New Year’s Day II

It’s not by choice that on the event of a cold, wet January, I am punished to stay most of the time indoors. However, I view all my photographs taken of various sceneries, during my walks around the perimeter of Vienna’s city boundaries. What a wonderful expansion of a world city lying, like a grand dame in the gentle depression of her chaise longue, surrounded by hills and mountains showing like pearls and emeralds on her luxuriant body. As many artists have painted her, fascinated by her relaxed and yet powerful, radiant pose, from which she grew and prospered to milestones of culture, in continual radiant shapes echoing her heart.

Finally, I have received an USB stick from the USA that collates all the photographs dormant in the memory banks of my computer. Great. Wonderful. For now my work is cut out to omit duplicates. I have no idea how that happened. Besides, my spouse, B, has drawn my attention to Egypt again, with a discovery of a labyrinth from the air. Great! I have known that there was a labyrinth. Herodotus’ report that I read while living in Greece, has finally been verified from doubtful historians, who cast it aside as myth. Super. My novel, ‘Spleen of Love’, written in 2003, had this scenario in the denouement, as a terrorist rocket explodes above the entrance to the labyrinth and opens up the 99 steps down to the wonderful world, ‘… greater than the Pyramids of Giza…’, as Herodotus states, who had visited there in antiquity. Have the Greeks not come across the labyrinth idea in connection with the Minotaur? The ancient sailors from Crete, have certainly been confronted with the idea of the labyrinth, having been trading partners with Egypt. The seeds of palm trees which are seen today near Sitia, at the beach of Vaion, have been brought from Egypt, as the palm tree is not an indigenous tree of Greece. Greeks have enriched their mythology, with the story of Perseus, who, in order to slay the monster, offered himself as a sacrificial lamb to be eaten by the infamous bull headed Minotaur, who was put away into a maze, designed by antiquity’s famous inventor, Daedalus. The maze offered a refuge to the bull-man, but although he was condemned from the public eye of the Cretans, Athens had to send annually six sacrificial young man and women as tribute to the cruel king Minos. The famous thread of Ariadne saved Perseus, who could slaughter the human flesh-eater Minotaur and find his way back and out of the intricacies of the maze.

Finally the myth of the labyrinth has been unraveled with a team of American archeologists recently, who had scanned the area of the Fayum and found the footprints of it below the desert sand operating from a plane. The Cretans therefore had brought in the idea of the labyrinth. If they had built one below the palace of Knossos, might still have to be verified. However, the Greeks might have only detected it, once the powers of Minos had faded and they could conquer Crete and take the island under their jurisdiction. All in all a fascinating faction, as we have seen in the immediate past, when more and more excavations reveal the truth about the origins of Mediterranean culture that rests on the interaction with the ancient Egyptian culture.