June 18, 2006 The Tower
We journeyed toward the tower, passing through the wilderness. The sun was setting in the western sky, but it was still incredibly hot. What was the tower anyway? The center of power? The gateway to all gateways? Symbolically the tower represents personal breakthroughs, specifically in relationships. Over all it means becoming more attentive to others. You are able to be more flexible and tolerant. When the tarot card presents itself right side up then it means you are becoming more humble and preparing for a true realization. When it is reversed it means you are still struggling with adversity, misery and crisis.
Ana and I reached the lookout tower at Gorman nature center. I haven’t yet reached the tower in the Stephen King series. I just started Wizard in Glass today. I couldn’t help but think of the elusive tower in the Dark Tower series as we came to the tower. Although a fairly short walk to the physical tower, it felt like I’d been on an epic journey of my own. As we reached the small wooden platform at the edge of woods I felt like it had taken years to reach it.
In the Dark Tower Series there exists multiple universes or worlds. These parallel worlds are connected by The Tower at the Center and by beams that interconnect with the tower. Throughout these worlds and adventures, people shift, but their Ka or Destiny remains the same. The books take some really long detours that are violent and tragic, but the characters always plod onward all the path of the beam toward the distant tower.
The series is interesting in many ways. King presents a very intelligent take on Epic Fantasy. Living in a Post Modern World, King’s Epic is Post Modern. In so much as it is fragmented and full of self-references and interconnecting texts.
I admire his scope and subject matter. King is a very intelligent guy and it shows, however, he never seems to be able to leave behind the lowbrow language and style. My largest compliant, other than the sheer volume, is that he often loses my interest. Some scenes are completely enthralling, but others seem almost irrelevant. While his sentence structures are simple enough, his round about descriptions bog down the otherwise buoyant texts.
Anyway, the road to greatness is always long and full of danger. Creation demands sacrifice. The Dark Tower Series is ultimately about the quest for creation. Inside the power of creation also lies the power of self-destruction. I think King succumbed to the self-destruction with his drinking and drug use. The pressure and sense of powerlessness got to him. Drawing upon his own inner most nightmares was taking a toll on him. Dwelling in darkness was no way to make a living. It was bound to exhaust and depress him. Roland is his archetype.
The Dark Tower is a quest for immortality in the form of writing. Imagination and magic are the building blocks. They are the foundations of literature. Yet, in an increasingly skeptical world, these foundations grow weak. The bleak Mid-World is without magic. Each portal, each beam is a book. Each book leads us to another. We keep reading, keep writing , until we find our Dark Tower of Immortality. But then what? We keep going. We keep reading and we keep writing. After Ecstasy,The Laundry, as Jack Kornfield said.
Interestingly, I read on the internet that there were rumors that King was the Ghostwriter of Bad Twin. The style was a bit different, but close enough to be a possibility. It would seem very much like Lost writers to conspire with King to keep it a secret. King, in any case, must be aware of his influence on Lost. I am only left to wonder how much of The Dark Tower will show up in Season 3!