My father was not a very good man. He was an alcoholic, womanizer and physically abusive to his wives (he was married twice) and his children. He had a genius mind, with a simpleton’s attention span. If he were to be given an evaluation today, he may be on the autistic spectrum, maybe leaning toward Asperger’s. He would sit on his throne and eschew orders like he was ready at any moment to wield the lightning bolt and kill us all. He was the Zeus to my Ares, and despite everything I loved him fiercely.
I defended him even when he wouldn’t defend himself and since I have a fiery temper (anyone can ask my wife, the only fire extinguisher I will ever need), we often clashed like titans. It is a good thing we shared the mutual love of exploring ancient Greek myths and figures, as we could have been reading about ourselves. My Zeus died in 2008. When I was young, my father and I were forced by the courts to spend weekends together after he and my mother divorced. She was tired of Zeus, and bashed his head in with a frying pan while I watched wide-eyed and silent.
During these visits, my father would at least pretend to be sober enough to entertain the product of his first wild, young marriage. He had a huge collection of books, pictures and slides of Greece and the mythologies which could appear to anyone else to be funny since we are 150% Italian. I would stare in fascination at these pictures of places, pretending I was there; and the people, pretending I was them. Eventually my father would finish whatever was in his cup and come find me, furiously afraid I was destroying his collection and threatening ghastly vengeance on me if I had.
The authoritative presence in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound was Fate. Some might argue that it was Zeus, but in fact it was very much Fate that had control, which Prometheus himself knew. Zeus, like his father, Chronos, knew his fate of demise and tried to save himself. It is apparent that despite Fate's inevitability, many Greek heroes chose to fight it rather than give up. Fate predicted in ...
What he did do was make me want to look more. Eventually I could read, and instead of chasing me out of his office would actually spend time with me in there, most of the time sleeping it off I realize now. But as I read on through the months I began to worry less and less I would be beaten for exploring in there if I was careful, and began to ask him questions about things I didn’t understand. Why did the stories talk about so many gods, when my Catholic education taught me there was only one? What did this have to do with the stars and sky, and what was up with all the monsters?
I think he figured humoring me was a way out of actually having to take me anywhere and would answer me, grabbing volumes and flipping the pages. I crept into within arm’s length and we spent many hours going over all sorts of what a child’s mind would find unfathomable. Our favorite was a bright orange tome titled Greek Mythology, and had such chapter titles as The Monster-Killers. How interesting that one is. I would still see Zeus all the time, as I tried his patience as a child does, or whenever he felt like it.
As I have said, he wasn’t a very nice man. My mother knew it, my friends knew it, even the dog knew it I think. I was desperate for male influence as my mom after her divorce moved us in with her mom, who was a widow living with…her mom. So as a father now I can see how I would take even the worst interaction over none at all. I always had a temper, my mother telling me I was like my father when she was exasperated of me…when in fact I see myself now as the Ares to his Zeus. As they were father and son so were we.
So on the weekends he would come and get me that lessened as he built his second family, that is what we did. Saw a couple movies of his choosing and then would retreat to his house on Wellington Dr. to let me loose in the office. The older I became the looser his grip on the office collection, but I knew Zeus was watching and if I ever dog-eared a page I furtively looked around before smoothing it back, praying as a child does he wouldn’t find out. The older I got, the less I saw my father as happens as one goes through the teens and beyond.
In the peo m "Those Winter Sundays," the author Robert Hayden uses folk motif drawn from his own experiences, but seeks inspiration from other sources as well. Robert hayden was born to a struggling couple, Ruth and Asia Sheff ey. They were divorced and Hayden moved in with a foster family. Sue Ellen Wester field and William Hayden, adn grew up in a Detroit ghetto called "Paradise Valley." he had ...
I would still bring up our favorite interest when I talked to him, asking if he found any new books or saw any specials on TV. “Sure kid. “, he would tell me while I knew that the only one looking and watching was me. I collected every National Geographic on the topic, have many DVD’s of documentaries, and even went to a convention a few years back where I saw some artifacts like pottery and coin rubbings. That temper of mine got me in quite a few scrapes and when I would tell the Old Man about my latest exploits he would laugh at me and usually one-up me.
You can’t compete with Zeus I guess. After my son was born came his three sisters and any free time I have to devote exclusively to reading the Myths. I love them as much as I ever have, and the family knows it. They despair if I ever come across something new on Netflix knowing what comes next. But I never told them about the link to my father, I guess some things just stay put until the right time. My wife just thought it was something I always liked for no special reason. She didn’t like Zeus, whom she distrusted immediately. She has good radar.
She also knows how to put me in my place when I start to get fiery, I have children of my own who can push my hot-button for sure. But I have never done more than yell because Zeus taught me that no one benefits from it. Back to my son. He discovered the Percy Jackson books by Rick Reardon, and the eventual movie. These books are Greek Mythology with a modern spin but still as factual. He loves, loves them. In fact, as he read more he wanted more. So I found books like the Treasury of Greek Mythology by National Geographic, and we in turn spend many hours reading together.
I think he is smarter than me, and certainly more computer literate so he finds new “stuff” all the time for us to check out. The boy who sometimes I can’t look at, because he looks back at me with Zeus’s eyes. In those eyes I see someone who hurt me so much, in a body I know loves me unconditionally. The boy who has Asperger’s. Dominic is 10 and still the age where I know what I am talking about. Zeus died in 2008. He left this world as he came in, drooling from the drugs they gave him in a futile attempt to save the liver which had finally given up on him.
Early Roman Religion In the early know part of history 7 th Century BC Romans had formed a religion that dealt with the worship of new high gods. This was enabled by the influence of the Greek religion, which in most aspects was the same. In this style of religion there were different gods for every element that made up the world. The main god that controlled most of the power was Jupiter. His ...
He had people bringing him alcohol to the hospital right to the last day. No one said no to Zeus. I will never forget that last image I have of the powerful god. So in a way with my son, the Myths are helping to fix the broken bond my father and I didn’t have. In his will he left nothing to no one, his words almost exactly. But he had one thing in safe deposit box. A faded orange book by John Pinsent, titled Greek Mythology. In it was a picture of him and me – Zeus and Ares, probably taken by my mother…marking a severely dog-eared page.