Willing to Die For Each Other

Pyramus and Thisbe were neighbors and were in love, but their parents didn’t permit them to see each other anymore. There was a tiny fissure on the wall that connected their houses; they used it to tell each other everything.

(painting info: “Thisbe” (1909), by John William Waterhouse)

Then one day, Pyramus proposed that they escaped the town together. He said, at the fissue, “We can’t do this anymore! You know the white mulberry tree by the stream? Let’s meet there and leave the town.”

It was basically disobeying their parents’ order, but the young lovers didn’t care. To them, love was everything.

Passing the whole day is like passing a whole year, but finally the Sun had set. Thisbe, veiled and cloaked, slipped out from the door of her house and ran toward the direction of the mulberry tree. Just when she was about to settle down, a lion appeared; apparently it wanted to drink water at the stream.

Thisbe was afraid; nevertheless, she ran soundlessly into a cave nearby. But she dropped her cloak along the way. After a while, the lion came; it saw the cloack, and it teared the cloak with its bloody teeth. When it didn’t find food, it left.

Pyramus arrived a while later, only to find the torn, bloody cloak. Tears streamed down his cheeks. He blamed himself for proposing the escape; it was because of him that Thisbe died. Thus, he took out his sword and cried, “Let every lion on this mountain eat me until I’m guiltiless!”

He walked toward the white mulberry tree and said, “Accept my blood.” And Pyramus inserted the sword into his chest. His blood seeped into the soil and was absorbed by the tree, and in turn it made the white berries purple.

At this moment, Thisbe walked out from the cave. She saw the tree from faraway, but she didn’t understand why the fruits had changed color until she saw Pyramus and his sword. In great sorrow, Thisbe sobbed, “Pyramus, please wake up. I’m Thisbe, Pyramus.”

(painting info: “Pyramus and Thisbe” (1795), by Andreas Nesselthaler)

At Thisbe’s name, Pyramus opened his eyes one last time to look at his beloved, and he closed his eyes forever.

Thisbe held up Pyramus’s sword, saying, “Death has taken you away from me, but he shall not separate us, because we shall lie in one tomb. Dear tree, your branches and trunk are filled with the blood of one of us, but now you will receive the blood of the second one. We will be remembered this way.”

When she had finished, Thisbe fell onto the sword tip. The gods heard her prayer. The parents of both Pyramus and Thisbe heard it too and mixed the ashes of Pyramus and Thisbe. The fruits of the mulberry tree turned to rose color, in order to symbolize the dead lovers.

Something we learn from this story?—that’s why the mulberry fruits we see these days are in a rosy color.


via Disobey

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Deucalion and Pyrrha

Here’s how it happened: Zeus, the Lord of Universe, thought that he should make the human race better by drowning the world.

Almost every living organism was drowned. Mountain tops became islands, but the people who got to those islands died due to starvation.

But two people—Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha—survived; they drifted to a random mountain top. The first thing they did when they landed was to pray to Delphi, Pan (god of nature), and Themis (a goddess of the sea) to thank them.

Zeus was looking down from atop his home; he saw water, the “islands”, and two selfless humans praying, and he thought the flood was enough.

The flood retreated. When Deucalion saw everything, he said, with tears, to Pyrrah, “Look around us, we are the last man and woman on the world. I am not my father, Prometheus; I cannot make mankind.”

They came to River Cephisus and washed their face. Then they walked toward a shrine of Themis, kneeled, and prayed, “Oh Themis, how can we appease the gods? How can we save our kind?”

Themis was touched when she heard their prayer, so she spoke to them like a oracle, “Walk out of my shrine, cover your heads, and throw your mother’s bones behind you.”

Deucalion and Pyrrha did not know what that meant. Pyrrah exclaimed with tears, “How can I throw my mother’s bones? Forgive me, goddess.”

Deucalion thought for a while and said, “Either I’m crazy, or ‘our mother’ means Mother Earth. Her bones are the stones.”

Even though the two of them were still doubtful and scared, but nothing bad would happen, right? So they did as Themis said.

(picture info: “Deucalion and Pyrrha,” by Lilian S. Hyde)

They threw stones behind them. The stones became bigger, and eventually became man’s likeness. The part of the stone where there was wet mud became visceral flesh, while the dry part of the stone became bones. The stones thrown by Deucalion became men; the ones thrown by Pyrrha became women. Therefore a new generation of humans arose.

via Visceral

19. Concern

19. Concern

A very strange thing happened yesterday.

Our dorm proctors had told us that a new dorm assignment would arrive and everyone would be in a new room. I didn’t get it—why change? When I asked one of the proctors, she said, with a heavy sigh, “Selene is gone. We should move her roommate Hera to a place.”

But that raised more questions in my mind: why not just move Hera? Why move the entire dorm?

Today all of us had our stuff packed. My roommate Calliope had so many things that she couldn’t fit them into one single baggage. I myself didn’t have a lot of things, so it was relatively easy for me. When everyone had come out to the hallway, the proctors handed him or her a notepaper that had his or her new room number on it.

I looked at a proctor’s approaching figure, then I turned to Calliope and hugged her so hard that she squealed.

“Thank you so much for being an awesome roommate. I’ll miss you.” I had planned to say more, but my nose became sour, so I decided to let the silent moment between us remain that way.

My new room was located opposite of this side of the campus, in a tall tower. Since I didn’t have friends that had lived there, I never went there before. It took me a million turns to get to the base of the tower.

As I was climbing the eternal flight of stairs, I noticed the windows on the side of the tower were overlooking the canyon, which was beautifully covered in red and pale yellow—colors of soil, perhaps. It was a pleasant view, but one would quickly become bored if he were to live here for a few years. I felt sick at stomach when I saw the canyon at the vast blueness. It reminded me my fall the other day.

Then concern kicked into my mind—what if someone had seen the incident? What if someone had watched, from this tower, me and Hades going up together to the sky? What if he or she thought I had died, but then he or she saw me again?

I shook those thoughts away. If someone had seen me, he or she—our of curiosity—would have come to ask already!

My baggage bumped and bounced on the stone staircase. I was probably just half way when a horribly familiar voice said behind me, “Hey, need any help?”

I sighed, turning around. “No, thanks, Apollo.”

He cocked his head. “You look like you need some.”

“Nah, it’s just I’m wearing inflexible jeans today.”

He raised an eyebrow, then he grabbed the handle of my baggage from my hand and hoisted the entire baggage up.

“Thank me later,” he said, winking.

via Soil

(featured image by Madame Peripetie)

16. Death of Selene

16. Death of Selene

On our way back to my room, I held a plate of sandwich that Hades had just given me.

“I’m goddess of springtime,” I said to Hades, “while you’re god of the dead. How nice.”

“Why are you so sarcastic?”

“Cause’ I don’t think we’re supposed to get along.” What a lie.

“Why?”

I shook my head, thinking how to answer when there was a loud bang coming from in front of us. My room door was kicked open and Calliope stumbled out, looking horrified and desperate. I ran up to her while shouting “what’s wrong?” Continue reading

15. I Won

15. I Won

I repeated what I had done last time, but now, I was stronger and better at controlling my power, thanks to two months of hardworking. When I had finished growing a pomegranate tree and fruits had grown out, I looked toward Eros triumphantly.

He raised an eyebrow, like my Exam was child play. Nevertheless, he wrote something down on a pad and cleared his throat. Next, he said in a deep voice, unlike the dreamy one he had had:

“I, as your Examiner and a primordial god, announce that you, Persephone, have passed the General Exam of the Olympian Gods. You are now worthy of your title—goddess of springtime.” Continue reading