Patterns, Symbolism, and Lives

Hello my friends.

Bear with me on this one, the punchline is worth it.

Once upon an AP Lit class, I had a summer reading assignment which consisted of a few chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. In the book, Foster breaks down ways in which various literary elements are/can be used as symbols and metaphors for other things. Some of the chapters are titled, “Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampirism,” “Every Trip is a Quest(Except When It’s Not),” and my two personal favorites, “It’s All About Sex…” and “…Except Sex.” Being a good student at the time, because 90% of the rest of the time I was NOT academically inclined in the slightest, I read all of the chapters I was supposed to…and the rest of the book as well.

What I found was someone else who sees the world(or at least the world depicted in various literary media) the same way I do: through the eyes of symbolic analysis. It’s what made me love Art History as well, and what makes me a good artist(and, arguably, a decent author). I look at color choice in paintings the same way I look at word choice in books. I put layers and layers of symbolism and metaphor, both consciously and unconsciously, into almost everything I do. There are some exceptions, of course, but generally I try to see what an English major would see, even if I wasn’t one myself.

The point to all this is that I take the way I see art and literature and apply it to everything. It’s not something I can turn off. It’s probably why I get messages from Upstairs so easily. I can see what patterns I have in this life that have carried over from other lives. Namely, my general outsider-ness has carried over through every life I’ve ever had, even the ones outside of Midgard. I’ve always had some sort of spiritual connection, whether being a practicing shaman or what-have-you or being very devout in my belief. In general, I’ve always been a Warrior. Arnbjorn, William, the Celt, the Mongol…(who the hell am I forgetting? my Self maybe?) all of them were fighters, and hunters, people who stood up for what they believed in and fought for it. Which poses a bit of a problem for me now.

I live in a world now where there is too much violence. My previous tendency to literally fight for my people, my gods, my freedom, my self in some cases, isn’t going to make a difference. I’m still a Warrior, unfortunately, which makes the realization that I can no longer fight like I used to a painful one indeed. I feel useless, wrung-out, and, to be honest, like I shouldn’t be here. However, there’s another pattern underneath all of that. The Celt was a diplomat. William Bradford was a printer. Arnbjorn was a singer, among other things. I’d be willing to bet that the Mongol was an artist of some description, possibly a musician.

In the most absurd form I could come up with, the pattern is this: Dovahkiin. I am a Warrior with a Voice. So, this time around, I guess I’m supposed to use it.

I am so [not] sorry.

…maybe not that literally.

Also, I really do recommend the book. It’s awesome.

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