Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 198: The Siren Emerges

When Persephone, daughter of Demeter was a young girl, she walked around with her handmaidens collecting flowers. Her youth and innocence were evident to all who gazed upon her. As she grew older, her beauty became equally evident.

Hades, king of the underworld caught sight of her, and fell in love. The story of her abduction has been told many ways. It is a familiar enough story, how she eats the pomegranate seeds and must remain in the underworld for a portion of each year.

When she was abducted, her mother suffered greatly. She searched frantically for her beloved daughter. The world suffered even more, as her mother in her grief neglected the crops and plants until they all withered and died. In this first winter, many people starved. Persephone's handmaidens though, perhaps suffered most. Because, at Persephone's abduction, they had all run in fear rather than try to save her, Demeter transformed them.

She gave them the song of the siren, irresistible to all who heard it, and sent them about the world to call to her daughter and bring her home. But the one person their call was meant for would never hear, as she was in the underworld. And so these young maidens were doomed to call people to them with their dangerous song. Such agony, forever isolated on their rocky island, forever calling for one who will never hear, forever luring sailor's to crash upon the shore.

This is one of three siren paintings I intend to make. It is yet to be finished, but I like the way it seems that the very paint put down to tell the story rolls down the painting like tears.

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