Thursday, August 23, 2007

The malice of Eros.

I have just achieved an unprecedented success. I had 20 hours of media fast, i.e, no music, no anime/tv shows, no surfing for the past 20 hours. Pretty amazing feat, if I may say so myself, for someone whose laptop was previously on for almost 24/7.



Anywhoo, I spent my time today finishing off Mark Mills' The Savage Garden, which was quite a heavy read. Very heavy read in fact, nevertheless, entertaining in its mind-boggling ways. The book was heavy on Fascism and pragmatism, Greek and Roman mythology, Mendelian genetics, Renaissance architecture, sculpture. Almost totally out of my depths. Especially when the plot is very much connected to Dante's Divine Comedy, which I tried to read last year, but only managed to reach page 5. If I didn’t know any better, the author macam tried to show off his extensive knowledge in The Savage Garden. Ya bah. Very rare to find such a learned person. Not in my part of the world/social circle anyway. (Not that we are dummies la I mean)



Reading it, reminds me of the story of Daphne the nymph from the Greek mythology. Maybe you've heard of the story, maybe you haven’t, but here goes.



Daphne, so the legend says, was the young daughter of the River God, Peneus. She was a very beautiful maiden, with flowers adorning her head, her hair flowing over her shoulders. She was sought after by many, this carefree nymph who loved roaming the woods. Then there's the Greek God, Apollo. He was sort of nobility, as he was son of the god of gods, Zeus. Apollo was the god of music and poetry, he was also known as a valiant archer. And by Eros'/Cupid's arrow, he fell in love, and he fell hard for Daphne. She was his first love and he wanted her hand in marriage. So, he pursued Daphne relentlessly in the woods, determined to win her heart. Unfortunately, Daphne was indifferent to Apollo's love, beauty and status. He was like one of the most eligible Greek god bachelors, and yet, she was indifferent. She ran and ran away from Apollo who wanted to profess his undying love for her.
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"Stay, daughter of Peneus; I am not a foe. Do not fly me as a lamb flies the wolf, or a dove the hawk. It is for love I pursue you. You make me miserable, for fear you should fall and hurt yourself on these stones, and I should be the cause. Pray run slower, and I will follow slower."
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Despite his pleas, Daphne did not stop or run slower. She really wasnt into love or marriage I suppose. Run punya run in the woods, Apollo somehow managed to get closer and closer to Daphne. Daphne panicked. So she called out to her father, the River God, to save her from Apollo who was now close to her heels that she could feel his breath on her neck. Peneus, pitying his daughter, turned Daphne into a laurel tree, just as Apollo managed to get hold of her. All that she was, was gone, except for her beauty. She became the beautiful tree. Even so, Apollo loved her. He embraced the laurel tree and gently kissed the bark, conceding defeat with a heavy heart. He made the laurel his sacred tree, and made a wreath out of the laurel leaves in memory of her beauty and his love for her.



I thought that was a bit sad. Become tree for nothing. Even though the laurel leaves were used to make wreaths for the Olympics. Still. Daphne should have just bercinta with Apollo. But then again, he was a rogue, so maybe it's for the best that she became a tree???? But then again (again), he only became a rogue after her transformation. So maybe he was too devastated about losing Daphne that he became a philanderer? Hmmm... I like to speculate. Never mind the fact that my speculations are more often than not dreamy, romantic and unrealistic. But seriously, dont you just loveeee these magical tales?
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Interestingly, apart from having the same name, I just realised that there's another disconcerting similarity between myself and the mythical Daphne. One that would make mum say, "Milih dik, anak." I would you tell the meaning, but I'm shy. Ha.

1 comments:

~ming~ said...

yay! found your blog!!

snape rocks!! nyek nyek!

~ming