Christmas Day in the plantation

December 25, 2013

There are many themes in Homer’s classic, The Odyssey – the steadfast loyalty of Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband’s return. Duty, Telemachus, who stands by his absent ather against the suitors who have invaded their family home. Servanthood, Emacus the lady in waiting to Penelope. Sagacity, Eumaeus, the swineherder who has to bear the cruel barbs of the unruly suitors. Diligence in Philoetius, the cow herder who continues to bring milk despite his master’s absence are all exemplary in their loyalty, service and honor to their master and his possessions.

But the theme that appeals most to me is Odysseus tragic loneliness and how he tries to cope stoically at best he or for that matter any man can as he searches to rerun home to his loved ones despite his many trials.

I read it slowly savoring every sentence all the while wishing I had a neck as long as a giraffe. Yes…the idea of home can be so very compelling to a man who believes he is marrooned…so near, yet so very far that it might even belong to another age…another life – like one of those stars I find myself staring at from time to time…wondering to myself whether perhaps the faint light that streams out is all but a remnant of a star that has long since cooled and died…

I understand. I understand completely. Life is indeed….cruel.

Happy Christmas.

“By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caerns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water.”

The Iliad (5.154-158)

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