There is a point in the swing of a pendulum, at its farthest position from the centre, when it pauses mid-air, before returning on its downward journey. At that moment it is both in motion and yet immobile, momentarily hypnotised by the tension between gravity and momentum.
Some years ago, at a small workshop in London, storyteller and teacher Sue Hollingsworth introduced me to a concept she termed the “mythic moment”. In the context of a personal story, such a moment might encapsulate a mind-bending experience, a sense of awe at something magnificent or terrible, or a piece of shocking news after which life will never be the same. The defining characteristic of moments such as these is that time seems to slow down, stretch out, even stop completely, the universe and its unfolding events paused in brief hiatus, like the pendulum suspended at the top of its swing before a new perspective comes into view and motion is resumed.
This is satire. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is a purely coincidental result of amalgamating some hazy memories and having a laugh with them.
A lively online exchange about economic systems came to an abrupt end when one of its participants, millionaire Mike Sutton of Maidenhead, asserted that “capitalism is more about ideas than resources” — at which point the others lost the will to live.
“Everything starts in mysticism and ends in politics.” ~ Charles Péguy
So, politics is broken. Everyone’s standing back, eyeing those sharp-edged pieces scattered over the carpet, quietly horrified that any minute someone might be tempted to pick one up and use it as a weapon. (more…)
It’s fashionable these days to summon the concept of narrative for effecting change, whether it’s to evoke brand loyalty, to create demand for some product or, on a rather more substantive scale, to persuade humans to live more peaceably on the planet. I’d personally prefer to see its mysterious power deployed in pursuit of a lot more of the latter and a lot less of the former two — if this power actually exists. (more…)