I thought I was getting ahead of myself. When her #message two days ago hit a note of “defiance”, one of my first #associations was to #prometheus of Greek #mythology .
Yet his tale of defiance, in stealing fire and creating man, leading to his #fate at #zeus ‘ hands of having his liver perpetually eaten by a ravenous eagle did not seem directly relevant.
Her message arrived late yesterday, which was a bit unusual for my subject. I cannot resist noting that lateness in itself can sometimes be an act of defiance. She described with excitement that her daughter, apparently for the first time, walked and attached a #video of this stroll across the entire living room. This dramatic development required some forethought on the toddler’s part, which is actually the translation of the word ‘prometheus ‘. Her lurching walk, while adorable, evoked in me an uncomfortable association to #frankenstein ‘s monster. Perhaps having been thinking about Prometheus, this #association arose, given that the subtitle of #maryshelley ‘s #masterpiece is “ the Modern Prometheus “.
Yet children are our own promethean creations and in certain traditions are considered the product of a rebellious original sin. Defiance is an inherent developmental necessity in the service of separation and autonomy, steps that are both feared and desired. Walking is among the first steps on that path. As Shelley keenly observed, we observe those steps not with pleasure alone. There are reasons why children are referred to as both little angels and little monsters.
There is also a pleasing note of #serendipity in having cited her #poet husband, the other #shelley earlier this month. He, too was taken by the #myth of Prometheus and penned his #classic #play #prometheusunbound on this #narrative .
This time I decided that #drawing Prometheus into the work made poetic sense. Perhaps I was not getting too far ahead of myself or away from my subject after all.