This week “Man of Steel” opened in theaters around the world. It is the 2013 version of the “Superman” story that I will always equate with Christopher Reeves. I have heard some encouraging things about it and I’ve heard some discouraging things about it, but what interests me most – is that the movie was made and that people want to see it.
In 2012, the two highest grossing films of the year were Avengers and Dark Night Rises – both superhero movies. The Amazing Spiderman was number seven. This year’s blockbusters will include Iron Man 3, The Wolverine and Thor in addition to Man of Steel. Surely they will be some of the most popular – if not the absolutely most popular movies of the year.
Superheroes have been with us for many years. From the batman and superman tv shows of our youth to the batman and spiderman movies of our early adulthood to the onslaught of superhero movies that we now see every year – superheroes have been with us our entire lives.
And what do they give us? They give us marvel, wonder, awe and a magical sense of possibility. They give us what the fairy tales give us and tall tales give us – the idea that there is greatness among us (and maybe within us too).
I have been working on a superhero story for the past few years which has manifested as an audio book called “How to Be Super”. It is a story about a seemingly ordinary husband, father and elementary school teacher (me) who learns that he has the “mark” of a superhero. The moment he decides to rediscover lost superpowers from his youth, his eyes are opened to community of curious local folk who teach him How To Be Super. It is a funny story filled with insights and wisdom that I have learned over the years as a teacher and storyteller.
The audio book contains the full story which includes the basic steps of How to Be Super
1) Open Your Eyes
2) Believe it
3) Do Something Brave
4) Tell No One
But it does not give much direction on how to deepen the experience and use them fully. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to offer that in the form of a prose workshop. I’ll explain the steps in more detail with examples and invite you to try them.
Being Super is basically being yourself with a particular respect for your imagination. Your imagination will show you things that logic and rational thought cannot. You will remember parts of yourself that you thought were only the dreams of a child – and they will show you the path to becoming a real superhero. See you next week!