Longing for completion

“They sing of Leto
with her lovely ankles,
how she gave birth
to the best of children
of all the gods,
in what they say
and do.”
Hymn to Artemis, trans. Jules Cashford

This sculpture lives at the archaeological museum on Delos and, according to the placard at its base, depicts Leto. Her ankles are covered by her dress, if anyone is wondering 🙂

As with the Homeric Hymns, Sappho’s fragments, and so much else from antiquity, the sculpture’s missing parts invite curiosity and longing for completion. Since that will likely remain elusive, the sculpture insists that we find meaning in the search for its truth rather than the fulfillment.

Because it brings this home in such a visceral, immediate way, I tend to think of sculpture as my favorite medium. What is yours?

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