A Perilous Venture: Channeling Aphrodite
Welcome to Aphrodite, more recently known as the Venus de Milo. I’m writing her fantasy. Writing serious stuff is like farming. It does not pay. I used to write television scripts, technical stories and features about advanced software. That paid well. Now I write to keep my brain in shape. Hence, Channeling Aphrodite.
Looking at the Venus de Milo some years ago I wondered: how would it be if the soul of the young Greek woman who modeled for her sculptor lived on in the Parian marble that became Aphrodite’s lasting being?
So, here is the start of a fantasy, a book I am writing in public, posting new drafts from time to time. (If you’d like to know when they will appear, please contact me.
May the gods on Olympus bless their fellow spirit, locked tightly in her stone — for here she is, Venus de Milo—she prefers her Greek name, Aphrodite—transforming through time from woman to stone.
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‘Dreams to my lover’: a start
Help me, dearest. Help drive away my dreams; my fields, fleets, flocks of dreams! Keels burdened to groaning by cargoes of dreams. Oars plying strokes whilst my dreams come and go. More come than depart. My dreams are the crowds; my mind, the stage through which they tread.
Dreams, are they thoughts or demons? I wonder which. They thrash me like thunder, or swans’ wings on water. Thank the gods for the tranquility they impose in between. My being stumbles among spirits fair and foul. Oh for a bloat-tube to free my being.
I was the very beauty of woman in flesh, naked, or nearly so. Twenty-one hundred years ago. Then came chisel-tap by chisel-tap on an aggregate of seven stones, and months of rubbing, with pumice and tuffstone. At the very end they rubbed my final form with soft white sand saturated in sponge until the stones of the new me were warm. In time I became a being in limestone, my complexion restored by high polish, eclipsing my skin. Since that distant hour, and beyond each moment that passes, I am cast as a beauty in rock.
Oh, how I miss the flesh of my youth, the keen senses in scents of summer air. Instead I stand frozen in stone, my soul and my mind translated to a different being. Statuesque, yes, but a statue. A statue of a goddess, no less, but inanimate save for my brain. That has evolved, kept in step with the progress of human knowledge. I am the richer by twenty-one centuries of mind-force, gathering in one hand human history, and in the other the mysteries of natural and cosmic science. Thank the gods for that! Assembling and firing that knowledge is my one recreation—I, who am at once a rock and the wisdom of being.
She who is now long dead—my first flesh and being; my old self, my twin and my model—she preserves herself in me. She, my old body, died long ago. Her name was Aglaia, the firstborn me. From Aglaia, the fisherman’s human daughter, I stand transformed—to Aphrodite, a figure in Parian marble and in not a little grace. Roman tongues prefer me as Venus, but interpretatio graeca grips the name my people hold in their love. To you, this self in stone remains your Aphrodite.
(To be continued, from time to time. If you would like to know when, alert me via my contact page. Reader, may your Fates treat you well.)
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