Friday, June 3, 2016

The Merry-Go-Round of Life

Year of the Like: Circles and Cycles and Circuses

So, I know age is one of those weird things people don't talk about, but I'll own up to the fact I'm now in my late thirties. And for my birthday this year, I want to get a tattoo. 
I know exactly what I want: a compass within the circle of the hero's journey. For those of you who have not drunk the Joseph Campbell/ Christopher Vogler koolaid, the Hero's Journey helps map the character arc of a hero along her journey. You guys have heard me talk about it here in the Year of Living Heroically. It is one of many ways to think of story, but I like it mostly because it is a circle. 

I look life like this. I want the fullness of it all. I want to appreciate the process of the cycle. So when I read others books, I want to see the fullness of it all. 

So I was reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and there are circles everywhere. I meant, its a CIRCUS. The Circus is a interwoven dreamland of circled tents filled with wonder, and some might say a catalytic hero in itself (but that might be another post for another time). This book is beautiful and breaks most of the writing conventions I teach to beginning writers. It really was dazzling and enchanting, and I was sucked so deeply into the words and the world, I might have forgotten to go to bed. 

This book did one of the most satisfying things a circle lover like me could ever ask for. I will try not to spoil it but "The circus arrives without warning." The last three pages of the book completely satisfied everything I wanted from a book. And there are really pretty dresses. And it uses second person POV flawlessly. 

I really didn't realize how powerful circles had become to me until I was talking to friend about healing after divorce, another about grief, and another about the crap that happens when you find yourself in the middle of your life  trapped within a cycle of unfortunate Tuesdays. In the past six months, I have used circles to explain why life sucks. I've used this circle too to talk about art and grief and finding your true center.  

And this one to help talk about where we get energy and how we feed that energy. And then I usually break out into cheesy movie songs. (Pause for a nostalgic ride on Falkor's back). 

The primary reason that I find this image so powerful at this point in my life is that I always know is going to loop back around and get better. Today might feel like a Supreme Ordeal, but if I think about life as a journey, that means tomorrow is a Reward. In my writing, its how I can be so horribly horrible to my characters, because I'm going to loop them back around as strong, faster, better heroines. I am creating a circle that will be forged in iron. 

Circles never break. They may go too fast sometimes and the merry-go-round forces of life may make you queasy and sick to your stomach. But just as in The NeverEnding Story and The Night Circus, the story will go on and it will be beautiful. You just need to strap in, pull up your panties, and get ready for the ride.  

Looper- get it!!
So Thumbs Up to finding the one image that makes you, makes your story, makes your life make sense and go ahead an commit to it. Not everyone is a tattoo person, but crochet it, paint it, modge podge the hell out of the image, the beauty, the thing that helps you remember that you are powerful and this is your story. 

Until next time, lovelies. 

Amanda Arista, @Pantherista


Helen Lowe said...

Wonderful post, Amanda -- exactly like The Night Circus & The Neverending Story. :)

Kim Falconer said...

Beautiful connection to the uroborus. I hope you find the perfect tattoo artist to design and ink your image. Sounds amazing.

I love:

"The primary reason that I find this image so powerful at this point in my life is that I always know is going to loop back around and get better. "

Thank you!