juin 20, 2004
crud of our fathers

Happy Father's Day, o fatherly readers. Let me sit upon your knee! I sent nothing to my father except a postcard with an oil-pastel of lupines on it; in his youth, he was wont to wander Mt. St. Helen's & sketch them. I'm going to visit him next weekend, and figured I could transport whatever fatherly gift I could think of there; and since I'm entirely broke, due to unexpectedly huge phone bills, whatever fatherly gift I can think of is likely to be another postcard of lupines.

It's been a good weekend. I had a dinner party last night, and spent all day pureeing different things in my blender: kalamata olives, cilantro, pine nuts. In between pureeing I cleaned, talked on the phone, and read teen novels on the sofa in fits of languor, as the blood seeped out of my body and made me feel dizzy and vague. People were invited for 8:30, and by 8 I had my salad and sauce made, and flowers in the vases and the floors swept, and my lipstick and half of my eyeliner on, but the appetizers had not been assembled and my big pasta pot was missing and I was shoeless. But once the eyeliner & the shoes were on I was comforted, for you're allowed to be cooking when your guests arrived, but if they arrive before you've put your face on you're not allowed to ever put it on. Think how tacky you would look!

But when my first guests arrived, with mozzarella and heirloom or hopechest or whatever kind of tomatoes and basil, and white wine, and then another guest with red wine, I had the crostini ready and we were all drinking wine and chopping things in the kitchen and being convivial, and then we all repaired to the dining room and ate the crostini and the mozzarella and the salad, which had spinach with papaya and hearts-of-palm and a dressing that was just lime juice and cilantro and salt, and it was fun except that sometimes the ladies talked about shoes and did the dishes while the gentlemen practically smoked cigars. But I think everyone had a nice time, particularly when we played some drinking game that involved counting but saying "buzz" when you got to a multiple of seven or a number with the digit seven in it.

And today I went to see a Bergman film and I'm not sure I like it, but I am sure I liked the day, which was mild and bright and breezy, and was kind and coaxing towards my mild hangover. After the movie I went to the Park--not the one w/ the cougars but the other, grander one, rich in fountains and ponds and brass statues and also greenish statues of Columbus that prove me right: he wore a big tunic and leggings under his knee-length fur-trimmed coat, not Francis-Drakey slashed breeches, as my ancient neighbor Mr. McGowan insists he wore. And I gloried in the statues and fountains, and the glory of Great Works, meaning municipal endeavor. And when I had had my fill of walking I lay me down on a hill called Cedar Hill, but on the slope where there were no cedars, only thick clover and thicker grass, and among the babies and the sparrows I read the Iliad, which I have just begun to read for the first time. It seems odd that I have reached my age & state of life without reading the Iliad, and a little sad, but on the other hand I'm lucky because I get to read it now. I always thought it might be boring, that it would be all battles and all catalogues of names, and it certainly is full of battles and catalogues, but what I'm stunned by (besides the gorgeousness of the battles and the bronze tearing through the perfect circles of the shields and the dark mists rising over the eyes and the stones rupturing the sinews in a mortal spot where the collarbone is interposed between chest and neck) are the sudden, specific, surprising details--usually domestic details--like Hector's helmet scaring his baby and Andromache feeding the horses sweet-hearted wheat and wine when her heart inclined to it and Patroklos setting out the bread while Achilles serves the meat. And the gods all having their own separate houses in Olympus that Hephaistos made for them. And Zeus sleeping next to Hera in their bed. It strikes me that these aren't unusual elements to have in a book--all books talk about what people ate and where they lived and what they wore--but here they seem miraculous, and touching, and profound. Happy Father's Day, Hector! Kiss, kiss, kiss.

Posted by anonymousblonde at juin 20, 2004 10:26 PM

Congratulations on finally reading Homer's best work. I've always chosen the illiad over the Oddysey for some reasn. And I agree, even up here it was a beautiful day, so free of humidity that one had to draw very close to catch the scent of the purple coneflowers that are in bloom now.

Posted by: Political Boy on juin 21, 2004 04:16 AM

Wow, generic Viagra. You must have somehow known that, even though this is the forum for a female's message board, that a guy such as myself might come here, and be in need of generic viagra, and see your post, and have the money to purchase it. I praise your fore-sight.

And by the way AB, if you think Zeus EVER slept with Hera you havn't read your mythology. The only time they were ever together was to pop out Aeres and Haephaestus and I think even then they just did it on the kitchen table. Aphrodite was their's too I think but every other oen of his kids have different mothers.

Posted by: Political Boy on juillet 18, 2004 07:14 AM

Oops! I deleted that generic viagra ad not knowing you had commented on it. Everyone: There was a generic viagra ad there! Actually, sometimes ladies take it, but I think that's weird.

Political Boy, just because a man is sexually promiscuous doesn't mean he never sleeps next to his lawfully-wedded wife. Also, you can sleep with someone without SLEEPING with them, and you can SLEEP with someone without getting pregnant, particularly if you're an Olympian goddess who happens to also be the mom of the goddess of childbirth.

But anyway, it's not my mythology you should take issue with; it's Homer's. If you'd been paying attention, you would have noticed that I mentioned "Zeus sleeping next to Hera in their bed" as something that happens in the Iliad, not something I made up. The Iliad describes them sleeping in their bed together on Olympus, and it also describes them lying together in love, which means having sex. That they didn't do in a bed; they did it on the top of Mount Ida:

And Zeus answered, "Hera, you need not be afraid that either god
or man will see you, for I will enshroud both of us in such a dense
golden cloud, that the very sun for all his bright piercing beams
shall not see through it."
With this the son of Kronos caught his wife in his embrace;
whereon the earth sprouted them a cushion of young grass, with
dew-bespangled lotus, crocus, and hyacinth, so soft and thick that
it raised them well above the ground. Here they laid themselves down
and overhead they were covered by a fair cloud of gold, from which
there fell glittering dew-drops.

Posted by: AB on juillet 22, 2004 07:36 PM

Thank you for pointing out that the add existted, or else I'd have looked more foolish than I already do.

I havn't read the Illiad in a while and I do recall Zeus and Hera both sleeping together and SLEEPING together, I was just making a joke that was probably only loosely based on the facts. I wonder if Hera ever made him sleep on the couch like Hillary did to Bill. I think that's the most humanizing and decent thing I've heard about a president in my entire life. Of course in Homer's time a couch was more or less a bed so I guess it wouldn't have the same significance.

Posted by: Political Boy on août 5, 2004 05:15 AM
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