More Greek Myth.
Helen at Her Spinning
I drop the spindle, guiding the thread of while wool as it pulls out of the distaff, then carefully wrap it up around the spindle’s staff. Whirling and twirling, it’s almost mindless work, but pleasant. Drop, twirl, pick up, wrap. Children of the household play in the sun in the courtyard, small children’s games of chase and and ball. Their mother, anxious to please, keep them away from me, afraid of disturbing me in my work.
I would like to be disturbed. But only a little.
I think of my youth, and my desire for something more than the woman’s quarters, the women’s rites, the women’s work. How eager I was to be disturbed then, and when Paris came, with his smile and his tales and his flashing eyes, I could see the ocean, and the exotic lands beyond, and adventure. When Menelaus was called away, and he touched my hand, and whispered in my ear, my heart beat in my ears, and I was lost.
Funny, how after he carried me off, and the world was turned upside down, I spent my days in the women’s quarters, spinning endless yards of wool and linen, and watched as the armies fought and hopes died. I thought of death, but the wool kept me bound.
If only they had let me ride, or sail or anything but sit here and spin and weave. Who knows how the world might have been different?