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Lethe, The River of Oblivion




Keisha L Grant



I was born in those waters. I can see it clearly, a picture of my past. In it my mother is lying there in those shallow waters, she is pushing and screaming for me to be let into the world. The pain which was so unbearable in the beginning slows to a stop as those crystal clear waters take their effect. I am born silent in the stillness.


 The beautiful, gentle streams of the river Lethe must have made its way to the earth many centuries ago. Flowing up from hell’s great abyss under the pretense of a normal spring, the river of oblivion was born onto the earth.


 Think for a moment on how we humans would flock to it. They rushed for this miracle water. They realized that beyond the normal bonds of hydrogen and oxygen there lay something deep within the chemistry of this water. It held the ability to eradicate grief, pain and even troubling memories. Soon they noticed that while it stole away their grief it also stole their joy. It fed on pleasure as easily as it did pain, for all emotions were its prey.


Call me Lethe for I am born of those waters. I know nothing of joy, grief, pleasure or pain and apathy is my middle name. Would you be me? You can be but be warned it can not take the bad and leave the good. They are bound together and one can not survive without the other. Only after your soul has known darkness can it interpret the light. Still the choice is yours.


You may come to me without fear of ever being lonely because millions flock to me. All afraid of life, they sit here with me sipping Lethe water well into the night. 


Author's Note: In Greek mythology, Lethe is one of the five rivers that flow through the realm of Hades.  Drinking from the river Lethe referred to as “forgetfulness" or "oblivion" caused complete forgetfulness. 






KEISHA L GRANT shares...

KEISHA GRANT lives in Trinidad where she works as a lab technician. This is her second appearance on SHINE! Her email

Motivation: "I first came across the myth of the river Lethe in Milton's 'Paradise Lost' where I fell in love with the idea of such a substance existing. I kept thinking that its existence could explain so much about the rampant apathy in the world today. This story plays on that idea."