I have vivid memories of the autumn Tristeria – almost two years past – which left me with a sense of dissatisfaction that I cannot place. I wonder if my love for Dionysus has grown too strong. The allure of the youth has power to move me beyond my present confines and I am drawn to follow him in a way that would be irresistible were it not for my oaths to Apollo.
Whether I might share in Dionysus’ gift of eternal life without sacrificing my first allegiance to the Sun-King is a matter that occupies my mind greatly, most often when darkness falls. I cannot safely confide these thoughts to anyone, for if I do not remain true to Apollo and above the temptations of passion, then none will have faith and his rule shall end.
It is my dreams that sustain me. On nights such as this – warm and heady with the thick scent of Datura – my longing for adventure brings the dolphin to Psyche’s realm; I join him as he shoots like an arrow through the deep, swelling sea.
I am of course able to direct the course of my dreams. It is a skill that is cultivated in whomsoever holds this office, and it is upon this that the world’s most powerful men place extraordinary value.
I spread my heavy hair about the fleecy headrest and – with my hands still entwined in the golden threads – I gaze at the glittering constellation engraved above me. It is of the sun-seeker Orion, beloved of the Moon-Queen Artemis. Her love holds him there in perpetuity.
Tonight I shall dream of the huntress in the sky, who raised her bow at Apollo’s behest and claimed the life of her lover unawares. In this way i will learn from her the art of subjugating the crackling fires of desire, by which I shall make the love of my own life immortal.