Author: thehouseofvines

all things move and nothing remains still


I was rereading the honey, castration and aischrorrêmosunai portion of my piece on the Priapic mysteries when something about this passage from Plato caught my eye.

Take that which we call ousia (reality, essence); some people call it essia, and still others ôsia. First, then, in connection with the second of these forms, it is reasonable that the essence of things be called Hestia; and moreover, because we ourselves say of that which partakes of reality ‘it is’ (estin), the name Hestia would be correct in this connection also; for apparently we also called ousia (reality) essia in ancient times. And besides, if you consider it in connection with sacrifices, you would come to the conclusion that those who established them understood the name in that way; for those who called the essence of things essia would naturally sacrifice to Hestia first of all the Gods. Those on the other hand, who say ôsia would agree, well enough with Herakleitos that all things move and nothing remains still. So they would say the cause and ruler of things was the pushing power (ôthoun), wherefore it had been rightly named ôsia. (Kratylos 400d – 401b)

Two things, actually. 

Esia is what the Etruscans called Ariadne.

And I’ve bolded the other. 

“Only one answer, and it is this: the heart,” said the Queen.


From Neil Gaiman’s short story The Return of the Thin White Duke:

The Duke contemplated losing his head to this woman, and found the prospect less disturbing than he would have expected.

A wind blew through the garden of dead flowers, and the Duke was put in mind of perfumed ghosts.

“Would you like to know the answer?” she asked.

“Answers,” he said. “Surely.”

“Only one answer, and it is this: the heart,” said the Queen. “The heart is greater than the universe, for it can find pity in it for everything in the universe, and the universe itself can feel no pity. The heart is greater than a King, because a heart can know a King for what he is, and still love him. And once you give your heart, you cannot take it back.”

“I said a kiss,” said the Duke.

“It was not as wrong as the other answers,” she told him. The wind gusted higher and wilder and for a heartbeat the air was filled with dead petals. Then the wind was gone as suddenly as it appeared, and the broken petals fell to the floor.