finding our homes

If you were to look out my window, you would see a heavy mass of deep grey cloud press down on uncertain colonies of white-grey, blue-grey clouds. Every now and again, the sky rumbles, from an undetermined location, or flashes - just as one looks away. This is the atmosphere: pre-storm electric. An indeterminate mish-mash of colours that seem like they should all be classified as "grey" - but there is still too much daylight. Maybe the storm will never come.
Some days pass fighting, and one feels oneself tugging at the edges of that magic carpet, trying not to fall off, believing with all one's might that through belief, one can be carried through.
And then, the dream settles, and one realises: it is better to cease all the begging in one's thoughts, and accept the flow, for whatever it is.
Hence the sky that I am seeing, identifying with, wondering if it is reflecting my thoughts, or whether my soul has been riding the waves of the weather without my knowing it.
I thought of the word "electricity" this evening - it is a word that has decorated my dissertation, but I still know so little about it. The word has something to do with amber: once upon a time, beads of whale oil used in perfume would float up to shore from the ocean: golden drops distinguished from the larger sea. At the same time, honey-coloured resin would also wash up on the beach: the latter amber, the former Ambergis, and the two got confused, both called amber, both coincidences, both washed up on a shore they did not seek.
And before that, once upon an earlier time, Theophrastus called it ηλεκτρον, "formed by the sun" - and amber was thought to be the tears shed by sisters of Phaeton, that careless youth who accepted the dare to prove he was son of Helios, and drove his chariot of fire. He was not able to manage it, and Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt - for the chariot had gone out of control.

This legend is mentioned in Plato's Timaeus, in the part where the Egyptian priest tells a visiting Greek why "you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. ... there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age..." The priest then describes the "many destructions of mankind" of which Phaeton was an example: though a myth, Phaeton "signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around earth." But then, the Egyptian's words strike a warning: "Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves."
We can forget, we can cast off the knowledge of the old, and be lost as children in the world, children who drive chariots of fire to prove things that don't need proving.
And to return to the amber, the ηλεκτρον, while not called by that name, it seems Pytheas knew of its fiery qualities all the way back in 330BC. Not bad for nothing but a child. Then, amber seems to become nothing but a pretty stone until the 17th century, when William Gilbert used it in experiments on electric charges. Tears for the son of Helios become the crystal gateway to the electricity that we use to power the internet today... Just like Atlantis...
And no matter how, on such evenings when the sky calls out some ancient song in thunder, one might view myths, time, and meaning, at some moments, it seems to me that the world is an ancient song, a shore, this place between things, this home away from home where we plant our love in each other's lives, and carry loved ones in our hearts. Sometimes, and among each other, ideas are heavy in the air like clouds, and we can glance down that long tunnel of time, and find a golden nugget of ancient knowledge that reaches us, on the shore of our thoughts.

 Elements: Animus.

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