and for those who observe such things, a joyous Nativity of Horus to the Divine Goddess Isis to you all, as well.
is having a roller-coaster Christmas, but we’re doing OK. For my part, I’ve gotten a request to be involved in another freelance project, and I’m also doing some investigation of other job opportunities.
We went to the last night at the Java Hut the other day, and the place was packed. I’d have liked to stay for the end of the open mic, but what with the dog and the impending holiday, it was wise to depart early. All the same, it was an awesome night.
I thought it was a good idea to reconstruct what I said at the microphone, so it’s below the cut:
I’d like to tell a story I told earlier today in another coffeehouse, elsewhere. In 404 BC, at the end of the Peloponnesian War, about 2400 years ago, the Spartans — the world’s oldest and best known military state, the same guys in red cloaks from the movie 300 — had conquered Athens, the allegedly most artistic and philosophical society that has ever been. The commander of the Spartan garrison received orders from home that he should destroy the city — the Parthenon, the Agora, the libraries, the theaters, and the city wall. He handed on the orders to his men. One of the Athenians, a new slave formerly of an acting troupe within the city, went to the commander and told him he could not do this to Athens. The Spartan commander replied, “Why can’t I? Athens has committed atrocity after atrocity in this recent war. What prevents me from doing the same to this city?”
The Athenian actor responded by reciting a passage from a play, The Trojan Women, by Euripides. The Spartan commander was so moved that he gave orders for the city wall to be knocked down, but he spared the other Athenian public buildings — the Agora, the Parthenon, and the other buildings of the Acropolis. A poet’s words saved Athens.
Friends, your words save this city every day. They save New York, and Boston, and Philadelphia. They save Miami and San Francisco. They might even save Washington, DC, but I can’t be certain of that. Your words renew and reinvigorate this city, and keep it from sliding into the darkness. Now, Athens lost its city wall. There is always the necessity for ruins, so that there is something to build upon, and renew. Yet you will continue to be a light in the darkness, and a source of hope to this town.
It’s not quite right. But it’s close, and the sentiment is there. If you’ve got a better idea of what I said — especially at the end — please comment.