Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Narcissus & Co.

[Drafter's Note: I spent my lunch hour and another chunk this evening reading my blog--everything from the beginning through this month. This resulted in A) realizing how ridiculously little I've written in over a year, B) restarting my drive to write every day--or, at least, as frequently as I can manage--and C) the title of this post. Gazing at yourself--err, your words--for hours on end tends to do that.]

I love Greek mythology. I have since I was a kid--I'm not sure when it started. In seventh grade, social studies was Greek and Roman history, a large part of which (or, at least, a large part of what I've remembered) was mythology. It was my first (realized) brush with my tendency to over-prepare: as I sojourned through my 5-10 minute presentation on Odysseus, Mr. Bednarsky cut me off at the 35-minute mark. (It's ODYSSEUS, for crying out loud! How do you do that in 5 minutes? Something awesome might have been left out.)

Sometime shortly after this I found a small tome of Bulfinch's Greek Mythology, likely a remnant from my brother's education, and was hooked. Some stories (like Narcissus) I read and moved past; others have never left me. The boy I was in love with at 15 was long-since interwoven to Icarus, and to separate them now would be impossible. Even then, I longed to be a Penelope: waiting, strong, resistant. I never tired of the endless travels of Odysseus, or of Perseus or Jason. I didn't know what to do with myself, crying silently from the edges of the frame as Orpheus turned around, as Psyche lit her lamp, as Persephone stood caught between mother and lover. I was in love and never looked back.

My love for fairy tales and folk tales and mythologies are all tied together. It would be needlessly cruel to ask me to pick favorites. In part, I suppose, I love the idea that these same stories were told hundreds, thousands of years ago to little girls who became women and who, too, remained strangely tied to them. I love that there is truth and heroism and sacrifice and loss and everything else human, even punctuated by three-headed dogs and lovers who become reeds and then pipes.

And all this writing about them has made me want to tuck back into them. I think that's part of the love, too--there's always a new one I'd somehow missed, and an old dozen I happily snuggle back into.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are still moved by stories! Generations of Nekvindas and Lowes have been storytellers and story writers. You really can't be in this family unless you enjoy good stories!