trite

Every once in a while, when I’m already in a foul mood, and someone reaches out to ask how I’m doing with chemo or my latest medical test, I’ll catch myself thinking, “Where were you when I was struggling with depression?” When those thoughts creep up, I am quick to remind myself that they were in the dark. I was the one who deliberately chose to keep that struggle private. Even so, it all still strikes me as weird. My health was just as bad when I withdrew from school. My life was in just as much danger…but only a few people knew. I shut everyone out because I was so afraid of their reaction.

This fresh wave of support, though, is making me wonder—what if I hadn’t tried to shut everyone out? What if I had been more open? What if I had told everyone about my depression with the same unabashed frankness that I’ve been using with my cancer diagnosis? What if I had made a habit of asking for help when I needed it? What if I had actually said what I was feeling—even just once in a while?

—  Rebecca Trites, “Depression Just Lies
Letters from the Depths of Solitude (The Forty-Eighth)

Marianna Geide reminded recently that Narcissus, according to the legend, fell in love with his reflection not knowing that the reflection was his. Autoeroticism of this figure is therefore exagerrated, and intelligence evaluated too favorably. I seem to recall now that where the hot drops of his tears fell, flowing freely for the reason of unrequited love–most honorable reason to cry–narcissi sprang–in their turn, most urbane and gentle of flowers. He died of starvation and despair, unable to divorce his sight from the magnetic reflection.

Like the legendary Narcissus, whoever follows his steps, falls in love with something different than such trite a subject as oneself, but with their golden, clear reflection, with a persona which breaks and glimmers in the depths of oneself.

Narcissus in love was far better than he was when love did not touch him. Before falling for himself, he was lofty, proud, and disdainful. After falling, he would not hurt a fly.

A petty goddess of vengeance, Nemesis, was persuaded by spurned lovers, especially by the one who killed himself of the porch of Narcissus’s house praying for retaliation, to punish Narcissus for his cruelty and unconcerned self-assurance.

When Narcissus was hunting, Nemesis enthralled him to come to the pond. Since he never saw his reflection before–guarded against seeing, in an attempt to escape prophecy–he took it for a being.

In the liquid materiality of the pond reflection he saw a soul which limits far exceeded what he glimpsed before in others.

Narcissus was the first neoplatonic who existed before Plato. When those chained in the Plato’s cave, where liberated for light and life, having previously seen only shadows of objects, they had to contemplate reflections for quite some time before they were ready to face objects themselves in their material undeniability.

Thus Plato described the process of growing in knowledge. Objects, carried in front of the cave, of which those chained could see only shadows, meant ignorance. Reflections, as the taught correspondences of shadows, meant education. And finally objects themselves–eidolons, to be certain–in the full shine of their abysmally deep, vertiginous nature, meant understanding and the ability to see keenly things in their true light.

Narcissus was the first to escape Plato’s cave.

(Written in chalk on a rock.)
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Merlin AU: In a world where magic is outlawed, Merlin and Arthur are partners, seeking to rid the world of those who abuse their powers. They have become one of the best teams on the force because they trust each other implicitly. Or at least they did. Arthur never could have believed that they’d end up on opposite sides of an interrogation room, but here they are.