#1 of ‘Herodeia Decalogue’ – HYMN TO MY MOTHER   Leave a comment

OVERTURE

 

Demeter lost her daughter too, stolen by Death, and searched the world in grief for her all her life. She was the Moon. Like my Mother …

 

So begins the first sentence of ‘Hymn to my Mother‘, the first book of what would become the 10 Works of HERODEIA DECALOGUE. It starts, started, with the death of my mother in 2001, and which would make me think, for the first time, that she had lived out her life much like what Homer described in his Hymn to Demeter, in that she too had lost a 4-year daughter many years before, much like the Goddess; and I wanted to quote the entire Hymn along, in the 343 pages this Book would eventually run,  as a parallel Mythos:

 

“Bringer of seasons and giver of perfect gifts”

 

…. Like my Mother, she only found Persephone upon the inexplicable resurrection that has come upon her in death; and it is only now that she can tell me what to say. . . . . . . This is not some boy’s idealized ritualizing of his Mommy.  It is not a dream. Like the initiates at Demeter’s Temple in Eleusis, a large part of the population of ancient Athens physically witnessed with open eyes, undrugged, the birth of new life from a dead woman.

 

This is where I leave conventional academics like Frye, and even unconventional English poets like Robert Graves, behind. They clearly do not, ultimately, believe in Myths – whereas I do. For all his great insight in ‘The White Goddess’ and ‘The Greek Myths’, Graves doesn’t quite believe Demeter was a real extraterrestrial Divinity, and both men have little interest (or understanding?) in the vital Egyptian gods. In this book I go through a detailed Overture, and subsequent sections of the book following my mother’s life along with an Homeric parallel through Arizona, Mars I and II and III, and closing with Midway on our epic flight in 1955 across the Pacific Ocean – to join my father in Japan where he was stationed in the United States Air Force –  and a near-crash landing on the remote atoll of Midway.

 

….  That seminal Crossing with my mother and sister, both named Kathleen, to Mount Fujiyama, and back to the graveyard in the Kansas cornfields, has shaped everything I can think of about Demeter and Persephone; for we also lived 3 years on Mount Nysa far south of Eleusis, across the Mediterranean Sea, where the poets say the Great Goddess and Dionysos were born. We were there. It really happened.

 

And in 1962 the Family flew east from Colorado across the Atlantic Ocean to Libya, where Dad was stationed again fror 3 years – Libya, where the Jebel Nafusa etymologically is Mt. Nysa in all the ancient texts. Further quotes from Homer:

 

     “I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter,

awful goddess – of her and her trim-ankled daughter

whom Aidoneus rapt away, given to him

by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer.

Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword

and glorious fruits, she was playing

with the deep-bosomed daughters of  Oceanus

and gathering flowers over a soft meadow

 

 

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Posted August 22, 2011 by dionoia in Uncategorized

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