I am not a philosopher, so don’t get worried. I am not about to hold forth on epistemology. (I only recently learned that word, and I just had to use spell check to make sure I got it right; BTW I do not identify myself as a luddite; I am so before and beyond all that.) As to philosophy, I never got very far with the Greeks Joseph of Arimathea forced me to read when he did his damnedest to turn me into hetera (is that the singular?) instead of a plain old whore.
Lots of people have a problem with the word whore, and I hope you are not one of them. I like the word, and I intend to use it freely. I just asked Elizabeth to look up its derivation. Its root (don’t ask me to explain roots) is ka with a flat line I don’t know how to make over the a. The Germanic word derived from this root means “one who desires.” In Latin this root leads to carus, dear, and from this Latin word come some lovely English words: caress, charity, cherish. And let us not forget good old Sanskrit, kama, meaning love, desire, hence the Kamasutra. So please, dear readers, next time someone calls you a whore, smile and say: “Why, thank you. I am flattered.”
Back to the nature of reality, specifically mine: I am a fictional character. At least that is what Elizabeth answers when people ask me if she is channeling me or when they doubt the historicity of a redheaded Celtic (not to mention gentile) whore ending up with Jesus, even marrying him (which is something Elizabeth tried to talk me out of doing. She said it ruined her archetype, the whore archetype. And I said to her, what good is an archetype if you can’t ruin it?) So as a fictional character, am I real or am I imaginary? And is imaginary in fact the opposite of real?
I don’t like to compare myself with G-d in any way, not just because of my humble nature but because I never got along all that well with The Unpronounceable One. I do recall a theological argument (can’t remember whose) that went something like this, if G-d didn’t exist, we would have to invent G-d. Leaving the question of G-d aside, I would venture to say that perhaps fictional characters are like that: once imagined, they do exist–often independently of their authors and of their fictional contexts. Many people who have come to know me through The Maeve Chronicles, now have their own conversations with me about their own lives, including Elizabeth.
It’s the middle of the night. Maeve? I hear, Can I talk to you? Yes, I always say. Elizabeth has spent the past eighteen years listening for my voice, living my story with me, so the least I can do is listen to her troubles (even though they tend to be repetitive, not nearly as exciting, and very much in rough draft form). Elizabeth once admitted to these conversations at a book event. “I see,” one woman said, “so you have an imaginary friend.” I do not really mind being called imaginary. When Elizabeth first got to know me, I was a 20th century woman named Madge, and it was not lost on either of us that Elizabeth drew my portraits with magic markers. Magic, imagination, what better gifts could any magi present?
Elizabeth, who is more tactful than I am and does not like to give offense, recently came up with another answer to the question of whether or not she channels me. “She is a real archetypal force, and she comes through me in this particular way, because of my particular gifts.” Elizabeth relies on the word archetypal too much. But I like the idea that I am a real force, one that she contends with, as I contend with her. We are both affected and changed by each other, as anyone is by any relationship.
Now as to whether or not I am the real (as in the only & historical) Mary Magdalen, let’s leave the question for another day–or maybe never. Blogging is a 21st century form and a bit disorienting for someone who spends most of her time in the 1st century. If you would like me to blog on with my bad self, please give me some juicy topics. That’s enough about reality for now. I’m off to the imagi-nation.