Daedalus and Icarus

Reaching the end of the beginning- almost the last chapter of “The First Hebrew Primer” – my task was to back-translate the story of Daedalus and Icarus.  I was amazed to find myself choking up by the time I reached the last lines and Daedalus’ broken heart.

Not to me alone the power of myth- the internet has many Icarus images: some evoking the heart of Daedalus, more depicting the plunge of Icarus from the sun, all too many celebrating his attempt to reach it.

Still I was surprised to find a Greek myth dating back thousands of years, in a language I read haltingly,  rewritten as a grammar exercise, touching my heart.  The story of a father’s love, giving his son wings to escape life imprisonment, only to realize his death.   I guess it touches me as a mother yearning for my children to soar free- untouched by the sun’s melt or the sea’s mist. What are those quotes, “A mother is only as happy as her least happy child.” “You will never have all your children dancing and singing at once.”

In the end one can only pray that each winged child will follow the Father.


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