The Promethea Exercise
This is a fun and interesting bit of therapy I got from my friend Happydog, who is a professional counselor. I dubbed it “The Promethea Exercise” because it reminded me of a similar activity undertaken in the course of Alan Moore’s spectacular comic Promethea:
In this amazing comic, which in the course of its story touches on everything from trials and tribulations in Ancient Egypt to post postmodern ennui, from the history of magic to issues of gender identification, the primal force Promethea (who, as you can see above, could be considered not only Badass of the Week, but Badass of the Millennium) is brought about through writing. Using the analogy of words as method of Creation (after all, in the Beginning was the Word, yay?), our heroine is incarnated simply by being written.
(right click and open in new tab to read the text)
When he originally suggested this exercise to me, Happydog advised me to draw/paint Big Me… to dream and idealize and remind myself what’s good about me, and what I value as important traits to be noted, proud of, or worked on.
My spin was this – having precisely no talent in the arts of drawing and painting, I decided to write Her instead. And, being a woman who tops 6’, ‘Big’ has always been a word with negative associations and memories for me. So, rather than drawing Big Kat, I decided to put pen to paper and write Amigata, the name being one of my own invention and having many layers of meaning.
It was a difficult experiment at first – I was focused on sentence structure and grammatical accuracy, and I wondered if I should write it like a short story rather than just a description… and then I decided that that would be too much, and that the point of the exercise was to utilize my imagination, my visualization, and any remaining feelings of hope and positivity that remained despite my current level of deep, sunken despair.
And after I relaxed, I found myself quite enjoying crafting this lovely Me. I wrote about 5 pages of material, and may have even been smiling a little bit by the time I put my pen down.
And then I took this lovely creature… and set Her aside on the dresser, soon to be buried under the daily detritus and gubbins.
Maybe I should find Her again.
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”