Icarus icon

Not my iconI’m working on an idea for a logo, I mean icon -a personal icon. It could work in a static pose, or animated. Here’s the concept: Icarus.
Icarus escaped from wherever with attached wings but (against his father’s warnings) flew too high/close to the sun and died. What lesson is being taught here? There are plenty of depictions of Icarus faltering, just as the feathers melt off, and then falling. BUT WHAT OF ICARUS SOARING?

I want to portray Icarus sailing skyward, with the exuberance and vitality that drove him to believe he could go beyond his limit. That’s the lesson I’ take from the original story. In pursuing our ambitions, if we are diligent, we all will ultimately reach a height at which we are incompetent. The Peter Principle being perhaps the point. The apex, climax, mortality of flame. Life is, no matter what else, finite. We all die whether close or far from the sun. Instead of the Icarus story being one of warning, perhaps it illustrates the glory of life and mortality.

I’m struggling with several elements of that story right now: vitality, an energy limited by one’s concept of potential and purpose; and as I put writings and creative energy unto the web, competence. And so perhaps Icarus can be a model, to heed no warnings and fly higher. I’d make the animated graphic of Icarus flying toward the sun, the sun always an infinity away.

10 thoughts on “Icarus icon

  1. For inspiration, I would suggest the album “Hejira” by Joni Mitchell.
    “…..like Icarus ascending with beautiful foolish arms…” came to mind
    from the song “Amelia”, but then the entire album is of flight imagery
    in her wonderful, magical way.

  2. Interesting you had the Bookman flying sunward over a decade ago. Whether Richard Bach or Icarus, your real energy is only limited by your accepted limitations. That is “The Secret”

  3. If you don’t like the “other side” of the Icarus story, perhaps consider the Phoenix.

    As icon, the Phoenix allows for recharge and renewal, and returns to fly after every wing melt. The phoenix Icarus NEVER “falls” but regenerates…

  4. Jonah, humor me while I humor Eric! I’m trying to get some advice from him, and perhaps if I can assist in designing his cape, he’ll help my Orphic lyre.

    Say, Jonah, did you formerly work at Bookman some 13 years ago? Wondering if we met. If so – always I enjoyed your counterpart (a retailing pun). If not – thanks for the mirth, head, and heart of your posts.

  5. Nah, 13 years ago I was in Texas. and hadn’t been to colorado yet.

    I did read the Icarus legend before. His father was the architect for the King of Minoa.

    Who had a half bull son, the Minotaur. The public schools kind o Bawdlerized the story and didn’t go into why exactly his son was half bovine.

    But the guy designed the Labyrinth to house the Minotaur, and from time to time threw people in so The Minotaur could eat them. Not a very pleasant group of fellows all in all.

    But Kingy baby, he didn’t want anybody to have the plans to the labyrinth, an unsolvable maze, lest he should escape when thrown in to be Eaten.

    And so had the designer imprisoned in a tower where the only way in or out would be through the labyrinth.

    Ah, well preaching to the choir here.

    But how many people have actually flapped their arms and flew like a bird? I would say exactly none. Yet to try, has been done, to reach for the sun and reaching it, to burn in the fire matching that in your soul, to become with it, one.

    A marriage then, of the fire in oneself, with the greater fire, and to make both to burn the brighter!

  6. Funny, Jonah. Yes, my prose often requires better meter, punctuation, spelling, and often, all new words. In writing circles this is known as “getting sheet faced”. I’ve never been in a writing circle – but I’ve been drawing them for years…

    So you like the burning man versus the flying man avatar? Me too. Heat is inspiring and if it all goes bad you can always find a few wafering friends and make smores of yourself.

    Minotaur? Oh yes… Bull in Amaze is the origin of all myths. Or was that the invention of coffee? History will keep its secrets, but the sunrise tells everything…

    Two votes for Phoenix. One vote for Richard Bach or Perseus. A few suggestions for soundtracks but the humming icon would take us to Eastern religions and difficulty boarding planes.

    (Eric looks for scribe and gets scribbles. Never request an icon in public. They are found in clouds and whispers, underneath fallen temples of change.)

    Keep those lamps trimmed and burning (and vote Phoenix!!)

    – Fez 13

  7. Given the news of today which includes (but is not limited to):

    1. the theft of two of the elemental paintings by Bruegel
    (Earth and Water are now gone from sight, leaving only Fire and Sky),

    2. a Yahoo’s enter-news about cardboard cutout kids slowing traffic in Ohio
    (What we need is cardboard cars, not parental decoy ducks.)

    3. a story from Thighland (misspelling sponsored by DynCorp) about bad cops wearing Hello Kitty badges of shame

    4. a woman who asks for jail time in order to heal her addition to nicotine. (I smoke, but my lawyer is still working with the plee-bargain.)

    5. a slice from the codepinkjournals peace blog about visiting Fort Morgan, near my hometown. Nice. Someone got her some coffee, at least.

    6. a BBC news flash about a zillion) missing firearms (only a 190,000, if that makes you feel any better) shipped by the U.S. Military that are now missing in Iraq

    7. and the more immediate local news that my mother can no longer visit her lifelong doctor due to the clinic’s refusal of Medicare patients because the system is not accountable.

    …I’m a bit tempted to run – but not for office.

    And the system IS NOT accountable.

    Meanwhile I hear Jon Stewart is going to attempt to have most of the upcoming presidential candidates on his show. This should be funny, yet that is what concerns me, and I’m starting to miss Ed Murrow though I really was too young to ever experience journalism.

    Obviously I’m in blog overload mode. Now I’m searching for relevancies like Elvis Costello’s song “Watching The Detectives”. On a Google for the lyrics I see the song is now in part the basis for a new film from the Peace Arch Entertainment Group.

    It’s now the story of a repressed video store owner beseeched by a highly eccentric modern femme fatale. This doesn’t help much, so I find the lyrics from the original song .

    “You think you’re alone until you realize you’re in it
    Now fear is here to stay, love is here for a visit
    They call it instant justice when it’s past the legal limit
    Someone’s scratching at the window, I wonder who is it?
    The detectives come to check if you belong to the parents”

    Yeah, I belong to something all right, but the system is not accountable.

    Oh bloggers, editors, and readers, none of this is probably making any sense. But the truth is – we can’t make sense out of it alone.

    Mother Earth is not just getting warm, she’s in menopause. And Father Time seems to be winding the clock backwards. If we’re going to Dance for Peace, someone be sure to have the band play Waltzing Matilda for me, ok?

    Meanwhile, back to this blog comment…

    For simplicity’s sake (!!) I decided to opt for a side tangent on the theft of the Bruegel artworks, followed by a rest from blogging as balance for the accountant’s ledger.

    Below is a poem by William Carlos Williams. Somehow it seemed the most fitting. It’s called:


    According to Brueghel
    when Icarus fell
    it was spring

    a farmer was ploughing
    his field
    the whole pageantry

    of the year was
    awake tingling

    the edge of the sea
    with itself

    sweating in the sun
    that melted
    the wings’ wax

    off the coast
    there was

    a splash quite unnoticed
    this was
    Icarus drowning

    Of course, Mr. Williams is partly mistaken. Bruegel spelled his name without the “h”. What the H?!? The system is not accountable.

    Until next time, peace to all, and keep me on your Christmas Lisp!

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