6/1/10

Goddess of the Week: Thalia and Melpomene

Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen. Statue of...Image via Wikipedia

Good ol' Cafe Pasadena wonders if there is a goddess of drama. Actually, there are two: Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy and her sister Melpomene, the Greek muse of tragedy. You may know them better as the laughing and weeping masks they are sometimes represented as on old theatres or stage curtains.

I'm sort of cheating here because I know this is not the kind of drama Cafe Pasadena has in mind. Cafe Pasadena is talking about life drama, about the times when everything is a crisis and everyone around you -- including yourself -- is channeling Bette Davis or Elizabeth Taylor or Charleton Heston or anybody else who knows how to make themselves the center of every production. (I personally excel at this. Check it out.)

But it is real life drama, after all, that inspires art. What? You think some comedian just made up the idea of slipping on a banana peel? You think Shakespeare blindly invented Romeo and Juliet? Duh. Everybody knows it was based on Gwynth Paltrow.

Drama happens. You can sink in it or you can transform it into something cathartic, into something that makes you laugh or that makes you cry. This is why art comes next to air, water, food, shelter and basic security among the necessities of life. Art sustains life. Ancient cave dwellers knew it. They didn't draw those buffaloes because they were bored; they drew them because they had no choice. Just like we have no choice. You may not think you're an artist, but you are. It's in your DNA. Every time you thread a needle, make dessert, plant a garden, put together a scrapbook, or do the hundred other things you do that express who you are you channel a muse. Dare I say it: you step into the shoes of a goddess.

Channel these goddesses: when feeling creative, when you've got the need to burst into song, when you feel like you're living a Lifetime movie. Guess what? You are. You just haven't written it yet.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses and the queue is empty so now is the time to claim one. Post a comment telling me the kind of goddess you'd like to hang around with and I'll see what I can do.
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24 comments:

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I've been worrying about putting up a somewhat controversial post but then after viewing you're "dramatic rendition" I'm thinking I've got competition.

I've put Soylent and Green on my net flick list. I've heard it has he most amazing scenes of downtown LA sans the people.

... daisy... said...

Ohhh Cafe Pasadena will be pleased! :-)
Without drama I wouldn't write, without drama I wouldn't feel alive. Thanks again Margaret! I was missing your posts!

... daisy... said...

PS: without drama there would be no movie to inspire me poetry! ;-)))

Margaret said...

PA: Can't wait to see your controversial post. although I can't imagine how I could compete in any way.

Stacey Smith said...

Bwwwwaaaahhhhh. loved your link, yes?

Stacey Smith said...

and let's see. I'm lethargic all the time, or almost all the time and it seems to be how I'm defining myself these days . . . so is there an energizer bunny goddess?

Margaret said...

Stacey: Oh, yes, an energizer bunny goddess! Got it. Oh, and yes, sigh, that was me.

Joanne said...

I like drama on the page, in concert, on the big screen. It's amazing to observe. But wow, life runs smoother when it stays there and doesn't edge into my day to day living! I guess when it does, that's what the writing's for.

pasadenapio said...

Hey, that mask in her hand looks a lot like my ex-husband. Scary!

I need a goddess of procrastination. Or the opposite, I guess.

Daisy said...

Is that really you in the video Margaret? :-D

I have some friends who are very active in local theatre, and outside of the theatre too! For some reason, I don't like to dress up and act. So guess my "art" lies elsewhere.

I love the sentences about art being as essential as food, air, etc. So true.

Shell Sherree said...

My grammar school principal's name was Thalia and she kept her comedic nature well-hidden from us. Better that than turning to drink... I love your clip, Margaret. I've bookmarked it for inspiration when I need to exercise my dramatic side.

Petrea said...

I love your dramatic acting, Margaret! The masks of comedy and tragedy go way back in my psyche, a meme in my family memory, a long story in my life. I'm drawn to Thalia and Melpomene in my work--must have them, one way or another. But having grown up with them I no longer want them in my home.

altadenahiker said...

Ooooo, to wallow in the greats: Ralph Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, John Mills. And...and... Peter O'Toole, who had to be a superb actor to survive that naughty name.

Desiree said...

Wait, can a drama queen do comedy?
The dichotomy, the dichotomy--
sigh--art IS like breathing.
What's the verdict, CP?

Cafe Observer said...

Who the hell is Cafe Pas??
Besides what wood he/she know about drama!

baffled human said...

yes stacey! i'm right there with you on the lethargy... i'm hoping it's my allergies and not a permanent feature...

baffled human said...

margaret, my 'little' brother, 6 ft 1 and 49 yrs old, has been doing that same 'impersonation' for years. i guess CH's anguished delivery just tickles his funny bone or the raw melodrama is just too good to pass up or both.

Jess said...

hmm... how about a goddess when you're dealing with a nosy stepmom who rifles through your house every opportunity she has while the rest of the family uses the swimming pool? Said stepmother was also stealing my dad's (her husband's) pain pills while he was undergoing cancer treatment. Got a goddess for dealing with a person like that?

HaroldM22 said...

Well done!............................................................

HaroldM22 said...

your english is incredible............................................................

政儒 said...

Well done!............................................................

TheChieftess said...

Ok...I think I'm going to be needing some goddess help over the next two months...planning a major move, moving, our traveling vacation smack dab in the middle of the moving month, the hubman changing jobs...lot's of chaos, lot's of stress, and our poor animals freaking out during the process...any goddess good for chaos???

Rois said...

If there still is not a long line how about "How to get Sol/Sunna the Norse goddess of the sun to return."
We have lost most of our garden to the rain,our street keeps flooding and I think the lack of sunshine is causing my brain to turn into a mushroom.

Margaret said...

Thanks to everyone who asked for a goddess. I will find you what you need.

Baffled Human: Funny about your brother. THere is just something so priceless about that.

Pup: I don't know how I made that slip. Sorry.