Galaxies that look like us

Ekere is the mother of three galaxies who look like daughters.*
(Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick)

I love this description for Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie‘s children.

Tallie teaches us to value everyone in her letter to young readers:

Books let us know we’re not the centre of the universe; the universe has many centres.**

When Walter Benjamin writes about how people can be ‘an expert in some minor matter,’^ I like to think he’s also revealing galaxies of expertise. We all know something others don’t. Be prepared for wonder.

Benjamin’s concern is the nature of original art and its reproduction, and he catches my attention when he writes about cultic and display values:

Works of art are received and appreciated with different points of emphasis, two of which stand out as being poles of each other. In one case the emphasis is on the work’s cultic value; in the other its display value.^

The cultic value belongs in its hiddenness or privacy of its creator, the display value is what it means for others when it becomes public.

This leads me to compare the cultic value to Joseph Campbell’s personal myth and the display value to the social myth. Campbell claims these to be the two most important myths, or stories, we each need.

When it comes to our lives, there is the story we tell ourselves and hold ourselves to and there is the representation of this story we are happy and relaxed to share with others. An example might be this post which is my display story but behind it lies my cultic journaling.

I mustn’t let the display value mess with the cultic value which is an unravelling adventure when it is free from the judgement of others.

I leave the closing words to Ekere Tallie, reminding you there is a galaxy within you to discover and to express:

Keep asking questions. Colour outside the lines. Draw your own maps. Create your own legends.**

(*From Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)
(**Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie in her letter to young readers from Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)
(^From Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.)

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