Had Icarus and his father understood that the dream of a father is not necessarily the dream of the son, the tragedy could have been avoided…
Finally free! We’re ascending high over the ocean. The wings, tied to my arms, I leave that prison’s ties behind. That tangled house that was created by my own entangled wit, it then entangled me. The woolen thread that led the way had bound me there. But now, free as a bird, I am gone.
Why am I now so sad? There is the house with all those corners, secret ways and rooms. My childhood’s place and palace, full of my memories, no other place I can remember. Smaller and smaller now. Why do I have to fly away? Those walls, warm, safe and cool, the house my father built.
Don’t stay behind, my son. The archers of king Minos could still reach you with their bows.
Free again! Soon we will be in Athens, and be safe.
Those archers, are they not my friends, king Minos’ palace guards, playfellows of my childhood, whom I chased through secret corridors, and playing hide and seek? I want to wave to them but those wings and ropes constrain my arms. Those ropes that fix the wings now to my arms, are bonds.
And so I have to leave, bound to these wings, unfree and even like my father’s slave. But let me stay instead. Let me return. Is Crete, is Cnossus not my mother’s land?
But if I return, they will call me a traitor. It is better, then, to stay here. Better I die free near my home then to be a servant far away.
I can see how you suffer. Each day, on my trip, I see so much suffering, but I am too far away. But I could help you. Come near me, let me take those wings away, let me free you from those bonds.
Finally free! Soon we will be home.
But no, don’t fly so high, you are getting too near to the sun. Did you forget…?
(The picture is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1911_Britannica_-_Aegean_-_Cnossus5.png. It does not really depict Icarus and Daedalus, but it is showing fragments of figurines found in Cnossus on Crete, and I found it fitting and more beautyful than most paintings of the story I could find.)
Like Eurydice and Orpheus and Prometheus before, this is another posting inspired by Cesare Pavese‘s book “Dialogues with Leuco“. However, in this one, there is not really a dialogue. That, however, was the problem.
Postscript: Icarus decision to die here comes from the extreme sentimentality of a teenager. Following his father to Athen’s and solving the problem later would have been the wiser choice, but that is how young people sometimes are (and that is what we have to take into account).