At certain moments I felt that the entire world was turning into stone: a slow petrifaction, more or less advanced depending on people and places but one that spared no aspect of life. It was as if no one could escape the inexorable stare of Medusa. The only hero able to cut off Medusa's head is Perseus, who flies with winged sandals; Perseus, who does not turn his gaze upon the face of the Gorgon but only upon her image reflected in his bronze shield. Thus Perseus comes to my aid even at this moment, just as I too am about to be caught in a vise of stone -which happens every time I try to speak about my own past. Better to let my talk be composed of images from mythology.
To cut off Medusa's head without being turned into stone, Perseus supports himself on the very lightest of things, the winds and the clouds, and fixes his gaze upon what can be revealed only by indirect vision, an image caught in a mirror.
(Italo Calvino, From Six Memos for the Next Millennium
Chapter 1: Lightness)