Between the devil and the deep blue sea [reissued post, with musical afterword]

This is a revised version of my first article on this website. A friendly fellow author suggested a musical addition, which adds enough to the article that I’m going to reissue it. The revision to the original post is at the end.


Testing ….1..2..3…. Can I create a post in WordPress… This is a post to test posting, will revise when I get the hang of this.

004.08 Odysseus sails past the Cyclops

Odysseus had to navigate between the two destructive forces — a ferocious six-headed sea monster and a downward spiraling maelstrom. If you read the Odyssey and work through the analogy there are similarities to navigating between mania and depression.

In particular I have been interested that Odysseus chose to pass by the six-headed sea monster rather than the soul sucking whirlpool. Most of us diagnosed with bipolar I disorder would in fact choose mania, the six headed sea monster, rather than the living death of the whirlpool of severe depression. Similarly, this suggests that our predilection for mania is something that affects those around us but not necessarily ourselves (or it seems, at least at first).

I would like to flush this idea out into a real post once I get going on this website, but that is the basic idea.

001.2 Odysseus sails between Scylla and Charybdis PS

Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; Greek mythology sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on the Italian side of the strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They were regarded as a sea hazard located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa. According to Homer, Odysseus was forced to choose which monster to confront while passing through the strait; he opted to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool. From: Wikipedia: Between Scylla and Charybdis

001.3 Whirlpool - Wikipedia - The_Corryvreckan_Whirlpool_-_geograph-2404815-by-Walter-Baxter


Dyane, from the WordPress blog Proudly Bipolar, suggested George Harrison’s song in relation to this post. A lighthearted way to add to and to end a “be careful of the deep end” post. His song applies this ambivalent dilemma to former relationships. It is toetapping and funny, but bluesy in the background. My take on “the devil and the deep blue sea” was psychological and archetypal, so this lightens the idea up considerably. Humor is an almost absolute good. Thanks Dyane.

And here are Harrison’s slightly forlorn but good natured lyrics for the song.


One comment

  1. I’m running out the door with Lucy to the redwoods, but your post just popped up & I couldn’t resist taking a moment to let you know I’m I’m thrilled with the redux post & pleased as punch with the George Harrison song, of course.

    Thanks heaps for the shout-out!!! 👍😊

    I’ll return for a proper read and a proper two, maybe even three cents-style comment! 😉


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