The Pool by Lester Curtis Story


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Post June 21, 2013, 02:46:13 AM

The Pool by Lester Curtis Story

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Post June 25, 2013, 07:35:29 PM

Re: The Pool by Lester Curtis Story

This is indeed an ambiguous little item!

It hovers just on the edge of surrealism, but hovers exactly on the line. The "obvious" interpretation is that it's about growing older, and wondering where that strapping young'un of 24 went. The "stranger's face" of ____ looks back at you.

But mystical things happen from staring into springs all the time too in the lore. So it's just unclear enough whether this is some sort of "silent guardian" water spirit.

I think I am deciding that I don't savor ambiguous stories, and that's two for this month. I think I am learning that I'm all for *either* allegory or suspense/mystique, but not the hovering line in the middle. If I'm gonna hunker down for a nice tale of supernatural ambience, let it just do that. Then you can throw all the overtones you want on top.

But if it's going to go pure allegory, then let it be "real world" with just finessed word choice to make the point, but otherwise perfectly everyday.

It's because my "enjoyment mode" is different for both types, and if faced with the *further* nuisance of having to debate which it is, it begins to make the sum of the whole not enjoyable at all.

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Post June 26, 2013, 03:01:15 PM

Re: The Pool by Lester Curtis Story

I liked this story. I see it very much in the mode of fairy tale. It practically begins with "Once upon a time..." and the idea of the pool, the reflective surface, whether it's a body of water or a mirror of some sort is very common in fairy tales. We also have the old man who is a mystical type of guide who leaves a spoon with a bird carved in the end of the handle.

I agree with Tao that the meaning of the story is somewhat ambiguous, but I think it's okay to make the reader work a little to construct a meaning based on their own experience. For me the story is about being happy by learning to accept all aspects of yourself even those that are hidden in your subconscious.

Carl Jung said of water:

“Water is the commonest symbol for the unconscious. The lake in the valley is the unconscious, which lies, as it were, underneath consciousness, so that it is often referred to as the ‘subconscious,’ usually with the pejorative connotation of an inferior consciousness. Water is the ‘valley spirit,’ the water dragon of Tao, whose nature resembles water- a yang embraced in the yin. Psychologically, therefore, water means spirit that has become unconscious.” --Carl Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, paragraph 40
Last edited by davidsonhero on June 26, 2013, 04:17:10 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post June 26, 2013, 03:31:19 PM

Re: The Pool by Lester Curtis Story

FYI on the genesis of this story . . .

I was seeing a therapist about some mild depression (cured later by divorce) and at one of the sessions he gave me a homework assignment: he said, "Write a fairy tale." I asked about particulars, but he wouldn't give any. "Just a fairy tale. You know, 'Once upon a time . . . ' "

I misunderstood the deadline for it, and was getting distracted with trying to think something up, and all at once, this story just kind of popped into my head, pretty much just as you see it. I take it as an allegory about self-discovery. The secondary theme is the issue of misunderstanding by the other people the character tried to explain his situation to.

That's about it. :D
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Post June 30, 2013, 03:35:06 PM

Re: The Pool by Lester Curtis Story

Very, very nice. Love the dream-like, fairy tale quality of this one. I realize that's what was intended, but man, oh man, did you succeed with it.

And... sorry to hear about your divorce, although if it cured your mild depression and gave us this story, then I suspect it may not have been the worst thing after all.

Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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