Mythology: Poem and Painting

I find the myths and folklore of other cultures very fascinating. There are so many common themes in our universal human journey to understand ourselves and our world.

Last year I was inspired to do a series of paintings based on hiking in the Smoky Mountain woods near Asheville, North Carolina.  As part of my process, I researched the Native American tribes who inhabited the region thousands of years ago. Their rich mythology and cultural symbols resonated deeply for me, and found their way into an original poem and an abstract painting.  I’ve shared both below:

 

Mythology (18″ x 18″, Oil with Mixed Media)

CJL_Mythology_2

 

 

Mythology

In these mountains, six thousand years ago,
ancestors told stories of a cosmos divided
into layers:

an upper celestial world of weather and objects
of light in the sky; a middle natural world with
flora and footed creatures; and a lower world,
dark and dangerous, filled with strange beings
who could travel the three worlds at will,
crisscrossing permeable borders
in a layered universe.

Their ancestral themes remain intact,
channeled into the present under new names,
like multiple universes, where we move across
dimensions on a space-time continuum, and
we (like those before us) try to make sense
of dense black holes with string theories,
yearning to understand, while our souls
(like theirs) glide across time, untethered

  —Cynthia J. Lee

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