Goddess of the Week: Abeona

Unknown woman as Ceres. Marble, Roman artwork,...Image via WikipediaAlexandria needs a goddess. Her son went with a high school group to France, and Air France lost the entire group's luggage! They both need the Roman goddess of travel Abeona.

Abeona started out as a goddess of baby steps. Literally. Her whole job was to help babies learn to walk. But she had to broaden her range because first steps always beget first steps. You know how it is. One day your baby's walking, the next day he's moving into a dorm with a guy named Sven who has a coffee table made out of beer kegs.

What is a mom to do?

Trust in Abeona. Trust that each step faces forward, that each foot holds steady, that each journey that takes us away from home finds us safe and warm and with a full change of clothes. Trust that when we lose our luggage (both physical and metaphorical), we will have the flexibility to adapt and the natural body chemistry not to smell. Finally, trust that the paths we follow change us just enough to open our minds, but not so much that we start dressing like Eurotrash posers.

Channel this goddess: when traveling, when trying something new, when watching people you love step out into the world, when Air France loses your luggage.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining why you need or want a goddess. Check back in a week or two and see what I found you. It's fun! It's free! Why aren't posting already?
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The Partridge FamilyCover of The Partridge Family
So, I was hanging out with my good friend Gretchen Whipple, who, by a strange twist of cosmic fate, I have known practically my whole life. She has four kids, thirteen-year-old Jenny, ten-year-old twins Data and Spock, and two-year-old Jimmy. You have to sort of hate Gretchen because her four kids never fight or whine or pout. They win every award. They win so many awards, in fact, that now their schools have actually started a new category for them: the Whipple. They just give the award to whichever Whipple kid they want, and that way other parents don't get all mad that their kids never win anything. You'd think the Whipple kids would feel rivalry over at least the Whipple award, but they don't! They are just happy to see any Whipple up there winning something, plus they all have so many trophies they really don't care anymore.

Amazing as that is, this isn't even the most amazing thing about the Whipple children. The most amazing thing is that they recently started a rock band, ala the Jonas brothers or the Partridge family. They're called Whipplelash. Jenny plays the bass. Spock the drums, Jimmy and tambourine, and Data is the lead singer. Apparently, it's a little tough sometimes because Jimmy, being two, can't always keep the beat. Plus, he has a lisp so his back up vocals aren't always great, but the kids are so good that Gretchen and her French husband Henri, made this little CD of the kids. Somehow, the CD landed in the hands of some Disney executive who offered them their own TV show. But Jenny thought it would interfere with her advanced math class, so the family turned it down. Plus, they were a little worried that Jimmy would start hanging with the wrong crowd. (Those Disney toddlers are notorious for their "fast" ways.) Data and Spock were the only ones who were disappointed, but they quickly got over it by writing a screenplay that their CAA agent is shopping around.

Anyway, I just love Gretchen, and I love hearing about her perfect kids. Because, really, if you can't feel honest generosity toward your oldest and dearest friends, you must be some sort of a monster.
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Dust Bunny Rebellion

When the Dust Bunnies took over the hallway, I was, admittedly, concerned. It's always been an uneasy truce between us. They know it. I know it. They resent what they see as my imperialist policies. I resent how they identify themselves as indigenous to the land, and, therefore, somehow worthy of the hard-won frontier that I call my living room.

I fight them back with all the technology I can muster, and, as soon as I'm done, they start marshaling their forces. Quietly, unobtrusively, they take over the corners, the spaces behind doors, the breezeways, until, all of the sudden, I realize they have the dog--cursed as she is with short legs--by the throat.

Then the truce is broken once more. I get out Mr. Hoover, and, with all the shock and awe I have at my disposal, I suck the living daylights out of them.

But the tables have turned, my friends. As is so often the case, their David has bested my Goliath. I'm talking about my Vacuum cleaner. I shoved that puppy right under my daughter's bed, and what do you think happened? With a broken, beaten moan, it expelled a burning metalic smell, and then it died.

I looked around me. The dog stood outside the room, too afraid to even lick my foot. As for the children, well, the children barely blinked an eye. Ah, the innocence of youth. Little do they know: One day it will be their dog. One day it will be their Vacuum cleaner. You can build a better vacuum, but the dust bunnies always win, my friend. In the end, the dust bunnies always win.

R.I.P. My Kenmore Power-Mate . You did your best, and that's all anyone can do.


Goddess of the Week: Hathor

Hathor showing her sacred eye inherited from W...Image via WikipediaChieftess wants to know if there is a muse for photography. Funny enough, there isn't a muse for fine art. There's no muse for painting, ceramics, or anything like that. Maybe it's because the goddess Athena had a lock on handicrafts and the muses were too smart to encroach on her turf. The last gal who did that was turned into a spider, which is why I'm not giving The Chieftess Athena. Instead, I'm giving her the Egyptian goddess Hathor.

Hathor was a sacred cow goddess, but don't think she was some shluby hamburger. Hathor was the goddess of love, beauty, music and joy. Photography fits right in there, Chieftess, and let me tell you why. Hathor was sometimes called "the eye of Ra," Ra being the great creator god, and what is a photographer if not the eye of Ra in microcosm. Your eye composes, your eye frames everyday life in new and novel ways that reveal the beauty that has become invisible to us.

As for joy and love, well that's the ultimate payoff isn't it? Most of us don't pursue art because it turns a profit. Most of us pursue it because we love it and, at least some of the time, it provides as much joy as we're likely to find in this world. If you can find a way to make some money, I say go for it, but don't get too wrapped up in that end goal. Goddesses don't usually like that. They're kind of hippie-like in their love of process over product. Instead, remember that it is a privilege to have been given the eye of Ra. Focus on what you gain from seeing, not on what it will get you in the end.

Now, there is still music to contend with. You're thinking, what can a photographer do with a goddess of music? Well, bonus points for you, that's just a totally free prize. Score! So crank up whatever you're listening too. Have fun. Sing out. It'll make you happy.

Channel this goddess: When you need the eye of Ra to keep you from chopping off grandma's forehead, when you are loving the act of creation, when singing in the shower, when, generally, having a fun and joyful time.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found for you. It's fun! It's free! What's stopping you?

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Scout: Dog Poet Extraordinaire

Imagine my surprise when, upon returning from a short vacation, I learned that my own amazing dog Scout was now actually writing haikus! Naturally, I am amazed and proud, however, I am also rather sad. Like many poets, it turns out that Scout has a dark and depressive side, and, of course, one likes to imagine one's dog as perennially happy.

Here are her poems. Judge for yourself their quality and insight into the canine soul.

Doggy Daycare

Lab: Shut the fuck up.
Poodle: Away from the butt.
Soft bed: Miss you. Sniff.

Doggy Daycare II

Pee mark. Smells yellow.
Howling, I cry, "Where are you?"
New pee. Smells like corn.


Goddess of the Week: Calliope

Remember the very exciting blog contest? Remember how there were two lucky winners? Remember how one winner, Bellis, chose chocolate cake and the other winner, Susan, chose a winsome goddess pack? Well, I finally figured out what a winsome goddess packs consists of and am ready to give Susan her goddess. ( Alas, Bellis must wait for her cake a little while longer. Isn't that always the case?)

But let's get back to Susan. Susan wanted a goddess that would help her find time to write. Of course, she needs the Greek goddess Calliope. Technically, Calliope is a muse, and a muse is minor goddess. So she's omnipotent and stuff, but she doesn't get a cool chair on Mount Olympus. (Think of it like high school. The more popular you are, the better lunch spot you have.)

People-wise, muses are much better than major goddesses. Major goddesses sleep with you and leave you with a demi-god to raise all on your own, or they admire your bravery but then decide you're vain and make you go crazy. Thankfully, muses are less dramatic. Muses inspire you. Calliope inspires you to write epic poetry. She inspired Homer to write The Odyssey, and that's been hanging on for a couple thousand years now, so it seems like Calliope can be kind of useful.

So, Susan, for you, I offer Calliope. May she inspire you to write epics (or, whatever). Let me tell you about your prize. As promised, you have everything you need to create your own winsome altar to Calliope. It includes a candle, a framed portrait of Calliope, and a shadow box (see picture). The box is about 6 inches by 6 inches, so it's not that big. It's painted in chalkboard paint so that you can write right on it, and, naturally, you also get your own chalk to write with. How winsome is that!

Need a goddess? I'm fresh out of winsome altars, but I can still find the proper goddess to guide you through your travails. Post a comment letting me know what you need. Then check back in a week or two and see what you got. It's easy! It's free! It's fun! Really, what more do you want? Stop being so difficult.

PS: I'm super behind on reading blogs because my life is in crazy town, but I'll catch up. Give me time. Don't give up on me yet.


Goddess of the Week: Guanyin

Guanyin - St. Louis Art Museum - St. Louis, Mi...Image via WikipediaDeb needs a goddess to help her through a really tough time brought on by her mother's cancer diagnosis. Only one goddess will do: Guanyin, the Chinese Buddhist goddess of compassion and Mercy.

Poor Guanyin. Her father was this totally cruel king, and so she grew surrounding by suffering. One day her dad says to her, "You need to marry this ugly-gross dude over here because he's really rich and powerful and that works for me."

Guanyin's says, "I'll marry him, but only if by doing so my marriage will help solve three problems: the suffering caused by aging, the suffering caused by illness, and the suffering caused by death."

Her dad's like, "What's the fun in marriage if it stops suffering? Put on a white dress. I'm taking you to the temple."

She refuses to marry and eventually guilts her dad into letting her live in a temple. But--Ha-- she only thinks she's guilted her dad out. Her dad has a plan! He tells the nuns to give her the worst work possible and to never let her sleep or rest. Cinderella like, animated baby animals take up her chores. So her dad demands she be executed. Blameless Guanyin takes on her killer's guilt (to spare him) and, now filled with executioner-guy's bad karma, descends to hell, which, in her presence instantly becomes paradise. So obviously the demons running hell don't want her.

She's sent up to Nirvana and is just about to enter when she hears humanity crying out in suffering. She shakes her head and decides to wait at the entrance for the rest of us. Just then, her head explodes and she grows eleven new ones to hear us better. Then her arms explode and she grows 1,000 to hold us better.

Now, we can't all be Guanyin (my one head causes me enough trouble; I can't imagine how I'd torment myself with 11), but we can remember Guanyin's lesson. Suffering is like oxygen. It's the one thing all of us share, and it's not optional. It's part of the E ticket ride that is your life. Our choice isn't to suffer or not to suffer, it's now to respond to the hardships we encounter.

By themselves, copper and tin are soft, so-so looking metals. Combine them and put them in a fire for a long time and you end up with shiny, beautiful, hard--unbreakable--bronze. Leave that bronze out and it develops a gorgeous patina that is always unique. To become like bronze, to become unbreakable and beautiful and ever unique, alas, we must go through the fire. That's what you're doing now, Deb. You're going through the fire. And--hard as it is to believe because you are already lovely and resilient--when you come, you, and your mom, will shine even brighter and stand even taller.

Channel this goddess: When times are time, when every step seems a mile wide, when you need to show a little compassion and mercy to yourself and the people around you.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Check back in a week or two and see what you got! It's fun! It's free! How often can you say that?
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