Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sphinx 2011

A sphinx (Greek: Σφίγξ /sphinx, Bœotian: Φίξ /Phix) is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and the head of a human or a cat.
In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman. She is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer her riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster.... a unique demon of destruction and bad luck. Wikepedia, the free encyclopedia.

Its been a tough year.  December particularly rocky:  two days after the death of my father, 27 people were gunned down in Newton, Connecticut, 20 of them young children, only days after a mall shooting in Portland and four months after the Aurora Theater shootings(I thought of my father wondering at the sudden onslaught of young souls). This fall, Sandy made us all aware of the destructive side of global warming. When I opened my Internet browser yesterday, one of the headlines told of the rape and murder of a young Indian woman, a medical student on a bus on her way home from a movie with a male friend. The crime stood out because it was so horrific, not because its unusual for women to be raped and beaten to death.  On a more personal note, I've just "unfriended" a  personable and attractive young relative whose posts are filled with hated and vitriol against President Obama.  Global warming, gun violence,  the abuse of women and political dissonance are all things we have lived with for years, it's just that this year all seem bigger, heavier and more out of control than in years past.

I wonder what our riddle is?  Is it something like, "What has two legs, walks upright and ruins everything it touches?", or perhaps a little more in keeping with the original, "what walks on four legs at dawn, two legs during the day, three legs at dusk and can't seem to understand that its days are limited if it doesn't start behaving in a responsible way?"

1 comment:

  1. As an immigrant, I rarely express my opinions here, because people expect me to accept everything in my adopted culture without question. My upbringing included critical anlysis and debate, learning from others, and respecting the right of "otherness." I am very disappointed about how all the bullies get away with stealing our freedom of expression. Very dangerous development. The UN human responsibilities, that go along with the human rights, are something that should be everybody's required reading. I'm with you. elke

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