It is little wonder he refused to heed the man who had kept him trapped, and then, then in the last moments of flight falling into the ocean, knowing his father would live on. Yet it is Icarus, not Daedalus, that has made its way into Western culture, regardless of the Minotaur's Maze.
Do we tell this story again and again marveling at the man who chose to fly so high all the while knowing his structure would not last? Or do we tell this story because so often it is the Daedaluses of the world who live on to tell of the incredible feats and failures of humanity they have witnessed?
Is Icarus story important not because we don't know what he was thinking, feeling and experiencing--but because it was witnessed? Great artistic endeavors thread throughout history a reminder of what happens when a human fights the world too hard--sometimes the pinnacle is captured and humanity falls again, sometimes it is dissolved into nothingness at the peak of absolute completeness.
Icarus is the one flying with me as I write about the intertwined lives of characters. It is Icarus who whispers asking why one must burn and another must witness? What are the consequences of flying too high to the sun? What are the consequences of choosing not to follow and dance too close to the fire? My characters surprise me with what they whisper back. Most, in the end, have the courage, the tragic nobility, to burn instead of watch safely with the ocean air whipping their face with tears.
And it falls to me, another Daedalus in the world, to write it with the rustle of feathers in my ears.