Since I didn’t go rambling on about Greek mythology for the letter ‘G’ in my alphabetical posts, I’m sharing another one of my favorite mythological beings for the letter ‘H’: the dryad—specifically the hamadryad.
Dryads are nymphs that live in trees. Tree spirits. Hamadryads are bonded to a tree and live and die with their tree. There are many types of dryads.
This artwork represents one of the eight daughters of Hamadryas: Aigeiros, whose tree is the black poplar. It was done in honor of a dear friend of mine who taught me about the beautiful and loyal souls of trees.
I created artwork for the letter ‘F’ this week. My inspiration is taken from Aeschylus’ Eumenides (you can read it at that link)—also known as the Furies.
From Wikipedia: In Greek mythology the Erinyes (Ἐρινύες, pl. of Ἐρινύς, Erinys; literally “the avengers”) from Greek ἐρίνειν ” pursue, persecute”—sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses” (Greek χθόνιαι θεαί)—were female chthonic deities of vengeance.
Erinyes corresponds to the Furies or Dirae in Roman mythology.
My inspiration isn’t exactly random. I’d recently been thinking of a performance I’d recorded off PBS over twenty years ago (with a VCR—remember those?). It was Sir Peter Hall’s version: Aeschylus: The Oresteia, performed at Britain’s Royal National Theatre. Done with masks, piercing notes, chanting and lyrics, it stuck in my mind. As a theatre major later, I always thought, “Oh hey, we should do a Greek tragedy with MASKS!” but it never happened.
All the same, the part with the Furies always stuck with me the most. Sometimes we can feel like we’re being pursued by our mistakes (although most of us don’t have murder on our hands). In Sir Peter Hall’s version, the Furies had red hair and gaping mouths. Bit scary! My version is more on the lovely side—but don’t be fooled: she has fangs beyond those lips. *grins* Then, don’t we all?
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Sometimes the wish is real. In my case, that author is Natania Barron.
I’m biased, being linked to her through possibly a few lifetimes of friendship… but her book is delightful, full of wonder, and charged with characters worth meeting. If you’re looking for a new book to lose yourself in―this is the one.
Pilgrim of the Sky ~ a novel by Natania Barron