Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Zeus January 31, 2012

Filed under: Alpha-biography,Mythology — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:43 pm
Tags: ,

This is the first entry in a  section called an “Alpha-biography.”  The exercise is to work through the alphabet, commenting on a word that connects somehow to your world.  My students are doing this in English 9 this semester, and I am modelling it by creating my own alpha-biography.  For myself, I will be focusing on how I am interpreting, synthesizing and contemplating the Greek/Roman gods as I’ve been exploring them in the process of crafting the Grace Awakening series.  (I’m working backwards, so that in the blog they’ll eventually appear A-Z instead of Z-A, as they end up ordered by time).

Zeus:

Sky, thunder, lightning bolts. That’s what I think of when Zeus comes to mind, and while sky can be memories basking beneath balmy blue skies, it also can mean clouds and rain or snow. Summer storms are all about power unleashed in the heavens, with a suddenness that captures boats out on the lake or starts forest fires. It’s a power that is beautiful and dangerous.
Mothers can be like that. They’re all balmy (in the British sense) where their kids are concerned. Cross them, and lightning bolts are flying, and you find yourself electrocuted and sizzling helplessly on the ground.
Sometimes people in power throw around their tempers with the sudden explosions that ruin careers, and destroy relationships. I think of Zeus that way. He is proud of his power, but tempestuous with it. He is not an even-handed administrator; he is an emotionally unstable tyrant.
It means that people have to move cautiously around him, nervously keeping their voices low, conscientiously trying to avoid offense. The problem with such people is that offense is taken, or not, without reason, so there is no hope for it.
I’ve lived with Zeus and worked for him as well off and on over the years. It’s a challenge. What joy to be in the sky beneath his radar, enjoying the sky without the storms.

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