Oil painting Creation Myth by Hunter Madsen

Creation Myth


Most religions proffer some sort of genesis or creation myth.  This is a story about how and why God created the universe and its creatures in the first place. In the telling, we may also be offered vivid metaphorical truths about how the world works.  For example, in Vedic, Chinese, and some North American tribal traditions, we learn that the world is borne upon the back of a gigantic turtle, which is a rather pleasing idea, I suppose, so long as the terrapin just keeps paddling along.  

Scratch the surface of such cosmic origin myths, however, and one finds that they mostly boil down to "because God willed it so." While such myths may have the look and shape of a solid answer to life's deepest question, ultimately their content is empty and circular. Even so, they fill a deep human need anyway, and tend to go unchallenged.  Indeed, creation myths seem devised to short-circuit further questioning; akin to ending a child's tediously repeated demands to know exactly why she has to go to bed now:  "Because I said so, that's why." Ok, then.
Two Questions from Stymean Karlen

If Man invented God to account for Death,
who invented Man to account for Life?

I said to God
God, we were not made in your image
You were made in our image
If I did not tell you, you would never know who you are
We call you God
What do you call yourself?


TITLE - "Creation Myth"
WHERE - Red cabbage, Port Moody, British Columbia (2018). Karlen poems previously unpublished.