Goddess of the Week: Nu Kua

What does woman want?  Perhaps Freud didn't know, but it seems pretty clear to me.  She wants balance.  She wants meaningful work, a happy family, a good social life and a satisfying relationship with her significant other.  She wants time for exercise and a healthy diet, down time, free time, me time, sleep time, oh, and also an appointment with a good hairdresser.  

Is that really too much to ask?

If you are seeking balance in your life, then the goddess for you is the Chinese goddess Nu Kua.  When the monster Gong Gong flooded the world and threw everything into chaos, Nu Kua set everything right.  She re-created the balanced order of sky and sea, mountain and valley, life and death, yin and yang.  And guess what?  Just when she got it cleaned up, some other stupid monster caused an avalanche and an earthquake.  What did Nu Kua do?  She CLEANED IT UP AGAIN!  She's still cleaning up.  

Believe me, balance is no easy task.  If balance was easy there would not be an Olympic sport dedicated to that skinny little beam gymnasts cartwheel on.  Finding balance is hard, hard work.  Keeping balance is even harder.  It's like a mother trying to keep her living room clean.  Forget about it.  One minute it's straightened and the next it's been claimed by small plastic animals with bobble heads and big eyes.  Or as Nu Kua would say, it's like keeping the planet neat and tidy.  One minute everyone's happy and the next minute you're cleaning up after a flood.

The truth is, the truth that Nu Kua and her endless battle with chaos suggests, is that life is like your living room.  You can only keep it organized for small amounts of time.  Then monsters and children turn it asunder.  If you try to keep it clean, if you try to keep things in balance, you will fail.  The best you can do is relish in the chaos.  Join its flow.  Don't dwell on when things were nice and neat.  Don't aspire to the day they'll be tidy once again.  Relish in the chaos.  Relish in its mess.  Life is messy.  Chaos means you're alive.

Channel this goddess: when your life feels out of balance; when there is too much you want to do and you don't know how to do it all; when you feel like you're being pulled in a thousand directions.  

Susan: this one's for you.


Susan C said...

Thanks, Margaret.

"Relish the chaos." I need to think about this one. I know the living room is a metaphor for bigger, messier things in life. It's a good one. Makes me think a lot about futility and frustration, control and letting go.

And I wonder if life is like a toddler who obsesses on one food at a time? I was a nervous mom and asked my pediatrician about this ("She will eat nothing but green beans for a week. Followed by a week of string cheese.") Her advice? Don't worry. It all balances out over time.

altadenahiker said...

I want to see Susan's messy livingroom. When bacon strips fly.

Cafe Observer said...

I want to know from MF where I can get some baked penne pasta with sausage. And, tasty enuf for a canine.
Then, I want to ck KB's bedroom to see if she's still using Raphael Nadal's posters as wall paper.

pasadenaadjacent said...

After reading your post I was reminded of a popular feminist (photo/text) artist by the name of Barbara Kruger. She had a piece depicting a black and white photo of a hotel maid followed by the accompanying text "It's a small world but not if you have to clean it"

My living room looks like a bomb was dropped on it. The dust is so thick I've taken to writing "do something" in it. I doubt Susan can say the same. I hope not.

Shell Sherree said...

I need to think on the 'chaos relishing' too. The fact that I need to think on it probably means I should embrace it... like all of those inscrutable Yoda-type things.

Jean Spitzer said...

I feel so sorry for Nu Kua that I have trouble reading this post. Susan, I think you're on to something about balance "over time." I got exhausted reading about everything the modern woman wants, all at once.

Susan Carrier & said...

OK My living room is almost always company-ready, but that's because it's an old-fashioned room that is rarely used. Very little living happens in the living room.

I will have to expose the other messier rooms in my house and life. Chaos abounds.

Lynne said...

I believe I am partly responsible for the small plastic animals with bobble heads and big eyes. I bet they really hurt if you step on them.

Desiree said...

A goddess for out times. Are you supposed to place a couple of ritalin on her altar?

Love this post

Margaret said...

Susan: By relish the chaos, I mean be grateful for a full life, although, of course, Nu Kua would also probably agree that there is a difference between full and stressfully overwhelming. In the later case, maybe the solution is less balance than weeding the garden, as it were.

AH: Poor Susan. We all know her house is so neat. She can't fool any of us, and she says later that she has other messy rooms, but I don't believe it for a minute. (We love you anyway, Susan).

CO: Why Bec's blog has a great recipe for Penne, of course.

PA: I don't have to write in my dust because my children do that for me. It's quite demoralizing. Sigh.

Shell: Happy you are relishing chaos, Hmmm?

Jean: I don't think Nu Kua would want you to feel sorry for her. She knows that messes are inevitable, just like change.

Lynne: You are partly responsible, but only partly. Luckily, no bobble head-related injuries to report.

Dez: No Ritalin. Just the opposite. Disorder reigns. Go with the flow.

Petrea said...

I hope Susan will share her goddess with me. I'm going to take Nu Kua to my garage and see what she can do.

altadenahiker said...

Did you channel Thor today?

Margaret said...

Petrea: You can take Nu Kua, but you might be better off with a shop vac.

AH: Yes. I was channeling Thor. I am personally responsible for the weather.

Shawna said...


If only chaos didn't feel so completely overwhelming and tiresome most days!

I'm going into finals week, trying to figure out all of the study abroad deadlines, attempting to find something to do work-wise for a month or so before I leave, not to mention moving out of my apartment, so I'm hoping I find some balance soon!

Shawna's Study Abroad

Margaret said...

Hi Shawna: Oh my yes. Just add being a student to the list. That's a lot of things to try and balance. Good luck finding it; good luck with your study abroad details. I hope it all works out. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I hope we'll hear from you again.

JCK said...

I'm wondering if Nu Kua comes in a buddha type shape that I can look at and fondle? Because I'm needing the BALANCE goddess...oh, just about every day.

J&D said...





Star said...

"Life is messy. Chaos means you're alive." When did my adorable husband show you my desk???