I believe you can get me through the night.
I believe we can reach the morning light.
Fly me high through those starry skies
And maybe to an astroplane,
Cross the highways of fantasy.
Help me to forget today's pain.
Odysseus and Telemakhe further refined their plans while sorting through
javelins, maces, shields and the like. Odysseus could feel herself swelling with
pride sensing the strength and intelligence of her daughter. When they were
through, they sat down together on a bench and tiredly looked at their
handiwork. Was everything in place? Had they forgotten anything?
Nothing more came to mind, so Odysseus headed for a corner to sleep.
Telemakhe tried to convince her mother to please sleep somewhere more
comfortable, but Odysseus emphasised the need for her to remain in character.
Telemakhe herself found a particularly soft sheep skin and placed it in
that corner Odysseus would slumber.
As the castle became quieter still Odysseus lay fitfully in the dining hall,
her eyes wide open. She had almost given up hope of sleep when she felt the
harmonies of a distant song wrap around her body, penetrating every cell. What
tune was this and where did it come from? Her mind was soothed by the notes and
would not think on such questions. She wasn't aware when her eyelids dropped.
She was sitting on a hillside that was somehow located within a tall marble
temple. Nearby was a clear pool in a silver basin. Just breathing the air in
this place made everything seem so much clearer, so much more vibrant. The grass
was a multitude of greens from a tender yellow-green to a shade
like polished malachite; verdant didn't begin to describe it. The sky was not
only a shimmering blue, but was shot through with white gold threads. The pool
shone more brilliantly than the moon as the sun glinted off its surface and
shattered into rainbows.
A great bright light within a glowing transparent sphere hovered near the pool. She
remembered seeing something like this in a moment of joy. She could hear the
tinkling of laughter in her memory. The bright light then took form and stood
tall before her, an image of herself, only more grand with grey flashing eyes
and hair tumbling down in golden braids. For the first time she noticed
that the eyes were not truly grey, they were the colour of the universe in its
first moments of creation.
The figure motioned to the pool. She wandered up to its side. "Can you see the story?" asked the figure.
At first she was afraid that she might be blinded if she looked into those
reflecting surfaces. Yet, with a glance she found that she could easily stare
into the water's depths and across its undulating skin. Then she saw her life up
to that moment and beyond; her life as if it were a sunbeam passed through cut
glass. Simultaneously it took on many parallel forms. Sometimes she was male,
sometimes female. Sometimes she returned to her spouse, sometimes she stayed
with one of her lovers. Sometimes she had a child, sometimes several, and
sometimes none. The facets were endless.
She looked closely at those moments to come, many involved death,
including her own. Focussing closer still she found that in all that
confusion what she really wanted was more opportunities to cherish her husband,
and that daughter she had yet to know.
The figure spoke, "Remember, the choice is yours as to how this story will
How strange to sleep so peacefully, after making such dreadful plans.
Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps