Saturday, June 27, 2009

Laocoön



I think I'll hang out with the Greeks for a while. Take a break from the modern world. Get back to the primordial struggle of man against reptile at about the time we were seeing some possibility of mastering the natural world.

How did we end up where we are?

If all that counts is the ineffable quality of each moment, what compulsion turns us away from the moment?

What terrible force set the modern world in motion?

Wasn't I supposed to live my life all at once, take one deep breath and die?


Thetis knew Laocoön. She saw him die a couple of days after Achilles fell in front of Troy. Athena sent the snakes to shut Laocoön up, they say. His mistake was trying to warn the Trojans about that horse. The Trojans thought the snakes killed him for lying and took the horse inside.

Thetis was slandered by Hera, jilted by Zeus, raped by Peleus with a little help from Chiron, and insulted by Paris at her own wedding. She tore Troy apart trying to get to Paris, and she lost her son in the war.

I'd been looking for her for twenty years when I ran into her in London. I knew who she was right off.

She didn't remember me at all.

1 comment:

Tom Manoff said...

Technology and popular culture, the twin engines of modernity.