Orpheus and Eurydice

Hello All,

My mind today is preoccupied, and what is captivating it has it’s roots in Greek Mythology.

Those who are close to me know that my geek-dom spans much further than superheroes and comic books. I find so much beauty in the myths of the the ancient world. Even the most gruesome of the myths have elements in them that are glorious, and meaningful. The represent anguish and longing and love and death. I find much inspiration within them. I know I have even compared Green Lantern and myself to the war hero Odysseus and his wife Penelope, who waited for 20 years for he husband to return to her after the Trojan War.

The myth on my mind today, however, is that of Orpheus and Eurydice. Now, what Orpheus is most famous for is his music. I believe it was Pindar who defined him as a fore-father of music. Apollo gave him a lyre at a young age, and it was his mother who taught him to sing. He was brilliant musician, and supposedly it was so beautiful it could influence not only mythical creatures, but the gods themselves.

The story I’m thinking of starts when Orpheus falls in love. Eurydice was a wood nymph, and a daughter of Apollo. Orpheus fell in love immediately. He marries her, and sings her beautiful songs to proclaim his love for her. However, Eurydice, who is a wild spirit anyway, is eventually drawn back to the wood. There she was pursued by an unruly satyr. Eurydice loved her husband, and resisted the satyr’s advances. He pursued her, and drove her to step upon a snake. The snake killed her almost instantly with his poisonous grip.

When Orpheus found her, the songs he played was so sorrowful that the people of the village and the nymphs of the forest could barely stand it. They told him to go to the Underworld and beg Hades to let him bring Eurydice back to the land of the living. He did not waste any time. Using his music, he charmed his way straight to the god of the Underworld. His beautifully haunting music moved the hearts of Hades and  Persephone his wife, and the god made a bargain with Orpheus. He could leave the underworld, and take the shade of Eurydice with him–on one condition. Orpheus could not look back and see if she was following while he was leading her out.

Orpheus started the trek back to the surface. However, he didn’t trust the god, and was afraid that the shade of his wife was not following him. The spirit could make no noise to let him know that she was there, yet she had followed him faithfully from the depths. When Orpheus reached the opening back into the world on the living, he couldn’t resist anymore. Forgetting that they both had to reach the surface, he looked on the face of his beloved wife long enough for her to swept back into the underworld.

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Orpheus and Eurydice (1806) by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein

To mythology, Orpheus is important because he is one of the few heroes who actually ventured into the underworld and made it out alive. he joins the ranks of such great heroes such as Hercules, Odysseus, Aeneas, and Theseus. However, this myth reminds me of a conversation Green Lantern and I had before we were even married.

This is a testament to how well my husband actually knows me, and has for a long time. He was speaking to me one day about us and said, without any prompting or without me telling the myth, he told me this: that he would be an Orpheus for me and come and rescue me from the underworld. Not only that, but he continued by saying that, he would never look back, though he questioned if he could do it, because he loved me that much. I was shocked. Could it be that someone out there actually knew and loved the myths that I had spent years studying and memorizing to extremes? Was there a person out there who could actually understand this mildly crazy side of me that made me so different from other people my age?

Do you want to know how to win the heart of a nerdy girl? Speak to her in her language. I had already accepted Green Lantern’s proposal; I knew that we would be together for as long as we lived. But this, probably the sweetest and most thoughtful compliment ever paid to me, made me fall in love all over again. This memory came to this morning as I got out of bed, and made me smile. It was wonderful timing; with Green Lantern gone, it is the sweet little memories that keep me going until I see him again.

BG

Adjustment and Deployment

Hello All,

It has been a long time since I have written, I know. I want to assure you; it was not my intent to stay away that long. In fact, sitting in my draft box here, I have a semi-good post about the Avengers Movie that I am still trying to finish. However, a lot of things have happened in the past few weeks, and I’m sure it will eventually make fantastic work for future blogs. However, the most important thing that has been happening in my life now is ADJUSTMENT.

Green Lantern has officially taken his leave to go fight his own form of Parallax in the desert. It has been approximately two and a half weeks now I think, and I can finally say that I have found a way to function.

I hate to admit that I, Batgirl, could possibly have any trouble adjusting to life without Green Lantern. I am, after all, a superhero in my own right. I have fought my own battles, and came out on top. I am very proud of who I am, and hate asking for help. However, I never realized how much I relied on Green Lantern. When we were together, almost without even realizing it, we grew from being two separate beings with two separate agendas, to one life, with one common goal. We were comfortable. We were happy. We completed each other’s lives in a way that was fulfilling and beautiful and almost as natural as breathing.

As I was standing in the hanger, watching my husband walk away from me, holding his wedding ring in my hand (still warm from his finger), I didn’t feel anything. I watched the other wives sobbing around me, or the others just trying to hold themselves together and wondered when it would hit me. It wasn’t that day. I gathered up my things, went home, did homework. I had a very normal, mildly productive day. I made myself dinner. I took care of our animals. I cleaned the house. I kept my hands busy and my mind empty. I went to work, I started a new extracurricular activity for the kids after school (which I will post about at a later date, because it does mean quite a lot to me), and started working on my own projects. I finished my finals for the quarter, and tried to make plans with the other people around me. I started an exercise plan and slowly cleaning up my diet to get healthier.

It finally hit me about a week and a day after he left. After making a huge, heroic effort, BG finally broke. When Green Lantern called, it was all I could to try and talk through my tears. Just looking at him made my heart ache. This led to a bad week for me. Green Lantern and I were running on opposite schedules, so we couldn’t find much time to talk at all. Neither one of us had a lot of time for writing. My frustration boiled and I found it harder to focus on my own projects and keep myself busy, especially with a difficult week at work.

By weekend, after finally finding some time to get a good night’s sleep, I finally set to figuring out my stride. I made a very important decision: If Green Lantern was on an opposite schedule, I would find a way to accommodate it. I started finding a way to go to bed early, so that when he wakes me up in the middle of the night, I can be coherent enough to actually talk to him. So far, it has done wonders to improve my mood, though I haven’t quite figured out how to fix the problem of me being super tired. Ce la Vie… this is a learning process.

All I can think of doing at this point is keep moving forward. I had forgotten from Batman’s deployments when I was younger how difficult it could be to be separated. This is in many ways worse, because the love has transferred from daughter to father to wife to husband. Both, of course, are strong, but in different ways. However, as I settle in for the long haul of this deployment, I try to take comfort in the fact that My Lantern will always find a way back to me.

BG

The London Adventures: Part IV

Here we are! We have reached the final portion of our London Adventure, and I am so ready to tell you!

We started the day outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. This church is one of the biggest and most beautiful in the whole city, and is the current seat for the Bishop of London. It is still a functional church, those it is also open to the public for tourism. Since we came upon it so early in the morning (and the fact that we just happened upon it on our way to our first destination), we decided not to go in. However, the pictures themselves were worth it.

After a short walk, we finally found our first major attraction of the day: the recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre was originally built in the 1500s by William Shakespeare and his theatre company. However, this theatre was burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of Henry the Eighth. The modern structure opened in 1997 after 10 years of building.

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My initial thought for this attraction was that I just wanted to take some pictures. However, once we saw it in person, I knew that I would forever regret it if I didn’t go into the actual theatre. We bought the tour, and I can honestly say both Green Lantern and I loved the experience. The recreation is built not too far from the original site, using all of the same building materials from the lumber to plaster thick with goat hair (instead of the cow that was customary of the time) and even down to the square nails that Green Lantern noticed within the structure. The inside of the theatre, which was painted with a guess of what the original could have looked like since there were no sources on the subject, was gorgeous, depicting scenes from Greek myths, astrology symbols, and my favorite, the gorgeous marble columns that were actually made of wood.  I hope that when Green Lantern and I someday return to London, we can see a show in it to get the full experience.

Our next expedition, after a remarkable lunch of fish and chips (I loved the fried cod), was a trip to yet another ship. Green Lantern finally happened upon some good luck, and we boarded the Golden Hinde for a tour.

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The Golden Hinde is, for lack of a better term, a real live pirate ship. This replica, a Tudor Dynasty Galleon, is best known for being the flag ship of Sir Francis Drake, a privateer who made a living by robbing Spanish ships in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. In this ship, Drake circumnavigated the globe in 1577. The voyage lasted until 1580. The original ship eventually disintegrated.

This ship is definitely worth the trip and the guide. He gave great stories about the ship, was quite knowledgable, and presented information that made all of the sites that much more understandable and enjoyable. Green Lantern definitely got a kick out wandering the decks, and sitting in the Captain’s Chair.

The rest of the afternoon was spent getting ready for one of the most special moments of our trip; a gift to me from Green Lantern that he knew I would absolutely loved. That is taking me to see The Phantom of the Opera live on stage.

Now I have seen the traveling show of Phantom of the Opera off of Broadway in the States. However, saying that it pales in comparison would be insult to this version we saw in London. Her Majesty’s Theatre has been hosting The Phantom of the Opera on it’s stage for 25 years. What does this mean for the show? Basically, this implies that after all of those years, the theatre has grown with the show, as if it were a player itself. It is built into the show itself, modified and perfected so that it fits the performance like a glove. Needless to say… it was phenomenal. Every set and costume was elaborate and a work of art in and of itself. Christine’s voice sounded like a bell, crystal and clear and beautiful. The Phantom could melt my heart and bring tears to my eyes; his voice was incredibly haunting, and conveyed such raw emotion that it sent shivers down my spine. Raoul gave a rich tone, with a perfected strength, yet a touch of innocence when he looks and sings to his love. I was completely captivated. I think I had to remind myself to breathe at least 10 times.

This beautiful night of music was exactly the perfect ending to our adventures in London. As I watch Green Lantern now, packing his belongings and changing his uniforms over to the desert colors, I have wonderful and fantastic memories to hold close to my heart when I’m lonely at night. I have gorgeous pictures, and mind-blowing music that I can always remember experiencing with him. I will have London forever.

BG