Thursday, July 25, 2013

Photo/Text 3: Medusa Reading

A friend made the hat and gave it to her along with a book of Greek mythology before she could even read—a friend who perhaps recognized something in her that I could not see, unleashing a love of myth so powerful that she now lives in a world peopled—godded?—with the likes of Zeus, Aphrodite, Hestia, Hera, Ares, Icarus, Hermes, Artemis. She even dreams of gods, mumbling, when awakened, of Arachne’s boastfulness or the Caledonian boar hunt. For half her life she has been Medusa, the terrible snake-haired gorgon with the power to turn those who dare gaze upon her to stone. She wears the hat to school, where the boys sometimes hiss at her, but she doesn’t care because snakes for hair make her powerful, and more than this, knowing the Greek gods and their stories—the knowledge of these other worlds—makes her powerful. She tells her classmates of Hades kidnapping Persephone, of Odysseus’s encounter with Circe, of the tormented Althaea who must throw the enchanted log into the fire to end her son’s life. “You be Athena,” she instructs her classmates. “And you be Poseidon. You be Hephaestus. You be Hades. And I’ll be Medusa.”

1 comment:

  1. I have loved and admired young Medusa's curiosity, strength and intellect since she was first learning to talk. The gift of this hat and book seemed a whimsical way to celebrate those feelings. I'm deeply honored to have inspired such passion. Never forget, darling girl, you are powerful--with or without the snakes.