An epic metaphor:
"Joy, warm as the joy that shipwrecked sailors feel
when they catch sight of land--Poseidon has struck
their well-rigged ship on the open sea with gale winds
and crushing walls of waves, and only a few escape, swimming,
struggling out of the frothing surf to reach the shore,
their bodies crusted with salt but buoyed up with joy
as they plant their feet on solid ground again,
spared a deathly fate. So joyous now to her
the sight of her husband, vivid in her gaze,
that her white arms, embracing his neck,
would never for a moment let go. . ."
Odyssey, bk.23, lines 262-272
Penelope and Odysseus embrace after 20 years of absence; after wars and storms; after broken ships and conquered beasts; after even doubt of his return. After our discussion of epic metaphors in class I highlighted this passage mentally in my book. Isn't it kind of climactic? Here is Odysseus embracing his wife after 10 years of war, followed by 10 years of being tossed about on the sea and lost on land; After being shipwrecked multiple times and fighting the swells to regain his footing on land, and here comes a metaphor describing Penelope's (his wife) state the past 20 years as being emotionally ship-wrecked--clawing and fighting for air and land. Oh man, I loved it.
Oh, and not to mention the scene of blood and gore that came about 2 books prior as Odysseus, his son, and his cowherder, slaughtered all of Penelope's suitors.
Perhaps my tenderness towards this quote was due to yesterday's CES Fireside by Elder Scott. As is common among CES Firesides the address was centered around marriage. The Odyssey is basically a story about returning home to one's family and doing everything in one's power to get there. I guess I just haven't reached that point in life where I can relate entirely.
Here are some notes from the fireside that I wrote down:
2 Vital Pillars that Support Heavenly Father's Plan:
"The adversary destroys these pillars by promoting promiscuity."
-Make where you live the embodiment of a clean, righteous living.
-Marriage will help you find out who you really are. It is a perfect arena for overcoming all tendency to be selfish. (Remember Matt. 16:25)
-The best way to live life is to seek the will of the Lord as inspired by the Holy Spirit.