Sunday, 17 February 2013

The year of the snake

Celebrating the year of the Snake. Chatham High Street 17/2/13
Image credit: SM Jenkin
Happy new year!
So we are now entering the year of the snake, quite an interesting animal for a writer to relate to. There are so many myths and legends attached to this particular animal.

The second thing I think about is the myth of Saint Patrick, and his expulsion of all the snakes from Ireland (can you guess what my first reaction/ thought is? Exactly).

What I find it interesting is the story, did Patrick really get rid of all the snakes in Ireland? Or was he, as so many storyteller friends of mine assert, talking about the druids in the area?

When it comes to stories, myths and legends they always have strings attached. Whose translation do we use today? Whose ideas are weaved into a "plain story"? What's the real message here? This is something that angers me, when I am told that I'm "reading too much" into a story, all stories have assumptions. What is wrong with questioning them? Questioning and challenging, re-telling stories are the only way they stay interesting, the only way they speak to us.

Hence, the year of the snake. One thing I can admire is their ability to shed their skin, to let loose the constricting skin of last year. Do we want to start that now? What stories do you want to tell, in your own way?