Justice Is An Egg

After the Roman deities swallowed the Greeks who came before,
only to find themselves swallowed by the Crucified God in turn…

After Olympus finally fell into disrepair and myth…

Athena—now shacked up with the last remaining Vestal
Virgin-No-Longer—
snuck one night into the clubfoot god’s cobwebbed smithy.
Found and filched the tool she sought.

Standing over her father’s bed, she matched her breathing to his rattling chest.
Thought: “his hand looks small without lightning in his fist.”
Then: “can’t make an omelet without—”

And brought the hammer—cracking
down.

~a.i.


athena_nashville
When I lived in Nashville–on Parthenon Way, no less, meaning the first thing I saw on my drive to work each morning was the recreated temple–the 42ft Athena statue therein had not yet been painted *quite* so gold.

On me and my mythologies: 

I have been writing and rewriting my own versions of Greek mythology for as long as I can remember. Ever since my mother told me bedtime stories cribbed [and heavily sanitized!] from her dog-eared copy of Bulfinch’s.

Until recently, the mythological figure I have felt deepest affinity for is Cassandra: the cursed prophet disbelieved by all who heard her true foretellings. That she continued to speak at all amazes me. How much denial can one person withstand before she withdraws into herself, acquiscent to the claims from everyone around her that she is surely mad? (“Poetic-sounding, perhaps—but undeniably cuckoo!”) How long before she believes them more than she trusts her own god-gift?

When I have written in Cassandra’s voice, she has always felt to me both resigned to her fate and utterly detached from the world. Prophet as dankest fatalism personified.

Against this backdrop, then, I find it interesting—and perhaps encouraging?—that my interests have been shifting more and more towards Athena*. The motherless Goddess of Wisdom, who sprang fully grown from her father’s mind.

The last time she appeared in this blog, she had more than a touch of Cassandra about her; the Muses, in that version, had chosen to edit her story for posterity rather than reveal certain undesirable truths. I gotta say, I’m really grooving on the Athena who showed up to my pen tonight: raw, unapologetic, willing and able to take action** when even clichéd words fail her.

I foresee more adventures with her in my future.

♦ ♦ ♦

*This in no way changes the fact that I still really, realllly want to write a story in which Cassandra attends a writer’s critique group—and everybody praises her memoir as “a great fantasy novel!”

**Still, tho. Don’t smash people in the head with hammers.


[Statue image via. Feature image via Nashville Parks and Rec, link also includes history of the statue.]

18 thoughts on “Justice Is An Egg

    1. 🙂 Actually, you could tell me anyone and I’d believe you. Even though you’ve often mentioned that we share a number of family dynamics, I don’t feel like I know enough particulars to hazard an informed opinion.

      The dance of Internet hide-and-seek, ever popular among the blogging crowd, continues! 🙂 #revealandconceal

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  1. Hmmm….I’m a bit obsessed with Greek mythology/plays myself, have been for a long time and it plays a large part in my fiction writing (for a long time it was Helen). I wonder if it because the masculine/feminine lines are blurred? I mean, even Zeus the male takes on a birthing role, while Artemis is a hunter. Perhaps the Greeks had it right all along. Moving on…my novel is told through a stories of bedtime stories from father to daughter all based on Greek myths–and all three characters have given names which come from mythology (though they’re nicknamed in the novel for reasons to detailed to go into here). But…I’ve also been playing a lot again recently with feminism and myth. Something must be in the air. Write the story of Cassandra–see where it goes, it sounds intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, Helen’s another good one! Penelope too. I am also obsessed with the story of Procne and Philomela, but they’re obscure enough, it’s hard to reference them without getting bogged down in backstory. (They DID make this listicle of “Episodes of Eating Children in Ancient Greece, Ranked in Order of Unreasonableness,” though, if you’re unfamiliar and/or curious. Note, please, what a BAMF Procne was: http://bit.ly/2bGooCP )

      How’s the novel coming, btw? The precis you just gave has me quite interested!

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      1. Guess what? My main character is Penelope ;-). I don’t know Procne and Philomela, shall have to research. I like the fact that there is an ‘Order of Unreasonableness’. I might adopt that for my children’s behavior.

        The book is done. I’m trying to shop it (which is harder than writing the book). Right now the biggest challenge I have is trying to figure out if it’s a true YA/New Adult book or a adult contemporary women’s fiction type thing. I alternately think it’s pretty good or utter codswallop. Depends on which day you ask me. But in short, it’s a coming of age story of a girl who is stepping into adolescence while her father battles depression/anxiety. The two are tied together with the stores (maze metaphors feature heavily as you might imagine). So…done, but not done!

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        1. ooh!!! I shall be rooting for a successful and speedy resolution to your search. Cuz I’m greedy and now want this published just so I can read it. 🙂

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  2. You could send her to our critique group – be warned though; we do critique, so no defensive strategies are allowed with the work presented. It is the work that is critiqued, not the person, and in the ways outlined in the writerly things on https://specficchic.wordpress.com Send her our way! We love that stuff!
    oh, and ‘raw, unapologetic, willing and able to take action’ – that’s the only way to move the unimportant business (like overbearing male figures) out of the line of creation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, do you belong to a critique group?? Been meaning to get me one o’ those. #bucketlist perhaps. 🙂

      I think Cassandra’s critique group will be…not so helpful as the one you describe. Full of mansplainers and lots of folks quick to charge “Implausible! Implausible!”

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      1. Ah, but will Cass have a ‘feel’ for the ‘what came before’ her story – the bad(cross out) back-story of ‘how it came to be’ – and that little bit about ‘straight from her father’s mind’ just don’t cut it – I mean, reader’s just don’t accept anymore, they expect!
        I’m glad you took it with the tongue-in-cheek attitude (I hoped) it was presented with.
        BTW – when are your stories coming out?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, for the good ol’ days when being a cursed prophet and doomed princess of Troy was all it took to secure yourself a book deal! 😉

          I’m not sure if this is what you’re asking about? but I do have an essay accepted for publication — not sure when, though I’ll def link to it here once it comes out!

          Liked by 1 person

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