Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Revisiting Mighty Mouse in the final days of a predator living in the White House

As a small child in the 1950s, before I could read and before I began to spend more time with books than with television, I was fascinated by what we then called Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Much of what was in those cartoons went way over my head, but that didn't matter because I understood enough about life to be caught up in the stories.  I certainly would have identified with the nine tiny field mice in this cartoon who were enjoying themselves in a field only to be caught in a violent storm and then, when they thought they had found shelter in a house,  found their lives threatened by a predator who turns into a superpredator with a green face like the Wicked Witch of the West when he puts together and swallows a mixed drink.  The resourceful mice do their best to escape the superpredator, but he outsmarts them and prepares to eat them as he watches them slowly begin to die.  

At this point, Mighty Mouse has somehow been alerted and is on his way to help them.  Mighty Mouse rescues them and fights the predator until the predator appears to be dead and looking something like the Wicked Witch of the West after water was thrown on her.  The house catches fire. 

Mighty Mouse then picks up the cage where the field mice are trapped and carries them away from the predator's house just in time before it is rocketed high into the air and explodes in a somewhat baffling and colorful fireworks display.  Mighty Mouse continues carrying the field mice back to where they were before the storm and releases them from the cage.  They cheer, thanking him for saving their lives.  He bows and flies in the direction of the setting sun as the narrator says,

"Off into the setting sun flies the champion of mice and men. What a mouse!"

Of course I loved the idea of Mighty Mouse when I was a small girl and wished that he would appear when I was in dire need of help, when my own efforts to protect myself were futile. 

For the most part, I forgot about Mighty Mouse until I was in a counseling session with a Gestalt therapist when I was in my late 40s, hoping to find healing from the traumatic events in my life that had kept me trapped emotionally since childhood.  I was telling him a story from my life that I don't recall now.  He asked me to let go of the story and simply focus on my body for a few minutes and to notice what I was feeling.  When I let go of the story, I gradually became aware of a heavy feeling around my heart.  He asked me if the feeling had a shape.  I had to focus on the feeling for awhile before I was able to identify that it was the size and shape and color of a brick and as solid as a brick.  He asked me what was inside the brick.  My first thought was, "Nothing is inside the brick.  It's just a solid heavy brick."  He asked me to look closely inside the brick.

Suddenly the brick I was picturing exploded into harmless pieces from the power of Mighty Mouse breaking out of it, and I began to laugh uncontrollably in delight!

The counselor asked what had happened.  I was laughing so hard that I wasn't able to speak for a few minutes.  Although he had worked with me for months, he had never seen me laugh before and said that I looked like an entirely different person when I laughed.  When I was finally was able to tell him that Mighty Mouse had shattered the brick from the inside, he laughed with me.

What saved me from something heavy inside me came from inside me, not from somewhere in the sky like the Mighty Mouse in the cartoons I watched as a child.

No Mighty Mouse in the sky is going to save us from the predator who remains in the White House for the next few weeks or from his followers or from anything else, but there is something more powerful than the predators or imaginary saviors like the Mighty Mouse in the sky, and it is found in diverse communities joining together for the good of our divided country.  


Carruthers said...

Mighty Mouse may be fictional but the idea of him/her is indestructible!

Anonymous said...

I haven't thought of Mighty Mouse in so many years. I love this memory you shared of your counseling revelation and your awakened mighty heart. Oh our beautiful inner strength, we call on it to help us get through these days until the 20th and that new life begins.

beth coyote said...

MIGHTY MOUSE has come to save the day!!!! Thanks for the memory.

dritanje said...

I did enjoy your story from counseling, and it just shows how vital and important and healing laughter is. I find a game of charades played with friends (once we are able to gather enough friends together in one place again) is such a good tonic, always funny.