Deborah Darling Gray – Artist

Painting/Tempera Paint, Collage, Writer, Teacher

Achilles’ Heel

Achilles' Heel | by Deborah Darling Gray

When Achilles was born his mother, Thetis, intended to make him invulnerable by dipping him into the river Styx. But she was careless and did not see to it that the water covered the part of the foot by which she was holding him. (Yes, you guessed it – the Heel!)

Thetis was one of 50 daughters born to Nereus, (the old man of the sea), and his wife Doris. She had the good or bad fortune, depending on how you look at it, to catch the eye of Zeus, king of all the gods, and thus Achilles was born. So now we have one incredibly powerful kick ass war machine with one tiny problem – the entire opposing army knows that to bring the guy down all you have to do is stick an arrow in his heel.

When Greece declares war on Troy Achilles’ mother Thetis does everything she can to keep him out of the battle to the point of having him dress up like a woman and hide at court. The clever Odysseus, disguised as a peddler, comes to court where he displays ornaments and weaponry. The not so clever Achilles, grabbing the swords and daggers, quickly agrees to head for troy with the greek army.

Battle after battle rages with Achilles being the lean, mean murder machine that he is until finally Paris, the man who stole Helen and started all this trouble, shoots an arrow guided by the sun god Apollo. The arrow strikes Achilles in the one spot where he could be mortally wounded, his heel.

Make way for the Trojan Horse.

Freud visits Troy

From one small part
Of one man’s foot
An entire army drew its victory
From stealth not strength
Charging Priam’s Wall up a sandy beach
They changed their course
Withdrew by boat
And left a horse at the gate
No longer relying on a silly man
Whose vanity left him sulking by the sidelines more often than not
where like most men he drew his strength from his mother’s love

I have no comment on this one other than,
“What’s a mother to do!”