Sisyphus, for lying, was cursed to continually roll a stone up a Hill only to have it come crashing back to him. It’s where we get the expression “a Sisyphean task” to describe something futile, impossible. But sometimes I wonder... I wonder if maybe, the story of Sisyphus is only half told.
Did Sisyphus speak a kind of truth, only to find that Gods greater than him didn’t like what he had to say? Punishment so swift and harsh. Cruel even. Speaks to the wrath of those wronged. Within that very pantheon we have trickster Gods, liar Gods, but why was Sisyphus alone punished?
I have come to regard myself a teller of truths - no matter how difficult. Sometimes though, that isn’t met with kindness. I’ve discovered that people often simply don’t want the truth. They want omission. They want a kind lie. Or in the instance of abusers - they want silence.
Sometimes telling those truths in the face of opposition is much like rolling that stone up a hill... we push and push hoping to complete the task, only to have some unseen force push it back to us. It comes crashing down like a great weight, and we are branded a liar. An exaggerator. He said she said... that never happened... it wasn’t like that... it’s being blown out of proportion... you just don’t remember it correctly.
Was Sisyphus the first gaslighting victim of myth? What price did he pay for his truth?
What Sisyphus said was that he was powerful. More powerful than even the Gods.
And he was right.
As a mortal man, he wielded a kind of power that even Zeus couldn’t contest - worship. Without our work for them, our worship, the Gods fall from memory - powerless.
He told a kind of truth.
A truth that made the Gods weak, and for that he was branded something other.
No one wants to hear a truth that strips them bare. Exposes some part of them that they prefer unseen. They push those memories down, retell them over time until they become something different. Until the story makes them less weak. Stripping the power from those holding the truth until that truth is nothing but a stone that crushes them with each telling.
I have no final thought. Nothing fixes this.
Just... keep pushing those stones. Maybe one day we will finally tip them over the precipice.