Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Achilles and Athanasia — a letter of un-apology

 So this is it... Day 1 of the A–Z blogfest. When I checked this morning, 1643 people had signed up to be part of the challenge, and to be perfectly honest, I feel A for Anxiety would probably be a better place for me to start. Writing twenty-six posts around a theme frightens the be-hooey out of me. Disciplined is not my middle name. But twenty-six letters inspired by the alphabet I promised, and so twenty-six letters there shall be... plus a song each day.... and a question...
Picture me holding my nose, squinching my eyes closed and leaping off a cliff into the brain-freezing waters of uncertainty... Here we go...

My darling Achilles

 Word has reached me of your misery and anguish at finding yourself in the eternal afterlife. I accept, Archie-sweets, that you expected to be immortal like your father and me—we all did. My heart aches that my efforts and best intentions to that end failed, but my darling boy, no amount of petulant wailing and chest-beating about feeling wronged will alter your situation. You were, indeed, a man, so I’m afraid manning-up is your only option. Like it or not.

 Truly, Achilles, I did everything I could to assure you a permanent pass to Mount Olympus. Night after sleepless night I ardently devoted myself to your baptism by fire. And Zeus only knows how many of your father’s hard-earned obal I lavished on the ambrosial balm I massaged into your adored little body in my attempt to make you impermeable. It was your father who put an end to that avenue to immortality. He panicked. OK, it’s accurate to say that our six babies before you ended up as ash, but you were special. I knew that. It was your affrighted father who doubted your destiny. Not me.
Please appreciate how positively heartsick I am that you attribute your having been slain by that well-aimed arrow to the heel to my inadequate mothering. Of course I acknowledge that it was a pretty embarrassing way for you to die, especially after you’d kicked such serious butt at Troy. But Archie dearest, are you aware just how awkward trying to dunk an inverted baby into the River Styx is? Managing to hold you by just the one ankle was quite an accomplishment. You were a feisty tot, and a slippery little sucker, too. Perhaps you should count your lucky stars that’s all I had hold of.  

So, my darling son, it would seem that having Goddess Angelina’s Brad depict you, while an actor most famous for playing an albino elf represents your assassin Paris, is possibly your best shot at ageless acclaim. Well, that and the fact that the appellation of a particularly vulnerable and ever-so-mortal tendon guarantees athletes will fear hearing a physician utter your name ad infinitum.

Yours unapologetically in athanasia,

Màna, Thetis

ps Dad says hi.
 And the song for the day? Well, what else but ABC's Poison Arrow. 
OK... yes... I know it's about Cupid but cut me some slack here! 

Question of the day: When have you been inspired to un-apologise?
The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is 26 non-Sundays in April, blogging through the alphabet with a couple of thousand other crazy people..


  1. (Mrs McMaster in Year 9 always used to say "Sorry, but I'm not apologising.") For years I apologised for just being me whenever someone misunderstood me or my intentions. I've universally and across the board retracted those apologies now that I've grown some self respect. Does that count?

  2. Absolutely it does!
    And where's your linky signature thingy back to your blog??

  3. Oops! I forgot too.

  4. What a great start to the challenge Wendy! That was brilliant. I am always apologising for things, even when someone bumps into me, so there are many times when I could have um-apologised!

    1. Thanks for the kind words... hope this is a good idea!

  5. Great start to the Challenge! Good luck with the rest of it. It's a sometimes grueling pace but definitely worth it.
    Untethered Realms

    1. Thanks, River, I sure hope I can make it to May unscathed... Right now it seems a looooooong way off.

  6. I laughed out loud at "slippery little sucker." Great letter! I love it :D I'll be back for more!
    (I wrote a book about traditional stories about superpowers, and I included a less known version of Achilles in there, where he gets his ankle bone replaced after it got burned in the baptism by fire. Great story.)
    Happy A to Z!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

    1. I am so glad i found you in this A-Z frenzy... Your work fascinates me.
      I hope you can enjoy my pieces of fluff!

  7. Wow, this is just an awesome theme! I love it. And I love Achilles, so I'm so glad to see him make and appearance here!

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  8. Great post! I felt like blogging A for anxiety too. Yikes, what have we gotten ourselves into, and by that I mean what have you got me into!!!

    1. I'm a complete mess of uncertainty and misgivings... I'll be holding your hand all the way!

  9. I am definitely feeling the anxiety for this year's challenge with all that I have going on this month too. I love mythology so this was a real treat. Thanks!

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey

    1. But you've survived previous April madness, Chrys, so I'm trusting you repeat offenders!

  10. Whew it definitely can cause some anxiety. I always make my theme pretty flexible so I have some wiggle room on the hard letters. lol

    Anna @ herding cats & burning soup