CYNTHIA LOW - ORIGINAL PAINTINGS
RSS Become a Fan

Recent Posts

Thoughts on 'The Landscape' in the Arts and Quantum Thinking
Salamander by Octavio Paz; an Alchemical and Tantric Interpretation
Finnegans Wake, Quantum Awareness, the Snake Releases Its Tail
The Alchemical Transformation of Salmacis And Hermaphroditus
The Healer Aesculapius and this Immortal Coil

Categories

3D painting, 4D thinking
Essays on Art and Nature
James Joyce
Octavio Paz
Ovid's Metamorphosis
powered by

My Blog

Artist transforms into medicinal evergreen; the story of Apollo and Dapnne

"My mind carries me to speak of bodies changed into new forms"

  These lines from the beginning pages of Ovid's epic poem, Metamorphosis,

 carry special significance as we look at today's bizarrely morphing humans 

  and animals.  DNA is changing with new codes being unraveled,  stem cell 

production is thriving,  men are changing into women, women are changing

 into Barbie Dolls:  Humans are rocking robotic limbs on the runway, and

 robots are the latest in customized companionship.   Deserts are turning into

 wetlands, and once vital streams have now become haunted slot canyons.

   The end of Book One in Ovid's fifteen book masterpiece is where I would like

to focus this essay.  Many cultures insert tales of Divine Rape into their fables

and this Poem is no different.  Usually the rape is glorified and justified as "for

the good of all".  I am interested in the story of Apollo and Daphne because it 

is a story of an attempted Divine Rape that not only did not happen, but the 

rapist godhead was humiliated, scorned and made to look like a real douche 

bag.   According to Ovid's account, Daphne was the daughter of a forest 

nymph and Thessalian river God.  Daphne loved and embraced every aspect

of the rich woodland existence that surrounded her as she grew. When she

 became a beautiful woman she told her father that she would remain a virgin

 forever, and that she had married herself to Muse.  She was an artist, a poet,

 and a musician and could never be content with the life of some man's help

 mate, brood mare, and object of lust.  Her father reluctantly agreed to help

 her maintain her blissful existence.  

       Apollo enters the story a lustful, foolish, Narcissist who sees Daphne and

 decides he must have her,and chases her down like a rabbit or deer.

 Now, it is not all his fault, after all he was shot by one of Eros's golden arrows

 of passion. (well, I guess now he has an excuse for his schmuck behavior).

   Eros also shoots Daphne with an arrow, but this arrow  tip is made of lead,

 which further anchors Daphne's resolve to remain an artist.  Lead is also the

 symbol of Saturn, the inner light, the wisdom that hides behind the brilliant

 sun.  Lead represents meditation, perseverance, concentration, and 

authenticity.  

  After a heated chase, Daphne felt she can no longer escape the shadow of

 lust that ripped at her clothes and lunged at her limbs, and she begged her

 father to save her.  She changed at this point into  a Laurel tree, an evergreen

 of epic healing gifts, an evergreen that would become the symbol of the heroic

 poet, the artist who works through the Muse to some how save humanity.

  Apollo on the other hand becomes the poster child for blind passion as he

 continues to rip at her bark and dig at her roots, even after she has made her

 transfiguration.  Most cultural stories would make Apollo the victim here,

 starved for real love, he is unable to control his passions.  But thankfully Ovid

 does not make Daphne responsible for Apollo's psychosis.  Daphne instead is

 the Hero here, who sacrifices her human form for the sake of artists and

 healers, people who heal through the arts.
    
          The story of Apollo and Daphne illustrates that often the newly emerged

 body,( that is a result of abrupt metamorphosis), is the divine version of the

 higher self of the one who has changed.  I think many artists find 

metamorphosis a constant and expected phenomenon in their lives.

  I embrace every opportunity to transform myself for the sake of new

 knowledge and new experience.  Always a change for the Better.

    Ovid's metamorphosis is a Field Day for an artist like myself. 

 The poem is jam packed with opportunities for debate

 surrounding art and philosophy.  In my next blog I will  explore how the

 Metamorphosis became the template for many later Epic works of art, in

 particular, the Bible and James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.  If you enjoy my

 blog share it with friends, or comment if you have some cool ideas to share as

 well!   Blessed Be!







Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint