I found Apollon through Classical Music

Of the Twelve Olympians, Apollon is the one that I had the most trouble finding. I have always related more to his twin sister, Artemis, and although I feel we would understand each other quite well I’ve never seemed to connect with him.

Not that I didn’t try. I looked for him in ancient writings and I looked for him in nature; but wherever I called to him, he remained silent. So I gave up looking. I focused on other Gods instead, telling myself that Apollon would find me when the time was right.

I prayed to Zeus and made offerings to Demeter and kindled Hestia’s fire, and I ran barefoot in the forest feeling Artemis’s spirit billow around me. I read the Iliad and Hesiod’s Works and Days. And I went on with my life.

Then one day, a friend of mine sat down at her piano, and she started to play the first few notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. And the world seemed to stop.

Suddenly I was no longer in her little wooden house in the New Zealand countryside, I wasn’t even in New Zealand – I was back in Switzerland, in my best friend’s apartment overlooking the lake, and he was playing the Moonlight Sonata on a piano that was slightly out of tune. And then I was in the concert hall of the conservatoire, seeing him play once again, flicking his long brown hair out of his face and hiding a smile when he saw I had come to watch.

Then the tune switched to the Ave Maria, and I was standing next to his piano and singing the prayer to a saint neither of us believed in. But it didn’t matter, because we were doing it together.

Tears streaming down my cheeks, I left the room and didn’t come out until the music stopped. But something was pulling inside me.

One week later, I couldn’t resist the call any longer and opened up my music library. There it was, as obvious as ever. I listened to one song after another, from symphony to symphony and concerto to concerto, each bringing back memories I didn’t even know I had. There I was learning to play the Ode to Joy on the recorder, and there I was discussing Brahms and Schubert in music class; there, performing Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, and there, going to see Tchaikovsky’s ballets with my friends. No matter the time in my life, I was always accompanied by the tune of some classical composer.

But most striking of all was an image that didn’t come from memory at all. It was the image of a young man with golden hair, sitting on a grassy hill, his fingers plucking the strings of a lyre. A smile danced on his lips. He was laughing at me.

And I laughed as well, because it was obvious. I had been looking in all the wrong places. Apollon had been there all along.

He had always been there, in the music in my soul.


About Artemisia

Lighting stars in the sky and skipping stones across the Styx.
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One Response to I found Apollon through Classical Music

  1. Pingback: History’s Oldest Songs: What did Ancient Music sound like? | Artemisia Astraiê

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