John Gardner, without espousing any particular religious aesthetic, claimed in On Moral Fiction "It was said in the old days that every year Thor made a circle around Middle-earth, beating back the enemies of order. Thor got older every year, and the circle occupied by gods and men grew smaller. The wisdom god, Woden, went out to the king of the trolls, got him in an armlock, and demanded to know of him how order might triumph over chaos. 'Give me your left eye,' said the kind of the trolls, 'and I'll tell you.' Without hesitation, Woden gave up his left eye. 'Now tell me.' The troll said, 'The secret is, Watch with both eyes!'
Woden's left eye was the last sure hope of the gods and men in their kingdom of light surrounded on all sides by darkness. All we have left is Thor's hammer, which represents not brute force but art, or, counting both hammerheads, art and criticism." (3) He maintains that fiction ought to strive toward life affirmation, to "hold off the twilight of the gods and of us" (5, OMF).
I believe this with all of my heart, and that art should also be playful and serious, mocking and heroic: it may be whatever we are as humans, whatever we aspire to, whatever humbles us as well. Thank you for being part of my experiences here. I do feel life has suddenly opened me up for another grand adventure and I'm rearing to go (and holding on tightly)!
Today I wrote a poem called "Shorthand Daily" and sent it off, re-recorded the MP3 of "The Elixir" for The Silver Blade, and tried to edit a strange poem about my childhood called "Ahab's Day." I hope the evening is wide open for writing fiction, because the new spring air feels like haunted houses to me and I'm eager to talk about the old house in Davidsonville and its many ghosts.... SMH