Friday, January 21, 2011

You know, Herodotus told us that the fruit of forgetting is all that the Lotophagi eat, that it is sweet and that they also make wine of it. There are a lot of candidates for what the lotus fruit is, exactly, because the Greek word can mean any number of things, but more and more I think that it is all of them. Clovers and persimmons and soporific water-lilies, nettle-trees, thick desert shrubs.

So it would be easy to never make it back out of the land of the lotus eaters, surrounded by hills and meadows and shores filled with something sweetly distracting. Odysseus hauled his sailors off, but I imagine that not one of the men who had tasted the fruit ever really stopped wanting to go back. And I would bet that at least one of the sailors who had been left behind to guard the ship slipped away one day, drawn back to the island by the tales of his companions and the lure of those flowers.

Still, the thing I really want to know is what happened to the Lotophagi, and where to find seeds for all that they grew.

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