We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding
As a screenwriter, poet, international author, and mythologist, I am concerned primarily with two aspects of storytelling—drama and mythology. Drama is an interference. It’s where we bravely encounter the plight of living and rejoice after triumphing over insurmountable obstacles. Drama is not told dryly like cooking instructions but represented artfully through images and actions. Today, we often dismiss mythology as fictitious or irrational, but human beings have always been meaning-seeking creatures. Mythology is not told for its own sake. It is an inner exploration, the story of our own being. Like Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey, Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, or Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, storytelling affords us the opportunity to discover that our lives contain sacred and magical elements. We are living our own hero’s journey.
My intention as a writer is to remind readers that riveting tales are not revolutionized or re-engineered all the way to profundity, but rather emerge profoundly after normal, run-of-the-mill truths become adequately named for the first time. When I say truth, I am not necessarily talking about empirical data, like scientific evidence. Mythological truth is similar to love. It’s what true to us. If I asked you to prove to me that you have ever been in love empirically, with charts and numbers, you wouldn’t be able to. But regardless, there is a resolute confidence in your experience that’s unshakeable. This is the direction we head towards with our own stories, this noetic type of knowing living deep within the body.
I published my first poetry series when I was a senior in college. What the Couch Told Me was an attempt to strip away the layers of the quotidian and discover something timeless beneath it. It was inspired after my professor hungrily wrote on the board one stormy morning, “All a poet needs to do is pay attention!” Mike had wiry, white hair and a wry, animated smile, and something about it stuck. Those words leaped off the chalkboard and into my heart, and I have been in pursuit of their meaning since. Last November, I published my second book called Crybaby: Meditation for Millennials and currently have a third manuscript in the final stages of editing.
Storytelling requires we become curious and turn our energies inward, a radical action to say the least. Like charioteers stirring up the dusty earth, our stories raise themselves naturally from the ground of being as long as we give them space to reveal their mystery. Storytelling is much more than leisure or labor. It is about reawakening liveliness and learning to see things as they are, which is different from our interpretations of the way things are.