Horizons in the Mist
This venue, this medium to write as one wills is fascinating to me. It encourages horizons to spread invitingly. It beckons the mind to touch formerly unexplored possibilities and dissolve the mists of uncertainty and confusion around them. It is enticing, and it is daunting. Fascinated as I am, however, I feel as if trying to put on a suit that sits on my frame like I’m wearing a loose version of the skin of someone else.
How do I just wear the damned thing and be done with it? How do I make any needed alterations? Do I- mixing metaphors here- just swagger through this virgin territory or should I be more careful and conservative in my expression? I’m not sure. What is certain is that when I tap dance my fingers across the keyboard, I care less and less about such details- until the tapping stops, and I’m left with the echo of my thoughts.
That being said, here is the venue of my expression: It’s titled Aristomenes X, the latter letter being a convenient stand-in for a rather long surname. Aristomenes is an ancient Greek historic figure and my namesake. He was the leader of a revolt against the Spartan yoke (circa 7th century BCE). The ancient Greek city state of Sparta was populated by a class of warriors, considered undefeatable in those days. They amounted to about ten thousand fighting men who enslaved a population that outnumbered them ten to one.
The Spartans captured Aristomenes and fifty of his comrades after his allies betrayed them, and then promptly threw them all into a pit. Somehow the hero managed to survive the fifty meter fall and escape. He rallied his troops and for all his trouble was betrayed again! Having lost the war, but not his life, my namesake escaped into exile for rest of his days. I mention Aristomenes because, to me, he was a man who lived up to the meaning of his name. That inspires me to feel that I can do the same.
I also like to think that the meaning of the word chosen to refer to one’s person can be a positive influence if one consciously opens to it. I like to think that one’s name can vitalize the bearer, especially in difficult times. That being said, I think it would be presumptuous to assume that just because someone is called something that they are that thing, for better or worse. When life wears me down, however, I like to remember that the name ‘Aristomenes’ is a compound word, from aristos (without flaw) and menos (passion, spirit). I like to remember and hold onto the quality of passion without flaw. I like to keep it in my heart like a powerful light, and feel into that light as if it could cut through life’s stubborn occlusions. Sometimes it feels like it does just that. Sometimes not.
Aristomenes X is founded on the desire of a passionate and moderately opinionated spirit to clarify and work through the mists that veil the horizons of possibility in all manner of issues, themes and topics regarding the human condition. Where these horizons will appear and where they will lead is unclear to me. They are horizons shrouded in mist. This is why I associated this venue of expression to the quality of flawless passion, of aspiration and undaunted drive. A name is, after all, supposed to bless the bearer with its meaning.
Aristomenes is a constant reminder to me of my potential, and Aristomenes X is a constant reminder of the potential that lies latent in this arena of expression. When mist dissolves to reveal an open horizon, the latter may recede as I approach it, but it never withholds its ideal even as it appears to step further away. I don’t have to identify with the word for its meaning and ‘energy’ to fill my soul, nor do I need to be attached to something to honor it, or feel honored by it. I suppose one can call this pride; not the pride of egoistic arrogance, but something more down to earth. It is the humble pride and honor of bearing meaning.
The term “humble pride” was deliberate. In this instance it is intended to denote paradox, and not insufferable contradiction. Aside from the name of the blog, the address given also bears some meaning. This time the meaning is off the top of my head. That being said, I consider it noteworthy. The blog address name is “xparavox“. That x that ended the Aristomenes this time initiates a pesky neologism. Paravox as I use the word carries the meaning of the ability to name things, to bear and express meaning through words. This ability is then applied to what is unfamiliar, different and even- or especially- strange at times. At the very least it points to the ability to put words to possibilities unconventional and difficult to understand.
Just as paradox sustains the meaning of being a contrary (para) presence (doxa), paravox represents the meaning of a contrary voice. Just as paradox points to something that appears false but is in fact true, paravox represent sthe voice or expressive annunciation of an idea that doesn’t make sense in the face of common conception. It appears meaningless yet holds all the meaning a word can hold.
It sounds more than a tad pretentious, but it’s a name and the path to finding this place and all it promises. Aristomenes X reflects the spirit and life of all I aspire to express here, and xparavox marks the spot for contrary views to make sense and perhaps inspire. This is more risky than pretentious. I have to do my best to live up to it or I misrepresent this effort and myself.
It is a reminder to be true to penetrate the mists of confusion that confound many today regarding all that is going on in the world as well as the promises and pitfalls of the human condition. Lies and truth are often so enmeshed across the globe that many are weary with confusion and worse; they are willing to latch on to anything that simplifies their world-view.
I’d like to commit to avoid ranting about personal preferences and names. I want to get on about what really concerns me: Dispelling mists of confusion and despair, and shining some light to show that the days and times to live with meaning are neither out of reach in distant tomorrows nor lost in long gone yesterdays. They are in the here and now. Onward then: horizons beckon and mists taunt, and the path will not define itself!