Consider Sisyphus, brushing the dust across his bruised ribs, sighing curselessly as Zeus’s impossible rock thumps again down that clay hill in Corinth. Imagine how the old king takes his time coming down to meet the stone, how the rock must wait while he, without worry, may keep to a gentle descent, even pausing when appropriate to lookout below. Think of the view from the top: the whole world pressed into flatiron plains. There, below are the bluegrass fields where in early October boys run wind sprints past the line between the swing-gate and shed, where cleats catch mud in solemn ritual, and where young rushing bodies smash young rushing bodies and footballs are tucked underarm. There, even farther, is the hill that you and I used ascend every day in autumn, attempting to catch sight of eggs hatching in the chickadees’ nest; and there are the tracks, ridged over lopped stems from the mower that one day minced grass with eggshells. The ridgelines are still there, you’ll see; rain pours through them like slag.
To prove himself at hero, an Athenian champion once came to Corinth and successfully pushed a boulder up the Sicyonian hill. Only when the rock balanced in place, the Corinthians laughed. To them, the only thing the champion had proven was that the gods didn’t believe he was worthy of being pushed back. Keep an eye out for champions, kid. But most of all, pay attention to the way the break-winds unearth the shrub-root and the slugger Sisyphus, who is feeling quite good: the tall mound diminishes behind without surcease, the stadium lights warm on his shoulders — rushing 282 yards, and after today’s work it’s 317. Oh, hell, who gives a damn that he must lift the boulder again from the start? He carries like a champ, and gets to spend half his life walking down mountains.
So for chrissake, kid, listen: Nice grab today on that skinny post.
By Noah Pisner ’14
Illustration by Kiara Barrow ’16