Goddess of the Week: Kali

The Hindu Goddess Kali and God Bhairava in Uni...Image via WikipediaDeb needs a goddess for moving (as in homes). I give her Kali, the Hindu goddess of change.

Kali knows all about moving. Once, some demons decided to build a freeway right through the neighborhood where all the gods lived. It was a really nice neighborhood, very homey and with good public schools and a really vibrant cultural scene. But that didn't mean anything to the demons. They just brought in this supernatural Tantric excavator and started tearing up the street. All the gods got mad and started attacking the demons, and the gods totally would have won except there was this one demon, and whenever someone whacked a body part off of him, each drop of his blood would turn into a clone demon. So it was like demon town.

Kali had been at the mall when all this happened, but she got back in time to see clone demons not only tearing up the streets, but laying asphalt where the Tantric Starbucks used to be. Well, Kali just totally lost it, and she started killing the demons and instantly sucking up all their blood. Finally, she destroyed the demons, and the gods were all, "Hooray! Let's gentrify!"

But Kali was all, "Sorry guys. You can't go backwards. You can only go forwards." She helped them pack up, which was easy for her because she had ten arms. Eventually, they all settled near the beach, which was really much nicer anyway.

Kali reminds us that change is the only constant in life. Our worlds fall apart, we move, we lose people and things and places that we love, and new worlds are created in their stead. Sometime we like the change, and sometimes the change is really, really hard. But we can only go forwards. So here's to new worlds, and here's to new homes. Wherever you are Deb, that will be home, and it will be a good home, because it will glow from the light within you.

Channel this goddess: In times of change, when moving, when you need ten arms to help with packing, when deciding what to keep and what to toss.

Need a Goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see what you got.
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HA HA For You!

Cover of "A Homemade Life: Stories and Re...Cover via AmazonGuess who won Deb's (http://paperturtle.blogspot.com) pass the book contest? Me! Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I won, and you didn't. You know why you didn't win? Because I did! HA! So too bad for you, and hooray for me.

Let me rub it in a bit more. Deb has been participating in this very cool Pass the Book contest. In this case, the book being passed is A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. It's a memoir/cookbook by the creator of the food blog Orangette. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but I have some very sad bananas so I'm planning on making the banana bread. I will report back with my results.

Deb won the book from Beverly, who won it from, Melissa, who won it from Sian (Sian didn't write her blog down in the book so I can't tell you what it is, and I am sorry about that because Pass the Book is a great idea).

When I am done, I have to Pass the Book to someone else. So...who will it be? Just post a comment saying you'd like the book and I'll draw a name out of a hat. Let's give it a week, shall we? I'll draw the name on Sunday, July 31.

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Letter from my good friend Gretchen Whipple

From my good friend Gretchen Whipple, recently returned from her husband's family's estate in France:

Dearest Margaret:

I was running early this morning and I thought of you. I have a slight cold so instead of running my normal 12 miles I decided to run only seven and take a short cut through Lacy Park. It brought back so many memories!

Remember when the girls were toddlers and we used to bring them here? Jenny was always climbing the jungle gyms and singing French folk songs while your kids would try and shove sand down each other's throats. Wow. Good times. And it seems like it was just yesterday!

Now Jenny is in Peru helping a poor family of goat herders. She even crocheted little earmuffs for the goats--you know, it's wintertime there.

I guess I'm just sentimental because Henri, the twins, little Jimmy and I all miss her so much. The twins are writing her a song for her return. It's called "Jenny: Best Sister EVAH!" (EVAH is apparently slang for ever. Kids these days!)

And how are your girls getting along this summer? I bet it's all sunshine and roses at your house, just like it is at ours! Aren't the teen years the absolute best EVAH! Won't you miss them when they are over? Sigh.

Well, I'm off to get a massage and facial. How's that nervous eye tic going? Better yet?

As they say in Peru, muchos besos,



Goddess of the Week: Durga

Dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya depicting Durga...Image via WikipediaElizabeth needs a goddess to help in a crisis. She and her daughter both tested positive for Lyme disease and now her husband has lost his job. She needs Durga, the Indian warrior goddess of female energy and power, who is a symbol of resilience and courage in the face of chaos and hardship.

Even gods face hardship. Once, a demon--Mahishasura--unleashed terror on earth and in heaven. Even the gods couldn't defeat him. Outraged, they combined their divine energy, and a new goddess came into being: Durga. Durga loved the gods, and because she loved them, she decided to save them.

Durga, decided to challenge Mahishasura, but Mahishasura was all, "Phhh, that's just some girl. What can she do to me?" So he just totally laid down in a hammock, relaxed and opened up a snack pack of cardamom farmers.

Durga laughed at his overconfidence, and an earthquake threw him off his hammock and onto the dusty ground. That got Mahishasura's attention. He was all, "You talking to me?"

She said, "Bring it on."

So this epic battle began. He turned into a buffalo. She cut him down with her sword. He changed into a elephant. She sliced off his trunk. He transformed into a lion, a man, anything he could think of. But, always, Durga, whacked him into a million pieces. So he tried being a buffalo once more, and this time he didn't even finish his transformation before she cut his head off destroying him for good.

Durga reminds us that in the face of chaos and terror, all we can do is try to cut through the demons in our path. Durga won not because she was bigger than the Mahishasura, not because she was stronger. She won because she loved the gods enough to care what happened to them. That love and compassion gave her the energy to be courageous and resilient in the face of a constantly changing and unpredictable threat.

The fact is, we all face Mahishasura. We are constantly battered by unpredictable forces beyond our control. They ravage our bodies, our hearts, our souls. They threaten our livelihoods and the safety and well being of the people we love. We may escape them from time to time, but, especially as we get older and as we share more and more of our hearts with others, they always find us. They always will. The best we can do is to be like Durga: to face the challenges in our lives with courage, resilience, compassion and love. Add to that faith, hope, and maybe a sense of humor, and--at the very--least you'll be able to keep your sword sharp. So, you know, demons beware.

Channel this goddess: when life has become turbulent, when feeling overwhelmed, when demons try and eat you for lunch; when you need to sharpen your inner resources.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining why you need or want a goddess. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found you. It's fun! It's free! Come on, you know you want to!

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Margaret Finnegan: Truly Grumpy Reader

I haven't been able to get past page 75 in the last three books I've started. I have tried. Honestly. I swear, I am really not that hard to please. I want compelling characters, a brisk narrative, an interesting story, and little to no blah-blah-blah, boring, boring, boring.

Really, do I ask too much?



Goddess of the Week: The Vily

White horse in fieldImage via WikipediaTony would like a culture clash goddess, a goddess who can help him flow from one cultural continuum to another. I think he needs the Vily, the Eastern European nature goddesses who can change shape to fit any occasion.

The Vily are like many girls you might have known in high school: they travel in packs and are really into good hair. The love to party, and they've been known to give awesome gifts, but watch out. If you step on their toes they might literally dance you to death. So, as always with goddesses, tread lightly.

The really cool thing about the Vily, however, is that they are shape shifters, and isn't that what you need when bridging the cultural divide? As shape shifters, the Vily possess the enviable ability of being infinitely adaptable. They can be whatever they need to be, and, therefore, wherever they go, they feel at home. Spreading your wings biking through Belgium? They can do that. Working the nightshift in police headquarters? Hey, they're totally cool with that too. And here's the kicker: As flexible and adaptable as they are, they are also, always, themselves. They may become the horse, for example, but they are still the horse with the awesome mane and the party girl prance.

The Vily remind us that adaptability and flexibility are keys to authenticity, not barriers to it. Adaptability and flexibility speak to a willingness to step out into the unfamiliar, and only by exploring the unfamiliar can we see beyond the limitations that self, family, nation and culture set for us. Only by exploring the unfamiliar can we begin to wonder who we might be and who we can become.

Channel this goddess: When caught between cultures or navigating between different worlds, when feeling resistant to change, when you just can't find your party girl prance.

Need a goddess: A got goddesses! Post a comment saying what you need or want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found you. It's fun! It's free! Why are you being so resistant about this? Channel some Vily and post already.
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