Greeks and Sleep
Thu 28 May 2009 16:18
Course: East by South
Wind: Northeast, fresh breeze,
Weather: Overcast, drizzle, cold Sea: Slight
Day's Run: miles
"No more now, Menelaus. How long must you weep?
Withering tears, what good can become of tears?
None I know of. Strive instead to return
to your native country - hurry home at once!"
So Proteus, the shape changing Old Man of the Sea, advised Odysseus' friend and comrade, Menelaus, but not before Menelaus had to sail back to Egypt and make amends to the gods for not offering them tribute before starting out on his journey home from Troy. Well I hope I have not offended any of the gods, it seems they're pretty easy to piss off. I am reading Robert Fagles' new translation (1996) of "The Odyssey", also concurrently Joyce's "Ulysses". Fagles' work is excellent, very readable, I wish I had some aptitude for languages, I'd learn Greek so I could read something resembling the original - seeing as it has its origin in an oral tradition there really would be no such thing as an original edition, a first first as we say in the used book trade, that might fetch a pretty penny!.
What heroic names these Greeks have, Odysseus, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Diomedes, Telemechus . somehow Bob just doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but BC is still an heroic cat, a rose by any other name.
And some breeze has come, light at first, so we had the drifter set for a few hours before it picked up more solid from the south - drifter down, jib up. Overnight it has backed into the northeast bringing rain and drizzle with it. I awoke this morning to find that we had gone aback (ie wind on the wrong side of the sails), not sure how long before, but not too long I assume, I generally notice these things unless I'm really tired. So we tacked, and are now close hauled on the port tack, (ie the wind is coming over the port side heeling over to starboard). At the moment we have full sail set and are making steady progress up wind. The seas are still slight but if it picks up any more, which it is forecast to do, then we will have to put in a reef, and undoubtedly our going will be slower.
No stars or sun to shoot today, leaden skies o'erhead are grey;
maybe later a break will come, through which might peek the silver sun,
Then, the sextant grabbed, a snappy sight we'll take.
I think Fagle's meter might be rubbing off on me. In the meantime BC and I are trying to stay warm and dry, curled up with a good book, in between keeping the D.R. up to date.
Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to me.
Bob the skipper thinks he's literate, well two can play this game;
"O Sleep! It is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul."
Does anyone know when my birthday is, does anyone care, for that matter how old am I? Oh all right, Happy Birthday Bob! Now where was I . meditating upon a poem . something to do with . oh yes: Zzzzzz.
All is well.