Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche, Antonio Canova, 1796

As often happens when I have even a little time to myself, I am thinking about myths and legends. This morning it is the peculiar romance of Cupid (or Eros) and Psyche.  Stories where gods fall in love with mortals are of particular interest to me. 

I love this sculpture, pictured in part, above.  The hands of the figures are so tender, it is amazing to imagine that this was once a piece of featureless marble. The anatomy is soft and beautiful as they caress each other. They are captured in the lips parted moment before a passionate kiss. 

Psyche had the misfortune of being born so beautiful that she made Venus jealous. Making a goddess feel envy is often cause for terrible punishment in these tales. Yet Psyche prevails and even gets to drink ambrosia and become immortal herself. That Cupid falls in love with her because he scratches himself with his own arrow is unfortunate. That Psyche is merely beautiful and not also wise is also a drawback. But It is a mysterious and charming story, full of invisible forces and ardent lovers that insist on having the lights off.

Without love, the world grows old and loses its color. Cupid and Psyche had a child together, the Goddess Volupta, who personifies sensual love and is one of the Three Graces. The gods didn't have that before. It took the human touch to create it. 

What the hell is my point? I'm just rambling, mostly. But in part I harbor a secret wish that I could contain some spark of inner beauty that would cause the divine to look on me favorably and create something of worth in me. Something that is unique in the world and fills it with pleasure and joy.

Instead of God the Father, this is God the Lover, and it is an interesting concept. It would be nice to have an intimate and mutually loving relationship with a god, even a minor one. Most of the time I experience the divine as largely indifferent to the minutiae of my life experience. Wouldn't it be nice to have a kiss of greeting and have God ask, "Honey, how was your day?"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Living Passionately

Image by Paula Scarletta

When I am in good form, and working at the top of my game, I strive always to live passionately. Of course, lately, I have been stunned into silence and even illness by the drama and baggage and heavy feelings surrounding the return of Little A and the short stay of Baby B.

As I sit here drinking water and taking antibiotics and trying to recover from the total shock to my system, I am noticing how down  and low-vibrating this situation has made me feel. I have had zero energy for writing or for making other kinds of art. That spiraled down into a total creative void and finally physical wear and tear. It was like my body just totally went on strike to get me to notice that I had started to live my life in a way that was not going to be consistent with my happiness.

Of course I know that having kids will put a damper on your energy. Especially my kids, because they come from backgrounds that mean they have certain special needs in the parenting department. Well, A does. J has made such progress and I have bonded with him such that he seems easy and the relationship is pretty relaxed most of the time.

I am nowhere near my usual energy level at the moment, but it has forced me to use my time for contemplation. It is going to take me a little bit to rebuild my strength. While I do that I am going to try to remain focused on what really matters, and that is being true to who I really am. Too often I allow the people in the county building tell me how to parent. The fact is that I am a slightly peculiar person and my kids enjoy me more if I can go with it and just be myself.

I'm happier when I am entertaining friends, experiencing and making art, supporting the artists I know, dancing, being in nature, and helping other people. It raises my energy level to do those things. It brings me down to do paperwork, do things out of obligation rather than by choice, and spending time in places that are filled with negative energy and negative people.

I'm not really sure how long we are going to have Little A this time. Things seem pretty uncertain at the moment. But if I am going to enjoy her in her good moments, I need to have enough energy to be awake for it. Little by little, I need to raise the bar for myself and follow those passions where they lead.