Archive Tag:artemis

Drabble 40 – Thanatousia

Daffodils by Gavin S.

Something I just learned in the process of finding an image for this post: the flower I’ve known all my life as daffodils are also known as Narcissus. Yes, as in that Narcissus. Daffodils grow wild where I’m from, which I’m sure would have fascinated me as a child–I can imagine myself wondering if every daffodil I saw marked a mythological site.

When I was a kid, the world seemed very, very small. I imagined that every important event I’d ever heard about had taken place within in the confines of my small town. Someone had erected a large cross on the road that led out to the freeway, and for a long time I assumed that had been the site of the biblical crucifixion–I couldn’t conceive of things that existed more than an hour north or south, and it fit right in with my town’s numerous churches.

When the world was that small, the potential for magic and stories was always nearby, hiding behind a tree or in a hole in the ground. The stories I read didn’t take place in far away places–it was possible that Lucy Pevensie lived in the next town over, or that Artemis stalked through the woods behind my house and every dog I heard bark at night was one of hers. Everything was right around the corner, a bike’s ride away.

Anyway, here’s an entirely unrelated drabble.

Drabble 17 – Ambrosia

I was aiming for a decadent picnic photo and I think I found it. Image Source: ElliotJames via Flickr.

I’m not going to talk about my love for mythology. I’m not going to talk about my love for mythology. I’m not going to talk about my love for mythology.

But isn’t it interesting the way word meanings change over time? A food that makes you immortal becomes a dessert known for its cloying sweetness. There’s probably something poetic there, but I’ve always been a fan of the interpretation that immortality is more liable to make you bitter. How long can you appreciate all the beauty that life has to offer before it starts to grow stale with age?

It doesn’t have as bad a rap as, say, fruitcake, but canned fruit, coconut flakes, and heavy cream do not a food for the gods make. Don’t get me wrong–I like ambrosia, or at least the variation we have up here in the upper left corner of the United States. My grandma’s is particularly good. But the idea of gods sitting around eating canned fruit cocktail in cream is kind of funny to me.

So here’s a drabble.

Drabble 8 – Flaiche

François Perrier's "The Sacrifice of Iphigenia"
François Perrier’s “The Sacrifice of Iphigenia”

I’ve talked before about my intense love for Greek and Roman mythology, and here it is again.

For some reason, the story of Iphigenia really stuck with me. When I took a class on Greek literature, we actually didn’t read the story of Iphigenia–we watched the Michael Cacoyannis film version, which I think is lovely in its ambiguity.

For the uninitiated, Iphigenia is the daughter of Clytemnestra and the famed hero (not my hero, just generally heroic by Greek standards) Agamemnon. Before the Trojan War can begin in earnest, the Greeks have to sail to Troy. Unfortunately, the wind isn’t blowing (or is blowing too hard, depending on which version you read). Odysseus tells Agamemnon that Artemis demands that he sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, thanks to Atreus trying to feed all the gods his son, Pelops (that Atreus family, I tell you).

Some stories say Odysseus was lying to manipulate Agamemnon, some say it was true. Whatever the case, Agamemnon sacrifices Iphigenia, the winds begin to blow (or cease blowing so hard), and the Trojan War carries on.

In some versions of the story, Iphigenia is simply dead. In Euripides’ version, Iphigenia is whisked away by the goddess Artemis herself. I like that version better.

Drabble 5 – Pythia

Priestess of Delphi by John Collier

I have been in love with Greek mythology as long as I can remember. Artemis was one of my first girl heroines (they typically left the story of Niobe out of mythology books for kids), and I found myself loving the idea of living in the woods with a bunch of animals, a bow, and my friends.

My life has taken a very different route than one Artemis would approve of, but I’ve still steeped it in Greek and Roman mythology. Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Aeschylus’ Oresteia are two of my favorite books, and I frequently include the names of mythological figures or outright references to myths in my writing, because I like writing it as much as I like reading it elsewhere.

So, needless to say, there are some fancy mythological terms on my list of drabble vocabulary.