Tuesday, 3 May 2016

"As Old As..."

If you had to write that someone or something was as old as something else, what word or phrase would you use for the comparison? As old as the hills, as time, as Methuselah? (I once heard a work colleague described as "older than God's dog.")

Let me delineate a context. On a forest road, Roman soldiers led by Gratillonius fight brigands called Bacaudae, some of whom escape with a hostage. The Bacauda leader whispers from the brush, "'Roman, listen...'" (Gallicenae, p. 50) and arranges to negotiate. So far, we have:

a forest road;
brigands who might be like Robin Hood's thieves, dressed in green?;
a voice from the brush;
maybe connotations like the Green Man?

The Bacauda leader, Rufinus, is young with green eyes but his spirit "...seemed as old as -" what?

"...as the night wind." (p. 51)

I have already commented on wind as symbolizing gods and magic.

Responses in Lancaster -

Nygel (a Wiccan high priest): "It doesn't resonate for me";
Sheila (wife): "What is old about the night wind?";
Aileen (daughter): "It's good. Sounds like something out of Norse mythology."

1 comment:

David Birr said...

The night wind is as old as air and the division between day and night. It is forever untamed, and in northern parts it may be bitterly, even lethally cold. The night wind carries the howls of wolf packs....

The symbolism here is many-layered. I'm certain LOTS more could be said besides what I cited.

By the way, I own a T-shirt that describes the wearer as "Vetustior Humo" (older than dirt).