“Hector Calls Paris to Battle,” Angelica Kauffman, 1775, WikiArt.

Part 2: Lifetimes Measured

“By deeds, lifetimes are measured, men
Women, children, those touched by mercy
And charity, small acts prophets offer,”
Began Dolius to Theon. “Greatest of these
Is listening, words unspoken in pained
Silence, angst of streaming tears. Both
Rooted in flesh, shattered hearts, bones
Equally wounded, perhaps most difficult
To mend.” In silence, Theon listened, self-
Realization, struggles of poor and infirm,
Widows, curse of every spoken tongue.

Continued Dolius, “Sinew binding families,
Mothers and wives struggle during war-
Strife. War will return to homelands, children
Knowing nothing else, save poverty and
Disease, hope unhallowed. Be their mirror
Bright, Theon, reflecting light and love of
Gods. Lead as father to them all, safety of
Distant spruce hills, migrations on foot, by
Oxen cart, faith darkness challenged, body
Food and sleep deprived.”

“Weary flesh beneath stars and moon,
Night solitude will renew, divine guidance
Wing-descending, soul and body restored.
Yet, forget not you are man, trusted beyond
Question. Female companion you will take,
Woman of years and wisdom, one who has
Lost all, still aggrieved, yet in giving finds
Solace. Honours due, deny her not this place,
For she serves in ways you cannot. Look for
Face of light, walking staff, dark hair.”

“Italian Girl’s Head,” John William Godward, 1902, WikiArt.

“These things disclosed because pilgrimage
I cannot make, not in face of thousand
Arrows flying, villages burned, hundreds
Lost. In elder age, my place is here, Theon,
My hermitage refuge-sanctuary, balms
Offered to all, hungry, wounded,” Dolius
Advised. “Thus, dark days are ahead, deeds
Lifetimes are measured and remembered,
Miracles performed, water upwelling from
Stone, honeyed bread from thin air, victories
Small, from wilderness to promised land.”

Concerns since antiquity with relevance today.
Do we take time to listen to friends in their time of need?
By such deeds, lifetimes are measured and remembered.

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