The Wordstress Blog

The Wordstress ponders the birds and the bees.

A Meta-Story March 25, 2009

Filed under: writing — eastlakecounty @ 12:07 pm

I’ve been working a lovely little story about Orion and Merope and was thoroughly enjoying myself with it until I discovered that Orion, in Greek mythology, is supposed to have raped Merope.This totally threw me for a loop and I felt the joy seeping out of the words I was trying to write. I took this problem to my writing group and my friend Theresa said, “But you have control of this story!”  Wow.  What a relief!

In my story, Orion is a good guy.  It’s not that I’m rewriting history, I’m just taking control of this myth and telling it my way.  So there. Of course, I haven’t been able to add a thing to it since late January, but maybe if I put it up here I’ll empower myself to get back to it. I’m putting it here nearly exactly as it exists in the Word file where it resides, so this is rough and repetitive. Bear with me. This feels like going to Alexander Springs where my husband and I challenge each other to see who will run into the icy water first, but here goes:

Orion strides across the sky over the front of my property just as he does every winter night. Greek myth says he was in love with Merope but she didn’t return his feelings. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough trouble for one mortal to bear, he stepped on Scorpius, the scorpion, and died. Because they felt sorry for him, the gods gave him a home in the night sky. So a broken heart and a scorpion sting are apparently enough to get you a prominent spot in the heavens. Of course, Scorpius also hangs out up there, so I’m not sure what lesson we should take from this. The gods have mercy upon those they will have mercy upon, I guess.

All I know is that every since I moved to the country, Orion has been there and I have considered him my protector and guide. The semester I took a night class, he hung overhead while I drove home, heading east on CR44 looking forward to taking my contacts out and my shoes off. Several Christmas eves, when I’ve gone out to look for the Christmas star, it’s been his broad shoulders and belt of three stars I’ve spotted instead. And his ridiculously tiny head. No wonder Merope couldn’t take him seriously! A pinhead, I mean, really.

I wonder how they met and what it was about Merope that attracted him. Merope herself, you know, is one of the Plieades and spends her nights in the sky as well. I imagine she still snubs Orion and laughs with her sisters when he casts longing glances her way…

Orion stands there in the sky over the front of my property just as he does every winter night. Greek myth says he was in love with Merope but she didn’t return his feelings. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough trouble for one mortal to bear, he stepped on Scorpius, the scorpion, and died. Because they felt sorry for him, the gods gave him a home in the night sky. So a broken heart and a scorpion sting are apparently enough to get you a prominent spot in the heavens. Of course, Scorpius also hangs out up there, so I’m not sure what lesson we should take from this. The gods have mercy upon those they will have mercy upon, I guess, and even when the clouds hide them, Orion and Scorpius are still around.

All I know is that ever since I moved to the country, Orion has been there. When we first moved from the city out here, he was a welcome reminder that even though many things were changing some things would stay the same. Over time, I have come to view him as a protector and guide. One fall I took a night class, and when I’d drove home, heading east on CR44 looking forward to taking my contacts out and my shoes off, he’d be there, overhead, making sure I stayed alert even on the deceptively empty road from Leesburg to the middle of nowhere. Several Christmas eves, when I’ve gone out to look for the Christmas star, it’s been his broad shoulders and belt of three stars I’ve spotted instead. And his ridiculously tiny head. No wonder Merope couldn’t take him seriously! A pinhead, I mean, really.

I wonder how they met and what it was about Merope that attracted him. Merope herself, you know, is one of the Plieades and spends her nights in the sky as well. I imagine she still snubs Orion and laughs with her sisters when he casts longing glances her way…so why is he still so interested?

Greek myth also says Orion raped Merope, but I don’t believe that for a second. I once believed that every man has the potential to become a rapist, but Orion just doesn’t strike me as the angry type. He’d love to take Merope in his arms and maybe in his zeal to express himself he might hold her just a little too tightly, but if she objected surely he’d loosen his grasp.

What kind of woman is she? It’s hard to get a clear picture of Merope. Even though I’m sure she’s stylish, I think her clothes are the kind that she can keep wearing even if she gains 40 pounds. Not that I’m implying that she’s got a weight problem, good heavens, no. Merope is just what people used to call a “mere slip of a woman” and wouldn’t be criticized if she ordered double meat on her Subway footlong. She and her sisters are a close group and have managed to maintain the sort of intimate relationships that women friends do without any of the competition and sniping that sisters often experience. What a joy they are to each other! Eternity is so long and the night is so dark, but they stand together and blaze their happiness with each other at the empty spaces in the sky.

All I know is that ever since I moved to the country, Orion has been there. When we first moved from the city out here, he was a welcome reminder that even though many things were changing some things would stay the same. Over time, I have come to view him as a protector and guide. One fall I took a night class, and when I’d drive home, heading east on CR44 looking forward to taking my contacts out and my shoes off, he’d be there, overhead, watching as I made my way east in the dark. Several Christmas eves, when I’ve gone out to look for the Christmas star, it’s been his broad shoulders and belt of three stars I’ve spotted instead.

I don’t mean that I think he actually knows I’m here and I wouldn’t wait for him to rescue me if my house was on fire, I just mean that when I see him it’s reassuring and I enjoy that feeling. Orion, the mighty hunter, always there in the winter sky to watch over us all…much like God except you can see Orion. He’s perfect, actually, except for one small problem.

And the problem is very small…it’s his ridiculously tiny head. Look at him! He’s got those gloriously broad shoulders and then this teensy little head. Even when I’m watching him for several minutes, enjoying the sounds of the night and the secure feeling of being safe at home, I never look him in the eye. When I think of Orion, I just think of his strong body and his loyalty and I try not to dwell on how brontosaurus may have had a larger brain.No wonder Merope couldn’t take him seriously! A pinhead, I mean, really.
All I know is that ever since I moved to the country, Orion has been there. When we first moved from the city, he was a welcome reminder that even though many things were changing some things would stay the same. I guess I have come to view him as a protector and guide. One fall I took a night class, and when I’d drive home, looking forward to taking contacts out of bleary eyes and shoes off of weary feet, he’d watch as I made my way east in the dark. Several Christmas eves, when I’ve gone out to look for the Christmas star, it’s been his broad shoulders and belt of three stars I’ve spotted instead.

I don’t remember him being there when I was a kid, although of course I know he was. As a kid, though, I knew where I was going and what I was going to do when I got there.

Why am I so fascinated with Orion and Merope? I know nothing about her and he’s accused of rape. You’d think I’d hate him and totally take her side…that’s what I’d do in the “real” world. So why do I feel protective of him? I guess because before I knew he was accused of rape I felt like he was protective of me. Ha. When we know the monster it’s hard to see who he is sometimes,maybe that’s it.

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