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  • Writer's pictureSusan Rowland, Author

New Year, Old Patterns, New Life!

Something feels stale about the New Year’s resolutions in this new decade: 2020. It think it is my history of failing to keep them! In this, of course, in that I’m not alone. It is the old patterns: the laziness, avoidance and exhaustion that prevent my really learning how to garden or to give up refined sugar. Old patterns are endemic in the way the world works and the way we work. Sometimes they are called social and political structures, sometimes archetypes – either metaphysical like Plato or biological like Jung (until he decided that old patterns extend into the cosmos as well in synchronicity). Some of the most useful old patterns are genres that pervade all the arts whatever the medium. My preferred art is novel writing and the genre, mystery or detective fiction. Why? Because the mystery is about life and death in a form that makes both bearable without disguising what they are. Yes, some mysteries are not particularly realistic on the terrible atrocities of murder in our world. I actually prefer the non-realistic, that has grown valuable subgenres known as ‘traditional mystery,’ ‘Cozy,’ ‘golden age,’ and accompanying historical crime etc. For novels that at root know and proclaim that they are fiction, enable the reader to inhabit their world fully enough, to feel safe enough, to experience the fullness, sweetness and rejuvenation of the mystery pattern of death and rebirth. Mysteries that provide a satisfying solution to at least some of the crime and pain of the story are a container for our emotions that in so-called ‘real life’ are harder to find. Detective mysteries are thus also religious mysteries, giving a fictional experience of death and rebirth of a community around it as a rebirth of our own energies as readers. Some old patterns are vehicles for new life. Because of this, and because my book about this in mysteries The Sleuth and the Goddess has just been re-issued, I intend to blog about important feminine patterns in future posts. Watch this space for Artemis, Hestia, Athena and Aphrodite in fictional female sleuths!

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