Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Who is Sisyphus?

I realise that I have never really explained why this blog is called 'Real life Sisyphus'.

I have always been interested in the ancient Romans and Greeks, particularly ancient Romans. Their time period was filled with hedonistic and awful behaviour, but then the same could be said for today's world too. Apart from its downsides though it's a time period that is in a lot of ways totally different and a lot of ways totally similar to today. People at that time appeared to greatly value knowledge and the pursuit of it. They had people who would spend their time simply gaining as much knowledge as they could. I suppose the existence of slaves means that they would actually have time for such a thing but then again, as a student this is basically how I spend my time too.

Their culture is full of myths and legends, which contain both mythical 'explanations' for how various aspects of nature came about and heroes that everyday people could aspire to. Sisyphus probably comes under neither category, where his story serves to teach a lesson, similar to the fables of today. Sisyphus as a character is referenced in a number of ancient Greek literature as a king who lied too much. His punishment from the gods was to have the task of rolling a huge boulder up a steep hill, where this boulder would never stay at the top of the hill and would instead keep falling down again. Sisyphus was then cursed with the task of struggling with this huge boulder every single day of eternity. They don't really do light punishments in ancient Greek literature, and you could debate as to how truly good those giving the punishments were, but that is the fun of studying the literature.

And so this is why Sisyphus' ordeal reminded me of CFS/ME - a daily struggle that is immense in size. It's a little pessimistic I suppose but this blog is aimed to help people understand more about this illness and many people who are ill will not let on quite how horrible they are feeling as they feel that continually reminding people that yes they are STILL ill bores and annoys people. So please excuse the pessimism, it's for a purpose.

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