Tom Hiddleston explains why I love the gothic

I did not consciously connect the dots between Tom Hiddleston and the acting roles he’s played until recently (why yes, I DO live under a rock–thank you for asking) when he was revealed as my love match at the end of one of those 6-question fb quizzes. Since then, he’s been popping up all over in the vicinity of my rock. He’s doing press for the Crimson Peak movie and my daughter has informed me he was Loki in the Thor movies (I saw those! I loved Loki!) Then I saw gifs of a video of Hiddleston talking about the gothic genre on Buzzfeed. The gifs were covered with Buzzfeed’s cutesy comments going on about how hot Tom Hiddleston is — not untrue — but mostly ignoring the fact that he was saying intelligent things about gothic literature. So I went in search of a pure, unadulterated source of the gothic and Hiddleston and found this. I love what he says about the appeal of the gothic — he even mentions Lord Byron and Mary Shelley! A man after my own heart.

What are words for?

Joseph Campbell would tell you that words and language are sort of the thrift shop of communication–we pick them up third-hand from the original concept. First, our brain flashes its neurons and pulls an idea from the environment around us and the banks of memory and experience we store. Second, it sculpts the idea, trimming off rough and wild edges and shaping it into a more cohesive and orderly thought. The thought is then further manipulated and filtered, weighed for appropriateness (usually) and sometimes rejected. If it passes muster in this stage, it gets wrangled into whatever library of words our mind currently contains–limited and shaped by our vocabulary. These words, spoken or written, are so watered down from the original concept, it’s amazing we can make ourselves understood at all. And yet we do, and in such beautiful ways. Poetry and sonnets, stories and speeches. And the more we practice, the better we become at sharing what’s in our head. I’ve been practicing the ‘idea to thought’ part for years and years. This is my new space for the shared, written language portion of that process.