During one of my High School English classes, we studied “The Iliad” attributed to Homer. (I STILL have my original copy in one of the footlockers!). I found the book intriguing, and wish today I’d pursued a more traditional, formal educational path. I enjoyed the fact that Mr.Clark challenged our thoughts, and led us to examine them. The Iliad, and several other assignments did that for us.
The Icarian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea) gets its name from the Greek legend of Icarus. And it was Icarus who came to mind during one of my weekly trips across the Salt Flats of Utah. I named the piece simply, “Salt Lake”. The sun, still high above, was reflected on the water’s surface this trip across the flats. And there he was. A man alone, in a rowboat on the Great Salt Lake.
About Icarus. In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of Daedalus who, in escaping from Crete on artificial wings flew too close to the sun. The wax, which had been used to fashion his wings, melted and he fell into the Aegean Sea.
“Literary interpretations” of the Tale of Icarus concluded that the myth communicated the consequences of an overly ambitious person! That there is a price to be paid for lack of self-control. “Too much of anything can be destructive” someone wrote… I’ll leave it to you, to investigate the entire Greek myth.
As I continued work on this piece, I thought of the symbolism of Icarus. The sea? The symbol of life. The sun? The temptation of self-gratification. His wings? The freedom to soar.
I waited to see if the man would wander into the suns reflection as he journeyed on his meaningful adventure…