The Myth of Orpheus & Eurydice
(Recounted Bill & Ted style….dude)
Once, a radically long time ago, there lived an ancient rock star named Orpheus and man, did he have it made!
Among mortals, no one made music like Orpheus played his ancient string guitar formerly called a lyre. And as if that incredible talent unto itself wasn’t enough, no human voice could ever hope to sing as sweetly and melodically as Orpheus did whenever accompanying himself while playing his other-worldly music.
In Nature’s realm, the birds would fly down from the sky and the largest of deadly beasts would peacefully lay next to each other whenever Orpheus played and sang in the wooded wild. The ancient youth’s musical abilities were so exceptional, Orpheus was often called upon to privately perform for the Gods of Mount Olympus on those special occasions when only the most divine music and heavenly singing would do.
Yep, Orpheus sure did have it made, all right.…until that day when Eurydice died.
What Orpheus possessed in musical talent, his girlfriend, Eurydice matched in the good looks department. Together as the ancient world’s most popular couple, Orpheus and Eurydice had to always add at least 2 hours wherever they went to account for the paparazzi and throngs of adoring fans following every public step the two ancient hotties took. Most gnarly for Eurydice, while taking a stroll in the woods the gorgeous girl stepped on an unforeseen ancient adder which proceeded to bite her heel with its poisonous fangs, rendering her totally lifeless.
“Whoa.” Orpheus said upon being told that his girlfriend had died. “This totally is not how things are supposed to go! I’m like the rock star to the Gods, and stuff, and Eurydice and I were supposed to totally get married upon the completion of my Seven Ancient Wonders World Tour.”
The talented youth could not accept that his life had been forever altered by this unexpected force of change. Refusing to acquiesce to the fact that Eurydice was gone, Orpheus got an idea.
“Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!” Orpheus said aloud to no one in particular. “I’ll figure out a way to get my uber-talented self down to the Underworld and once there, I’ll find the Head Honcho of the place and give him a private concert, mano a mano! He’ll dig my tune-age so much, I’ll guarantee Death Daddy will insist I return to the Land of the Living with my formerly dead girlfriend alive and intact with me!”
Fast forward over Orpheus thumbing his way from one ancient chariot ride after the next and cutting to the impetuous yet controlling youth reaching the border that separates the Lands of the Living and the Dead, The River Styx.
Orpheus was so determined to reach his deathly destination, he made the Ferry Boat Driver of the River Styx, Charon, his biggest silently screaming groupie after tossing off just a few lyre notes. The skeletal steer man was still reeling with groupie delirium when he proceeded to drop Orpheus off at a most secret, special back entrance to the God of the Dead’s palace, allowing the one and only time when a mortal was given VIP access to drop in on He who ruled over all the Underworld, Hades, himself.
Upon seeing Orpheus barging into his private space unannounced, the God of the Dead swore he would have Charon’s head on a platter (if he had one) for showing a mere mortal his private entranceway. Hades was about to back hand the marauding youth smack dab into an earlier-than-scheduled long term stay in the Land of The Dead, when he began to hear,
….the most beautiful music being played.
Music so heart felt, it immediately brought the Lord of the Underworld back to his earlier divine days when he was in a godly boy band with his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon. Orpheus’ purity of tone, fine sense of legato, and smooth string strumming reminded Hades of his godly youth, when he performed his very own self composed slow rock with the most divine of falsettos. If only his big mouthed, blown out “King of the Gods” brother hadn’t insisted on a relentless hard rock format which consisted of Zeus and Poseidon drowning everything out with their full throated, god – like screeching.
Hades was still dabbing a bloody tear from his eye when his ears beheld Orpheus transforming the private concert play list into that most heart felt and emotionally sensitive of rock song genres – the power ballad. To this non-ancient day, the deity of the dead doesn’t even remember his godly self standing up and lighting all 10 of his divine fingers aflame as he sang (and rather flatly at that) the chorus with eyes clamped shut while hugging himself. Upon Orpheus and Hades’ voices ending the piece in relatively semi- sweet harmony, the Lord of the Underworld squealed like a spit roasted pig as he jumped up and down while wildly applauding. Hades then proceeded to offer Orpheus whatever his heart desired, if only he could hear him sing one last encore.
“Cha, no problemo, Death Daddy.” Orpheus smiled. “Encore coming right up just as soon as I have your word I can return to the Land of the Living with my living impaired girlfriend, Eurydice.”
“You drive a hard bargain, kid.” the god of the dead replied. Hades proceeded to then clap his mighty hands together and there, before Orpheus stood the lovely Eurydice with both eyes shut as she gently hovered within a suspended state of existence.
“Toss in an extended version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the girl is yours. But only on one condition.” the deity warned. “Despite your favored status with the gods under no circumstances can a mortal lay their eyes on that which resides in the Land of the Dead. As you journey back, you must forge ahead of the girl and never look back at her until you have reached the light of day in the Land of the Living.”
“Agreed, my flat toned Overlord.” Orpheus joyfully replied before breaking into his best “Just a small town ancient girl….”
But Orpheus didn’t fulfill his part of the agreement.
After reaching the halfway point of their return journey to the Land of the Living, Orpheus began to wonder if Eurydice was even behind him at all, since he couldn’t recall hearing the slightest sound throughout the entire trek back so far.
Not only that, but who did that tone deaf deity think he was telling the greatest mortal musician in all the world what to do?
It was then that Orpheus haughtily assured himself that the god with the serious pitch problem no longer had any influence over his artistically superior self whose performances would never be utilizing any kind of bad back up vocal assistance from here on in.
With that, the talented control freak of a singer with a god sized ego then proceeded to turn around.
Eurydice was right there behind him, but only for a fleeting moment. Orpheus stood frozen in shock as his most babe-alicious of a girlfriend reached out to him with Open Arms as she was violently pulled downwards, back to the Land of the Dead, never to return forevermore.
Orpheus’ tale continues, my good readers, humming further along until his popularity becomes so overpowering, not only are his clothes but the ancient rock star himself end up bing torn to bits (quite literally)!
Even with that said, I ask each of you to look at the ancient singer and his girlfriend as 2 parts which make up one hottie of a reader. In other words, consider Orpheus and Eurydice to be the masculine and feminine sides of your overall personality. View Orpheus as your control freak of a conscious ego and Eurydice to be your subconscious soul and consider the following:
– One must acknowledge the darkness if one is to live in the light, even if it’s only playing air guitar solo for just yourself in a mirror.
– Don’t look back to the past or resume what you’re familiar with or already well versed in. Resist the gnarly urge to control everything by letting go and trusting the workings of the Universe.
And most importantly, the mega-mantra of them all:
– Life never is nor will it ever be fully controllable, bro.
Radically Rock on, modern reader dudes!
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.