Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Icarus

Icarus, myth or reality? Woven into every greed-infected pursuit rests the dream of defying the sun. When I look around our world today, Icarus stares back at me. Remnants of charred wings blow across the streets of New York City, the deserts of Afghanistan, the rubble of Iraq, the sad, torn lives of too many people without jobs, homes and a secure future because greed – not theirs, but that of men, women, businesses addicted to power, blinded by their success cheating the rules, believing they were immune to failure.

Icarus also honors creativity. According to the Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology, Icarus was the
“Son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth. But the great craftsman's genius would not suffer captivity. He made two pairs of wings by adhering feathers to a wooden frame with wax. Giving one pair to his son, he cautioned him that flying too near the sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became ecstatic with the ability to fly and forgot his father's warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.”

Not giving up hope, recognizing the maze and thinking beyond what is a dead-end to find alternate directions forward. In my writing, with my family, and as I deal with a profound hearing loss, thinking beyond what is an obvious solution or even just giving up is what I also glean from the tale of Icarus. However, the goal is to be more like Daedalus and less like Icarus. I want to take the risks, pursue new ideas, and not be resigned to the status quo. How about you?

 Idyll (nirvana)

Flight beyond expectations
of others or self,
wakens passions
beneath daily duties,
strikes chords,
harmonizes my life
with the power
of the universe,
my inner talents
room to breathe.


  1. Hello, Judy! This is a lovely post. I need to read the mythology stories again. I haven't been exposed to any since studying literature in college. Hope you're having a great week and happy A to Z!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Laura -- I'm not as "informed" as I would like to be, but this idea flowed into my dreams last night. I'm enjoying -- stressing at times, but enjoying and learning a lot via this challenge!

  3. I'd never really thought about Daedalous but I love the thought of him seeing beyond the Labyrinth. I agree that I don't want to be confined to status quo, but to fly free. Though Icarus reminds us not to fly too high, I think if we know how to land well risks aren't so scary.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Bethie. Something to ponder - is there more to life in the flying or nailing the landing? In soaring without inhibiting self or maintaining a few limits to avoid the potential of self-destruction?