A POEM AND A BACKSTORY

 

 

Imprisoned by an unseen virus,

Days went by, enclosed, barren and bereft.

 

When the body is shackled

The mind wanders,

If not to future hopes

Dimmed by a closing in of the horizons,

Then to memories, both sweet and sad.

 

Mnemosyne rears her head—

 

She whispers softly

Reminisce, yes

But reminisce those–

Moments of great hope

Moments of joy and laughter

Of peace and quiet happiness.

 

She whispers softly

Remember, yes

Remember those–

Moments when the future was open

Moments when resentments were overcome

When anger, guilt, and remorse no longer held sway.

 

She whispers softly

Recall, yes

Recall those—

Moments of sweet stillness

Moments of silence

When everything was clear and bright.

 

And so, the mind wanders

Beyond the corridors of anxieties and despair

To where the wellspring of renovation, lies.

 


A backstory.

Tarragona Museum Mosaic Mnemosyne. Wikimedia Commons

Mnemosyne, in Greek mythology, is the goddess of memory and one of the Titans. She was the daughter of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth), and, according to Hesiod, the mother (by Zeus) of the nine Muses. She gave birth to the Muses after Zeus went to Pieria and stayed with her nine consecutive nights.

In ancient Greek myth, Mnemosyne (Memory), the mother of the Muses, is said to know everything, past, present, and future. She is the Memory that is the basis of all life and creativity. Forgetting the true order and origin of things is often tantamount to death (as in the case of Lethe, the river of death in Greek mythology, which destroys memory). (source: Brittanica.com)

Here is a more modern transliteration of the ancient Orphic Hymn 77 dedicated to Mnemosyne:

Hymn to Mnemosyne

You have the power to awaken the lethargic
Uniting the heart with the head
Freeing the mind from emptiness
Strengthening and stimulating it
Keeping darkness away from the inner look and forgetfulness
Come blessed power.
Awaken the memory of your initiates in the sacred rites,
And tear the knot of Lethe.
(source: Book of the Community)