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mute mythologies

Must keep it short since I've lost my voice. Actually it transformed itself into an inaudible rattle Saturday night after too many rainy days strung together. Have no patience for this Easter nonsense. Everyone's schedule seems pleasantly disrupted but mine and I am bored and restless. Selfish, I know. Had interesting things to write a day ago but have lost interest for now. We trudge on, right?

I guess I did invent a couple of mute mythologies, so here goes:

Eriadorus was king of Thrace and an avid hunter. His kingdom bordered what was called The Silent Wood, which was a pretty large forest for ancient Greece; it surrounded a turqouise lake and was prime hunting ground for boar and stag. It was also sacred ground for the goddess Diana (virgin goddess of the moon and the hunt, twin sister of Apollo - just in case your mythology is rusty). The forest was attended by certain nymphs who were loyal to Diana and had taken dual vows of silence and chastity. Eriadorus had permission, achieved through certain sacrifices, to conduct hunts in the forest, just so long as his pals kept their hands off of the beautiful nymphs.

Eriadorus had a son, Eriador. Eriador had just attained manhood and was already accomplished as a poet and musician. This was to be his first hunt. Alone in the forest, armed with his bow, he spied a particularly fetching nymph. Stealthily following her, they both came to a brook that fed into the lake. There, Eriador watched silently as the nymph disrobed to bathe in one of the pools. This was too much for the poor boy. He threw off his bow, as well as his clothes, and dove into the river to be with the poor startled nymph. Just as his hand wrapped around her ankle (she was trying to swim away), she was transformed by Diana into a nightingale and flew up to a low lying branch, singing loudly. Eriador cried out and found suddenly that he had no voice. The bird had taken it. Having lost both the girl and his voice (remember that he was a poet and singer), Eriador was driven to despair. He wandered off, naked, into the forest where he was gouged to death by a huge boar, only yards away from his father's party who, for obvious reasons, could not hear his cries for help.

Similarly, the Apache often told stories of warriors who were struck dumb at the sight of a beautiful woman. Their voices lost (stolen, they'd say), their only hope of recovery was by winning the love of the particular woman who had caused the malady. If this wasn't possible, her sister would do. If there were no sister, the warrior would have to select the most beautiful unmarried woman in the village and have sex with her. Then he could speak again. It doesn't take Joseph Campbell to know that love/sex/beauty are powerful medicine.




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post #191
bio: blaine
perma-link
3/28/2005
12:19

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