Twin Flame (3): The Suitors
A Narrative of Queen Penelope and Her Husband Odysseus
© Twin Flame: A Narrative of Queen Penelope of Ithaca and Her Husband Odysseus
Episode 6: The Suitors
Image credit: Penelope. Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1828–1882
Just so Odysseus. Less wine more love making is what we say do we not my love? Forsooth Penelope and on that association I say come here and let’s find our morning succor and then engage me enrage me with this news of suitors.
I already feel the flow of the beast inside but first I will take my wife where we meet on the field of hallowed glory. Yes Odysseus take me now as morning glow gives way to colder noon.
After morning succor the two are newly betrothed and gentle together for some time. Languorous. Odysseus says time for prayer let us approach the peaceful altar together now take my hand arise from this bed and sit upon the pillow next to me as we face this noon day sun. How long we have tarried a-bed my dear yet it is purposeful today as we renew our marriage vows.
Penelope I know already what is to come you have only now to ascribe it on my heart and body. My soul will suffer and I will say Odysseus man Odysseus husband you deserve this and you let your Penelope speak and you do not stop her. You say the serpent tongue you unleash yourself only prevents the truth from piercing the vale of your illusion.
Men are weak creatures Penelope. Make no mistake. You are my strength and I care not who knows this.
Odysseus Penelope exclaims this goes for both of us and we will not say one of us only now my dear. This is not the way of it. There is a deep longing to share forthright communion and how blessed I am with a husband whose knowledge of himself grows stronger with each passing sun.
And you Penelope. What a glorious teacher you are. So loving, so compassionate, so devoted in Earthly service to God. I am enthralled with the bounty God brings to me in the beautiful form of my wife.
By Jove I say we are one and the self-same my love let us do this honest reckoning and slay the beast that has lain between us. Begone beast I say and bring me my wife absolutely.
Yes Odysseus. Now let us rise from our prayer pillows and make our way to the communion table. Let us go out of doors for this and feel the wind on our skin and soak in the rays of the sun as we talk about these matters to discharge.
Penelope leads the way onto the sun soaked veranda overlooking the wild range of unswept land south of Ithaca.
The bumpy pasture evokes a wild green calling and says return to us anon we will be here we will be here. Odysseus and Penelope arrange themselves across the marble table one to each side and Penelope begins.
I said this morning early to dear Philo leave us be a while and do not interrupt and now I fear dear Odysseus you are in need of food and drink. Here is a pitcher of water. Let me pour you a glass are you in need of a meal?
Nay Penelope your conversation will sustain me for a while. We will call for Philo ‘ere long but now begin my sweet I feel a flutter than needs its release.
Begin Penelope begin.
Yes Odysseus. Again the tale I will weave will displease you greatly. Let me begin.
Now while you were away at sea many men fought for my hand. These we called the suitors Odysseus. They believed you dead after a time and I supported these feelings with my work on the funeral shroud I was soon to deliver to Laertes your father.
Laertes said daughter make me this funeral shroud for it has now been too long without my son. When it is complete we will consecrate it and call it Odysseus and bury it in the ground.
He wept violently Odysseus. Soon we will make our way to him. As yet Laertes believes you dead. So I said yes Father and soon it was known across the land that the Queen Penelope was at work on the funeral shroud.
This acted as a call to many men Odysseus and they came from near and far to this very castle and they were unbidden and unwelcomed by me. I said no men I have no interest in your offers of betrothal. Be gone from my sight.
I have only the desire to work on this funeral shroud for my beloved King Odysseus every stitch a memory a monument to my wifely sorrow.
Be gone I said. But Odysseus they would not leave the castle grounds. Well they blamed me they did for three years I withstood these suitors and they said for this defense we will plunder and loot that fool Odysseus in his absence devouring his worldly goods and wealth for his Penelope spins a cunning web and lies.
Looting? Plunder? I am a fool? Outrageous treachery! They would not leave the castle grounds Penelope? charged Odysseus. But what of my men sworn to service to protect you Penelope? To protect my son Telemachus? What of these men? Pray tell me now wife. I am enraged at this violation.
Yes. Odysseus your men sworn to protect me did not stand sentinel. They were lured from their posts by unfaithful maids who intoxicated them with sensual favors and drink. It was an effort designed by your chieftain Antinous.
What? Holy Hera Penelope no! You are telling me that my chieftain Antinous plotted against me to steal my own wife! Where is my sword?
Odysseus, Odysseus please Penelope cried. You must allow me to pursue this line of thought unimpeded by your emotional violence. Remember we slay the serpent’s tongue. Calm. Quiet. This is the beast rising in you already and if you do not calm yourself then all is lost for growth between us.
Yes. Just so Penelope. Just so. Allow me a moment to catch myself and soon I will return to our communion. Odysseus stands and paces the veranda violently for several minutes. He then approaches the communion table sighing deeply. There we are dear Penelope. I am now ready for you to continue. Let me stand. Odysseus has taken up his chalice and finished it, walked out across the wide veranda stones and leaned over the wall with his back towards his wife.
Finally she takes up her tale again and speaks quietly for some minutes with a great sigh he turns slowly back towards her. Penelope — he sighs again — this is hard hard truth for me and I fear what will come next. Antinous was my trusted brother in many a battle you know that. We fought side by side Penelope and I said to him my life now your life Antinous help watch over Penelope and our infant son Telemachus while I am away my brother and we clasped hands and we embraced Penelope. No. Antinous must die for this dishonor against my house.
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