Day 1, Athens: A Homeric Epic, Reified—Redux

I inadvertently copy-pasted the last post from Pages and absent-mindedly posted it. Here follows the intended “Homeric Epic, Reified”.


Out in the Greek countryside, I can see how old this place is. If I had to come up with a visual expression of the word “ancient” it’d be the craggy volcanic mountains here. On the bus ride to Delphi, my grandmother told me about her father’s odyssey home. In a tragic twist of Homer’s version: her father, after victory in Albania against the Italians, walked home from the front to Sparta.

I imagined him walking over mountains and hostile forests of cypress, looking as craggy and mossy as they.

Flea-bitten, bleeding feet, clothes gone to rags, hair and beard to his shoulders, and crusted in weeks’ accumulation of sweat and dust he came home.

Clutching and wiping with his thumb the harmonica he planned to give to his young son as a spoil of war; I imagined him smiling sadly, with yellowing teeth peeking through a scraggly mustache. I imagined the look of relief on his face as he approached the edge of his hometown. A triumphal Odysseus. And his face slackening and losing color before he fainted, notified of the death of the son for whom he carried the harmonica.


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