The Eyes Of Helios

Yesterday at dawn I was standing outside watching and photographing a particularly nice monsoon-season sunrise. As the sun was barely peeking over the Swisshelm Mountains it began to look like two smaller suns, side by side, and this created what I hope was the illusion of a pair of incredibly bright eyes:

Eyes In The Sky

Eyes In The Sky

I noticed a shimmery sound to my left and the form of Eos, Goddess Of The Dawn, materialized next to me.

“Oh, hi, Eos! You startled me!”

“Hey, Larry. I noticed you down here and thought I’d better give you a heads-up. Those really are eyes on the eastern horizon. They belong to Helios, and the big H can be a bit cranky first thing in the morning. If I were you I’d get inside, and take that orange dog with you. Otherwise you might find the gaze of Helios mortally intense!”

“What’s a Greek god doing in the Arizona desert?”

“Oh, he gets around. Hey, I gotta hustle over to the San Pedro Valley. I have some new Anasazi sprites helping set up the sunrise over there and I need to see how they’re doin’. See ya!”

Eos shimmered off into the sky, and I called Dingo and hustled her inside.

Larry

A Celestial Retrospective

lucifer

I’ve been writing for this blog for over ten years. That’s a long time in the often-ephemeral blogging world! My early output, from the spring of 2004 to the spring of 2010, was lost to a hard drive crash — oh, well, that’s what having no back-ups got me!

Faithful commenter Joan Ryan saved many of my early photos and burned them to CDs. I’m still grateful for her gesture!

Since June of 2010 this blog has been hosted at commercial server farms, for a while a free one, but these days I pay for the service. Currently there are over six hundred posts on this blog and thousands of comments. Every now and then I will delve back into older posts. It’s fun to see what was on my mind a few years ago! I woke up early this morning; nothing much was happening on the net, so I began to read a series of posts I wrote just before my fateful move to Arizona. These posts involved meetings with gods and deities of various cultures. I can’t really remember how I got on that subject! It might have been the influence of Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite modern writers. Here are links to those short posts in chronological order; you might find them amusing:

Deity Encounter

Another Talk With Eos

Eos Gets The Blues

Meeting Another Deity

I Meet Atropos

Kokopelli Shows Up

Charon

A Visit From A Snow God

Thor

Loki

Quetzalcoatl

Ares and Eros

An Anomalous Visit From Poseidon

A Visit From God

Oh, No, Not Lucifer!

A Poker Game

Poker, Part Two

The Earth Mother Visits

A Visit From Cronus

The nature of blog posting is such that each new post appears at the “top” of the blog. These posts from 2011 are displayed in backwards or reverse chronological order if you click on the right sidebar link for “Eos Stories”. I restored real chronological order in the above links so that the little tales read sequentially. I hope someone out there enjoys them! I like them, but then I’m biased.

Larry

A Visit From Cronus

I awoke this afternoon after being up most of the night writing. I heard more thunder outside, though it wasn’t raining. Oh, what now?

There was a banging at my back door. I peered out of the door’s window to see who it could be. Another god, evidently.

I let him in. He had a sickle in his hand. An ancient being, the father of Zeus.

“Hi, Larry! I just thought I’d stop by. How are you?”

“I’m fine. So you are still around?”

“Oh, it takes thousands of years for us to fade away. I’ve been hanging out with Eos and she told me about you.”

“So have you been gettin’ it on with Eos?”

I have to admit I was curious.

“Oh, no, she’s a bit young for me!”

“Well, good for you, for not being a dirty old god!”

Cronus laughed and dissipated into the ether.

Larry

The Earth Mother Visits

I do need to get to bed and get some sleep! But a sound was keeping me awake, a sound like river water washing over stones. Then there was a haunting sound, and a female appearance formed before my startled eyes.

I said, “Who are you?!”

A woman appeared gradually before me. She was of medium height, had long dark hair, and was dressed in robes colored in mixed shades of green and brown. She said:

“I’m Mother Nature! I’m surprised that you don’t recognize me!”

“Well, we have never met directly. So why have you come for a visit, really not at a good time for me?”

“Oh, these time zone differences always get me confused! It’s a good time where I come from. I was just wanting to see what was up in the natural world in the Midwest. I thought you would be a good human to ask.”

“Oh, not good, MN! There ain’t much left of what was once here. A lot of intensive agriculture, though. Abundant production of edible animals for omnivores turned into carnivores!”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Perhaps I’ll have to cook up a virus to cause some mass illness! I can do that easily, as I really enjoy mutating viruses and bacteria.”

“Please, MN, keep whatever you concoct away from me!”

She smiled, and said, “Oh, I’ll protect you, Larry! Readers of Thoreau are given a special exemption, at least sometimes. He didn’t get one, I’m sorry to say.”

The goddess left from my kitchen door and ascended into the sky, her robes trailing behind her.

Poker, Part Two

You should read this first:

A Poker Game

I could hear the two deities squabbling in the other room, trying to decide the fates of the recently deceased. It was becoming a bit annoying. I am accustomed to living in a quiet environment.

Then a fight broke out, and I had to go see what I could do. God and Lucifer were wrestling down on the floor.

God was shouting, “No, Sam needs to go to hell!”

Lucifer was saying “But I don’t want him! I despise the guy!”

I pulled the two apart, not an easy task with such powerful deities.

I said, “Hey, you two, am I going to have to make both of you stand in a corner? Enough of this crap! Perhaps you could take the dispute somewhere else?”

The two stood up, both looking ruffled. Lucifer said:

“I’m sorry, Larry, but we aren’t welcomed just anywhere these days. As the Beatles once sang, we will work it out.”

“Okay, just try to keep it down.”

I wished that they would just leave!

“Hey, guys, come see this video. Maybe the Beatles can give you some advice!”

God sneered, but he and Lucifer walked over to my computer monitor. I showed them this classic song, good advice to all of us, both gods and humans:

They watched it. Lucifer said, “I’ll remember this clip to show to some of my unhappy guests!”

Lucifer then remarked, “Those guys look so happy! How nice that they didn’t know the eventual fate of John Lennon.”

I said, “What! There is Youtube in hell?”

Lucifer said, “Well, we have to have something down there to keep them occupied! We don’t need riots, and we can’t afford cable!”

God smiled and said, “I’ve been trying to tell humans this for eons! You atheists are so resistant! I know it isn’t a rational message…”

Then Eos showed up. She said, “Come on guys, come with me, okay? I have a pretty cool sunrise brewing down in Malaysia that you would enjoy!”

I said, “Thanks, Eos!”

She smiled and all three of them took off, ascending into the stratosphere.

Larry

A Poker Game

This morning I heard a weird sound from up in the sky, rather like the whooshing sound a jet makes while coming in for a landing at an airport.

I just had to step outside to see what was going on.

Not a jet at all, it was God and Lucifer descending together.

They materialized on my porch, a chilly place these days, and Lucifer grinned at me.

“Hi, again, Larry! Do you mind if God and I hang out for a while and have a game of Soul Poker?”

“Well, I suppose. I really don’t have a kitchen table or anything. Why here?”

Lucifer said, “No worries there — we play standing up. Why you? You seem to be a non-judgmental host.”

I let them in.

I said, “So what is Soul Poker?”

God said, “It’s the best variant of the game, in my not-humble-at-all opinion. We have chips, each of which represents a recently deceased human’s soul. Like in any poker game, there is a lot of bluffing involved, but the end result is the eternal destination of the souls. It’s really quite fun and diverting!”

Rather strange to see God all amused at the prospect of a game!

I said, “Could I see one of those chips before you start?” I have a curious nature, which has gotten me in trouble now and then.

Lucifer pulled a chip from his pocket and handed it to me.

I examined it. It was made of crudely-formed bronze, about two inches in diameter, and had an embossed depiction of a person’s face on one side.

The other side had the Yin and Yang symbol engraved upon it. Gosh, these gods from various cultures really do intermingle!

I’m really not a game person, and it was unsettling to watch the two gods gamble with peoples’ fates. They are still at it, though! I went back to my computer. I suppose they will leave eventually.

Thanks go to Bev Wigney for the suggestion which inspired this story!

Larry

Oh, No, Not Lucifer!

I was having trouble sleeping tonight. I got up and checked out a couple of web-sites to see what was going on out there.

Then a flash of flame erupted in my kitchen. Oh, what now?

Oh, how strange! A figure from a Doré drawing had appeared before me!

“Oh, why are you in black-and-white? And why are you here?”

Lucifer chuckled and his tail twitched.

“I became fond of the DorĂ© drawing some years ago, and decided to use that one as my aspect when I appear before humans. Why did I come here? Oh, I occasionally visit humans to rattle their cages.”

“Well, while you are here, I have some questions. Why horns? It makes you seem to be a sort of browsing bovine and human hybrid.”

“I use those horns to gut nasty humans and consign them to oblivion when their time has come. A hard job, but somebody has to do it! I’ve had to have the horns replaced several times.”

“You didn’t come here to use them on me, I hope?!”

Lucifer chuckled. He said, “Oh, no, Larry, you are just a person of interest lately in the celestial community!”

Larry

A Visit From God

I was ruminating this afternoon. I’m on the verge of a journey, and I have to decide what to take with me.

Thunder boomed. There was no storm happening — what was going on?!

A white-bearded elderly man appeared before me in my kitchen. He was dressed in faded robes and didn’t look too happy.

“Hi, Larry! I’m just kinda pissed off that you refuse to believe in me!”

“Just give me some real evidence, God! Those miracles and such back in the old days are’t enough. No really believable documentation. I need some photos.”

“Isn’t my presence here enough?”

“Naw, my imagination provides me with all sorts of encounters. You have to do better than that!”

More thunder.

I said, “Thunder isn’t evidence, even when it’s well-timed!”

God faded away, realizing that he had encountered a free-thinker!

Larry

An Anomalous Visit From Poseidon

It’s been a long and lonely Christmas day and evening. A few minutes ago I was getting ready to go to bed; I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow.

Then my kitchen door burst in and a gush of salty water pooled on the floor. I knew it was salt water because a bit of it entered my mouth, which was gaping in astonishment.

A tall dripping man stood before me. He was bearded, and his beard was stained green with algae of some sort. He carried a trident and looked amused at my surprise. I said:

“You must be Poseidon, but what the heck are you doing here so far from the ocean?”

“Oh, every now and then I get bored and swim up the Mississippi, just to see what’s up in your rather peculiar country. Such a young and newly-settled land, from my perspective, at least. I was rather annoyed that you American folks named a missile after me; what hubris!”

I have to say that keeping a conversation going with an ancient deity takes some effort!

I said:

“Well, Poseidon, have you created any new islands lately?” The god has a reputation for doing that from time to time.

“Oh, I always have a few welling up from the deeps. My favorite one was Surtsey, back a few decades ago. So dramatic, and it got good press!”

“I remember that. I was just a kid at the time. By the way, how old are you, anyway?”

“I lost count many thousands of years ago. What does it matter, after all? By my standards, you humans are mayflies.”

“So do any mariners still sacrifice horses to you?”

“No, that custom died out. The ASPCA would get all offended if that still occurred. I do have some good memories of horse blood gushing out from slit throats. Mariners’ wives would gather it in bronze basins and take it home to make into pudding.”

“How interesting! I can imagine the scene vividly.”

“Well, Larry, it has been nice to meet you. I need to swim back down the river and get back into the ocean. I’m due to preside at the birth of a few killer whales!”

The deity left, and I had to mop the floor.

Larry

Ares And Eros

I was sitting here, quietly eating some food I froze last summer, when a loud noise shook the walls of this brick house. I looked up from my bowl of a rice concoction made palatable by a microwave oven. Oh, will these visitations never cease?!

“Well hello, Greek and/or Roman refugees!”, I said, ready for some more celestial talk. The Dictionary Demon came out of my computer case and breathed a bit of fire.

The gods were unfazed. They merely smiled at the reptile. I said, “So, you two are hanging out together these days? It interests me that both of your names have four letters in English. Perhaps the basis of the attraction?”

I offered Eros a T-shirt to put on. She was embarrassing me!

Ares said, “We were getting bored with the god gossip over at the pub, which is not located on your world. Don’t even bother trying to find it, puny mortal!”

“I see you have a wild boar with you. What’s up with that? And do you encourage warfare?”

“The boar is my pet, and he would make short work of your demon — I can see that the reptile is intimidated. No, I don’t encourage warfare, I just sadly watch.”

Ares and I had to intervene as a scuffle erupted between the Demon and the boar.

I said, “Well, nice to meet you two! Come by anytime!”

The two deities faded away…

Larry