I am older than your dreams.
Older than the words you utter.
I keep the planets and the stars along the paths they follow.
Zeus knew enough to take me in love, and I was wise enough to conceive, with him, my nine daughters. The King of the Sky Gods, fierce and thunder-hurling, bowed to my age, my wisdom, and my indispensability. For without me, Zeus understood that Chaos would have no form, and formless, it would swallow ordered Olympus whole.
I am Mnemosyne. Moon-housed as my name implies, I carry memory in the soaring heavens of your world and in the dark recesses of your mind. I guide your life in the ebb and flow of thoughts and breath, in the timbre of your songs, and in the shape of the art you make.
I am always in your past, never leave your present, and make your future possible.
I am in the words you use for measure, for mind, for wisdom, for remembrance and forgetfulness.
And in the female of the species, I am recorded in the world of her body’s cycle – her body’s clock – itself a memory of the inevitable progression of moon-cycled time.
Muses, you call my daughters, some call them Mneiai. For springing from my loins, they are fragments of myself. Each carries within her the Mother Memory who fuels the arts and sciences, over which they preside. They come to you through life-giving streams, waters of your subconscious inner being, stirring thoughts that rise like tides and leave treasures on your conscious shores.
I am Mnemosyne, the one who inspires memory in creatures small and great.
I am Primal Memory, lying hushed within your core.
I am All Consciousness, Collective and Inspired, the root of Origins and Matter, Time and Space and the continuum of life.
I am the Anima Mundi.
Seek me and you will find eternal truths in dreams.
I am all Memory, and Memory, like Meaning, is always on the move, its permutations and perambulations endless.
And though without me you would know no words, sing no songs, render no meanings, you’ve raised few temples to my glory. Perhaps because, stone temples are mere reminders to worship gods who are soon forgotten by the men who build them. Perhaps because you know that I lay truer foundations in the human spirit.
My temple precinct is the labyrinth of the mind and the cells and sinews of the body. I’m worshipped every minute by every living creature on the earth. Mind, and heart, and intellect bow down to me each day.
Of all the gods, I am the true immortal.
A Titan, I rise beyond the stars into infinity.
I am Mnemosyne.
You’ve found a niche of my vast domain.
I promise many gifts and an embarrassment of riches.
You can explore more ancient mythology with Helen Noakes at her short play, Andromeda, premiering October 8th at the SF Olympians festival in San Francisco, California.
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