Excerpts from Book XI of Odyssey - for Odyssey Blood thread
05:04 Jan 22 2007
Times Read: 786
When, with prayers and vows, I had invoked the hosts of the dead, I led the sheep to the pit and cut their throats, so the dark blood flowed
Then the ghosts of the dead swarmed out of Erebus – brides, and young men yet unwed, old men worn out with toil, girls once vibrant and still new to grief, and ranks of warriors slain in battle, showing their wounds from bronze-tipped spears, their armour stained with blood. Round the pit from every side the crowd thronged, with strange cries, and I turned pale with fear. Then I called to my comrades, and told them to flay and burn the sheep killed by the pitiless bronze, with prayers to the divinities, to mighty Hades and dread Persephone. I myself, drawing my sharp sword from its sheath, sat there preventing the powerless ghosts from drawing near to the blood, till I might question Teiresias.’
Then there appeared the soul of my dead mother, Anticleia, daughter of noble Autolycus: she who was still alive when I left to sail for sacred Troy. I wept at the sight of her, and my heart was filled with pity, yet I could not let her approach the blood, despite my grief, till I had questioned Teiresias.’
Bk XI:90-149 Odysseus tells his tale: The Ghost of Teiresias
‘Then the ghost of ThebanTeiresias appeared, carrying his golden staff, ad he knew me, and spoke: “Odysseus, man of many resources, scion of Zeus, son of Laertes, how now, luckless man? Why have you left the sunlight, to view the dead in this joyless place? Move back from the trench and turn aside your blade so I may drink the blood, and prophesy truth to you.”
When he had drunk the black blood, the infallible seer spoke
He finished, and I replied, saying: “Teiresias, no doubt the gods, themselves, have spun this fate for me. Come tell me the truth of this now. Here I see my dead mother’s ghost: she sits beside the blood silently, and cannot look on her own son’s face or speak with him. Tell me, my lord, how she may know it is I.”
Swiftly he answered my words: “It is a simple thing to explain to you. Whoever of the dead departed you allow to approach the blood will speak to you indeed: but whoever you deny will draw back.”’
Temptation at my Chamber Door23:38 Jan 14 2007
Times Read: 825
I've walked through many tasks, gotten a lot accomplished. I studied and prepared a lesson, succumbed to cleaning, exercised, ate, ran errands. They were the necessary and forgettable steps of my day.
But they were not my day.
My day was lovely pain...that deep-questioning of your own beliefs and motives. The questions you pose to your soul. The question that knifed its way through dishes and shopping and wove itself into reading and writing was "Temptation."
I am strict with myself in many ways. I hold myself to standards and covenants made. If I give my word, it is yours and you can rest on it. I especially honor my own word to myself.
But oh, do I lust.
I lust for everything. I would know everything, touch everything, see everything. I am insatiable.
In my little rituals, I assure that when I do let myself go, it is sweet beyond measure. I frustrate myself, but I love my way. Ultimately, that is it...I simply love my way.
Temptation temptation, I grit my teeth at you and growl and breathe shallow lusting breaths. I become want and feel my resolve slip away as I hear myself say, "No, not now...no."