Blame my birth country: Cyprus.
Anyone familiar with Cyprus will be aware that it is not just conch-shelled in Greek myth but in many ways it is Greek myth. There isn’t a single town on the island that is without a couple of ancient temples and just as archeologists finish labelling five ruins, another twenty unearth their Chalcolithic heads. And then there’s Aphrodite..yes, yes, she of unpasteurised pleasures more palatably served up as Love and Beauty. The frothy Paphian waves at Petra tou Romiou and her waterfall Baths further up in Akamas, entice lovers, loners and busloads.
However, every three weeks or so, when it was time for Greek Mythology, the class walls collapsed. The boys morphed into hoofed satyrs, the girls, ethereal Nereides and our desks burst into burnished chariots captained by Phoebus. My radish-headed teacher receded into the mists, his voice held hostage by the Harpies, while Homer’s could be heard echoing across Olympus, Delphi, Kouklia and beyond; where golden apples were rolled for the fairest goddess, succulent pomegranate seeds swirled through the seasons, and white-winged horses arched into receiving skies.
Myth bypassed the frenetic highways of my mind and sung to the dancing sands of my soul.
Thus, with each passing year, my book shelves were set alight with even more tales of mighty deities – and mortals undertaking their bidding.
Upon my return to Cyprus as a teenager, I immersed myself in greater mythological reading so it is little wonder I devoured a degree in English Literature in the U.K., trawling the libraries of the University of London for whatever poems and novels featured more gods than humans. After somehow grounding myself enough to graduate, I flew back to live on Apollo’s little lute where I have been teaching English ever since – except sometimes the books boast more grammar than gods.
I hear you ask: So where is that other strand, the one that binds with all these legends to give birth to the DNA of Raw Food Mythology?
Ahh…here it comes, freshly delivered by Hermes…
part 2 next week….