Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Blessings of Athena

Athena does not show herself through frenzied dance, through oracular prophecies, through mysterious initiations. Not to me, at least

No, the blessings of Athena are subtle and profound little things. Her gifts are when technological equipment makes a full and unexpected recovery, the ability to walk dark streets at 2 AM with fear in your heart but boldness in your body. A combination that makes you alert yet lies to the world and says 'I am not afraid'. Her oracles are epiphanies while you shower, those thoughts that occur as warm water flows over bare skin. Realizations, issues, problems, that which was unclear is made clear, when it seems like no solution was in sight, one is found. Her frenzied dance lies in a stream of ideas and thoughts which all at once seem right, all at once which demand your attention. The answer is so close, you know it, it bares down on you like a lion on a gazelle, yet in your heart you know one of these will emerge. One of these ideas will demand your attention, and it will demand it fully. Athena's frenzy is when you reach out for the easy issue and you are violently slapped, berated, and made to re-evaluate things. It is a discipline, a soft and stern way that says 'You want to be better? Don't be a coward. Do what is hard.' She presents you with so many options, so many things and says 'what will be your next venture? Choose carefully'. And you do it. You fall into it, you wrestle with it. If you walk away from it bloody and bruised and defeated, Athena is there. Not to hug and coddle and say 'Oh, well you did your best!'. No, she is there to stare you in the eyes and ask you if you really gave it your all.

Because in your heart you know if the idea defeated you, you just didn't try hard enough.

Athena by wurzeltod on Flickr


  1. At the end of Odysseus' long journey, he and Telemachus battle the suitors. Athena does not aid them at that moment. Even at the conclusion, she still wishes "to test their mettle." The true test is the completion of the work and, until it is complete, the test or the "agon" never entirely comes to an end.

  2. This is beautiful. I can't find more words than that at the moment.


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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.