Oh Persephona, the spring will come again…-and maybe next winter will be beautiful

Hello Atom’s! I have wanted to tell you about a song I heard one of these days and since Oliver is not around, I might as well do it.

First, I suppose I should tell you how the song came to be. To be honest, we (here at theRandomAtom) have given ourselves the challenge of writing a story (not per week as the challenge said initially but) in two weeks or as long as it takes. And the first theme in this challenge is the story of a scar, be it physical or emotional. We thought for a while of a scar worth the bother and found none, but last Sunday as I walked through the park with Oliver, a gust of wind stuck to us and when I took notice of it, I focused my mind to the present to observe. It had a sound of its own, an entire symphony at times. That’s when I knew it was Euterpe, daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, playfully hiding among the falling snowflakes. And then, maybe because she is a nimph from Ancient Greece, I thought of how Oliver would sing that story the gust of wind spoke of. He loved to listen to the bards when he was little, and most of them sang about the glorious ancient days. Of romantic tales and tragedies that gods took part in. He had always been this way, Oliver…

So I told him what I saw and since we’re such good friends, he didn’t even think I’m crazy-which I may as well be… Instead we talked for a while of how winters were in our youth, and how nostalgic it was now to see everything so gray and cold. There was some snow but we thought of it as only a small remnant of the vast welcoming white we missed so much. Then we went to his home and I watched him as he wrote the song. I’ve listened to it, quite a few times-and I love it. He played what seemed to be the tale of goddess Demeter and how she wept for her daughter when Persephona was kidnapped by Hades. How she still ravages the land in winter when Persephona is bound to return to Hades. After all these years, would the betrayal that she felt still be a part of her nature? But what drives her?! Is it hope, for only hope can take one so far into madness…

But Oliver does not think this way. He did not break the pattern of the song to study it. He immersed himself into it completely. Carried by the wave of life that the nimph gave him, he threw himself into that Narnia and he came back taking it as it were-just another ordinary experience.

The story (a small part of it) that Oliver sang, began with the first departure between Persephona and Demeter after the kidnapping. Listening to the song I imagined the goddess of nature wave her hand looking into the distance, where the paling image of her daughter still remains. Then as she turns her head in anguish, leaves start to fall from her hair; as she walks, a carpet is forming behind her with the color of ripe oranges. And such is her sorrow that nature itself changes with her. Trees seem to lose their vigor and grow older, slimmer and shrivel. All gentle creatures run or fly towards safety-which is in front of the goddess; she would cry and with her head bowed ignore everything except the memory of her beautiful daughter. And as that image, that memory grows stronger and more nuanced in her mind,  a feeling of warmth and comfort settles in. Hope and love now overbearing, break the tears falling from her face, shattering them in mid air to form millions of snowflakes that will numb the suffering she left behind in her rage. O, how she raged when the sun told her of the cruel deed, but Zeus had heard her plead and given Persephona back to her. So it will be again in 4 months when she will greet her beloved in her arms. She will weep again but with joy, and all living things will come out from their hiding. Birds will sing and flowers will gently, ever so cautiously show their pretty faces again. But there were still 4 months to wait…

Oliver was now exhausted, he got drunk on that joy of promise Demeter had created for herself-so powerful was the song of the nimph. If he would have perhaps only tasted it instead of throwing himself in, perhaps he would have seen the state of decay which loomed over nature… But once he got drunk, the illusion took hold of him. Maybe the gods do not exist, or maybe Demeter got more bitter as hope left her gradually: for now it was dark outside, and except the wind and the barely falling snowflakes, these past few years were devoid of that comforting touch of mature winter. Maybe as the image of her daughter grew weaker in her mind, Demeter could never again summon the goodness in her to paint the pain in white.

The song Oliver wrote is his story, a story of hope and the angst of waiting for a loved one. This short lament is mine and maybe this is the scar I’ve been searching for-or rather an irritating blister that one pokes at even though one knows that’s a bad thing to do…

Have a wonderful new year, Gerald!

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