|Oh, hi, internet!|
Sooooo, I have a new baby.
And he’s beautiful beyond beautiful.
And he’s rather difficult to take pictures of because he moves around a lot.
Prometheus is a four year old ivory ball python, and a stunning one at that. After a bit of socialization and “training” (I use the term loosely because you can’t really train a snake, more acclimate them to certain situations), he’s going to be my dance partner for live performances. I can’t wait!
Paradise Lost is a longtime obsession of mine, specifically the character Lucifer. William Blake wrote, “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true poet, and of the Devil's party without knowing it.” Anyone who’s read Paradise Lost will tell you that Lucifer is by far the most fleshed out, complex, and compelling character in the entire poem. He shows intellect, self-awareness, and immense personality; far from the two-dimensional paragon of pure evil you would expect. The character Lucifer is the main reason I love Paradise Lost. Though he was driven by envy and spite (brought on by his own self-loathing and mourning for his home), his tempting of Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge freed mankind from living in ignorance. Adam and Eve knew pain, shame, and hunger, yes, but they also had true free will for the first time, intellectual ability, and the freedom to make their own choices. They learned to eat from the land, raise a family, live a human life. Oh, and let’s not forget they also gained sexual pleasure. Um, thank you, Lucifer!
I always found Milton’s overarching theme…aka, Christianity’s stance…on the Adam and Eve story confusing. God and the angels very blatantly state to Adam and Eve that ignorance is bliss, that to follow a tyrant blindly without question (faith) is what is “good.” I’m sorry, but I, like Lucifer in this story, just don’t buy that. Blind faith is nothing but ignorance. It is not something to be admired. You haven’t made an educated decision to devote your life to something if you have nothing but blind faith and fear of reprimand binding you to that decision. And to me, an uneducated devotion is not true devotion. To question, search for answers, come to your own conclusions after rumination and research, those are virtues. Then I would call you devoted to something. You’d have made the conscious, educated choice, rather than simply following how you were raised or what you were told.
For years, I have been fascinated by the idea of Lucifer as a Promethean figure. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a titan who took pity on man. Zeus, king of the gods, kept mankind in complete ignorance, in order to better worship him. Prometheus brought fire to mankind, defying Zeus and the other gods, teaching us vital skills like agriculture and paving the way for civilization. Zeus punished mankind by sending them Pandora and her box of disease, aging, and chaos. He punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and sending an eagle to eat his liver each day, which would grow back in the night.
The stories of Lucifer and Prometheus have many similarities. They are, in all likelihood, the same tale, like Jesus is a rehashing of the archetypal hero story. Prometheus, however, is hailed as a hero, a champion of mankind, a romantic figure whose tragedy we are meant to mourn. Lucifer, on the other end of the spectrum, is cast as an antagonist. There is a lot of debate as to why that is (I think a good deal of it has to do with the fact that ancient Greeks weren’t afraid of their gods being fallible, which they very much were), but the parts they played for mankind in their stories were largely the same. If I were Eve in Paradise Lost, I’d have thanked Lucifer for the gift he had given me, for delivering me from a life of ignorance and servitude. In my life, I question everything, look for my own answers, find my own way. I would never give my heart, mind, or any other part of me to someone blindly, and I don’t believe anyone should.
Wow…this became a literary nerdrant. My bad. What I’m really trying to say is this: I named my snake Prometheus because I absolutely adore the idea of Lucifer as a Promethean figure and what that stands for. I do, however, hate the name Lucifer for a snake. It is overdone, unoriginal, and gives people the wrong idea. I was raised on Greek mythology, and Prometheus is one of my favourite stories. Also, I’m a huge fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was originally titled Frankenstein; Or; The Modern Prometheus due to its Promethean themes and ties to Paradise Lost. Snake = Lucifer = Prometheus = Happy Dee.
And now, to reward you for reading this ridiculousness, here are some very crappy but best attempts at pictures of my sweet creature.
For those of you who just scrolled to the pictures without reading the rant, I love you anyway. ;)
|Fun fact: There's part of a quote|
from Paradise Lost visible
on the wall behind me.
|He's around 1250 grams. Not sure|
how big that is in length.
|In his spooky night light.|
|Be still, my heart.|
Also, just saying, think the snake got screwed over by God, too. I mean, come on, Lucifer possessed him against his will, and God punished him. The fuck, dude?