Alpha to Omega of Our Athens Nostalgia: E is for Equilibrium

Did you take this map with you when you left the cats and went to visit the Acropolis? Were you tempted to draw these diagrams in the dirt alongside the ordered remains of the ancient temple? Did you perhaps glance across from the Parthenon and its stolen marbles to the Erechtheion, lamenting the missing sister as well as the lost column (all of which had been cruelly replaced by casts). Do you know Simone Weil’s essay on Homer’s Iliad? How violence and force has a kind of equilibrium or balance that unites those who inflict suffering and their victims, transforming them both from people into things? Have you read how Weil describes the Greek deity and how the idea of Nemesis controlled this balance as moral retribution? Does your Athens guide or a larger map of Attica show the ruins of the temple to Nemesis at Rhamnous, near Marathon, where there was a statue of the goddess made out of marble brought by the Persians in their hubristic belief that they’d defeat the Greeks? What made you draw the diagram of the balance and fulcrum? Were you inspired by the Archimedes line: δòς που στῶ καὶ κοσμòν κινήσω (Give me a point of leverage and I will move the world)? Does the fact that Weil has drawn the same image on the cover of one of her notebooks surprise you? We can hope.

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