Of Gods and Men

achilles“The gods envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now, and we will never be here again.”

After I finished reading Song of Achilles, I watched Troy. Achilles recited these lines to Briseis. A friend had recommended Song of Achilles and I dove in headfirst into the world of Homer, as perceived by Madeline Miller. Her language is poetic, flowing and honest to each character. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus although controversial, I suppose, for some readers is the most beautiful love story I have ever read. Miller portrays each icon true to themselves in language and being. Achilles is the warrior, but also a beautiful and true partner to Patroclus. Patroclus is the loving, kind-hearted healer, and ultimately dons Achilles armor to find greater peace. This gorgeous book moved me in ways I did not expect and by reading it I learned lessons in loving from two Grecian men. Being in your own power, being true to yourself, and sharing the toughness and the sweetness is a state of mind that was familiar to Grecian warriors as well as this present day blond haired Aries. Here are some of my favorite bits –

He held up his spear as he spoke and shook its gray tip, dark as stone or stormy water. I felt sorry for other kings who had to fight for their authority or wore it poorly, their gestures jagged and rough. With Achilles it was graceful as a blessing and the men lifted their faces to it, as they would to a priest.

It was a strange time. Over us, every second, hung the terror of Achilles’ destiny, while the murmurs of war among the gods grew louder. But even I could not fill each minute with fear. I have heard that men who live by a waterfall cease to hear it – in such a way did I learn to live beside the rushing torrent of his doom. The days passed and he lived. The months passed and I could go a whole day without looking over the precipice of his death. The miracle of a year, then two.

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