogger obviously, I don't know how to customize it tho. PDF is cool.

Eric Beeny said...

Thanks, J. I was thinking of WordPress. I'm not sure how to operate or maneuver through it, but I'll work on it.

Eric Beeny said...

Ben, I also think "In the Beginning..." has too much of a Christian connotation, whereas I was hoping this thing would focus more on cultural factors, mythological theory as the basis for religious practice, so naming it something essentially Christian would imply a certain degree of exclusivity or even bias. I was hoping for a more universal approach. But I'd really like to see work based on what a consumer culture like ours would manufacture as its origin, and then how it would preserve and cherish that myth or belief through ritual (so I guess that's religious practice, but I'd like to see work based on the silly rituals we do everyday, or silly sacrifices we make, like cutting up a credit card).

ben spivey said...

I totally see what you mean.

ben spivey said...

And, again, I like the idea, I like the prompt... like For Every Year, it's a good idea for sure.

Eric Beeny said...

Actually, I shouldn't say Christian, because "In the Beginning..." actually refers to the Old Testament, so it would be Judeo-Christian myth.

Yeah, I guess it is like For Every Year. I wonder what Crispin would think, if he'd submit something, too...

J. Michael Wahlgren said...

Wordpress.com is webbased, that's what I use. Wordpress.org is different, it's a tool you would dl. Divine Dirt Quarterly is a similar concept, they are a new zine too.

Eric Beeny said...

Damn, J., I just checked out Divine Dirt, and you're right, it's really similar. I'm going to write an essay about how people have the same ideas around the same time... It seems, though, that Divine Dirt is going 'more so' in the direction of theology. I don’t know...

J. Michael Wahlgren said...

That's okay though. You're not going to publish the same work. I got a poem accepted there & it's not overtly religious.

Eric Beeny said...

True, I don't think we're looking for the same kind of work. I'm thinking more so about cultural aspects influencing theological philosophy, and it 'seems' like Divine Dirt is going in the opposite direction. We'll see how it goes...

Crispin Best said...

haha
just thought 'i should let eric know that i've been thinking about that creation myth thing since he blogged it and maybe no-one supported it...' and came here and 24 comments!
and some of them mentioning for every year.
thanks. this is good. something very good is in the idea.
xoooooooo

Eric Beeny said...

Thanks, Crispin. For Every Year is dope, and the concept for this is similar in terms of a really good prompt. If I ever get going on this, I do hope you'll submit something...