[…] The five men were left speechless. They weren’t used to be offended in such a direct manner and, on top of that, by a woman.
Athena continued:“Think about it, you great heroes. Without the help and support of your wives and friends you wouldn’t have come so far. And if your suffering which came along with your deeds are admirable is very debatable. Also, your opponents gained fame, sometimes even more and longer-lasting than you. Don’t only speak about yourselves. Don’t let yourselves be induced to put yourselves in the spotlight. The actually admirable ones are your wife, Odysseus, the patient Penelope who loyally waited twenty years for you; or your mother, Achilles, who loved you so much that she tried to immortalize you to protect you; or Ariadne who helped you, Theseus, even if she knew that it was incredibly dangerous. It’s not only those who stand in the front line and fight merciless. Often, it’s also those who stand behind them. Who love them, who support them and who give them a reason to do all this in the first place.”
Odysseus lifted himself from his chair, knelt down in front of the godlike maid and promised:“Never again will I ever let myself be induced to only put the brightest light on me and only praise myself. The light should be given off to and radiate my loved ones, my friends, my helpers and supporters who have created and lit the light at all. Everyone who feels addressed take a candle!”
Odysseus took a torch – the other four heroes followed his example –, walked around the hall and inflamed the candles of his loved ones, his friends, his helpers and his supporters. Of everyone who made his light shine so bright.
The whole room was as bright as day. Everything and everyone was aglow.
© Jette Lübeck 2023-01-09