Monday, April 13, 2015

Goddesses in the Dust: Kalliope and the Final Push

Unearthing the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

As one of the nine ancient muses, Kalliope is the inspiration of epic poets and she is always portrayed holding a writing tablet. Now I may not be writing epic poetry, but I am writing a book, and as I head into a June 1st deadline, it sometimes feels like an epic push. 

At a reunion last year, I returned to my high school only to see this neon sign emblazoned on the exterior wall

Somehow, this simple, yet straightforward message speaks to me. When I'm feeling tired or uninspired, I sit down at my desk and begin pounding out the words anyway. Sooner or later, ideas begin to gel when you least  expect them and I file another chapter away. As my former neighbor and late Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov used to say, "I don't wait for the muse to inspire me. I just start writing and hope she will catch up."

Good advice, both Howard and high school. Wish me luck as I zero in on this deadline --- that is, if you can find me behind a mountain of books and papers...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Postcards from the Underworld: Wake Up!

Athens' Psirri neighborhood
Late summer 2014

Monday, March 30, 2015

Goddesses in the Dust: Picasso's Inspiration?

Unearthing the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

I admired this colossal head of Athena, made of Pentelic marble and dating to 29 B.C. - 14 A.D. on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. 

As I gazed at her,  I couldn't help but wonder...

if she might have been an inspiration

 for many of Picasso's famous works? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jerusalem: Crosses, Minarets, Synagogues and Funny Guns

A cityscape punctuated by crosses, synagogues and the green glow of mosque minarets

and a marketplace where toy guns are called 'Funny'...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Goddesses in the Dust: The Virgin Mary's Belt

In a monastery far far away, lies a relic supposedly once belonging to the Virgin Mary, a relic that has healing properties. The story tells us that the day Mary died, the Apostle Thomas went to her tomb only to find it empty. Looking up he saw Mary ascending to heaven; as she floated upwards, she removed her belt and gave it to Thomas. 

Now a couple of different churches profess that they have the authentic belt in their possession, one in Italy and one in Greece. The Greek belt is in Mount Athos, a monastery where women are not allowed - even female animals and insects are prohibited from the premises! 

But the belt from the Virgin, no problem. 

Every so often the belt is taken to different cities where the faithful can see it up close and personal. Some believe the belt, as they do with many holy relics, can cure diseases such as cancer and infertility so hundreds of thousands turn out, as they do here in Moscow, to wait outside the Church

and then line up

to take their turn kissing the holy relic. 

Supposedly the belt was made by Mary herself out of camelhair. It was kept in Jerusalem for many years, then transferred to Constantinople in the 5th century where it was embroidered in gold by Empress Zoe, who was grateful for a miraculous cure she attributed to the garment. It was finally donated to the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos, Greece, in the 14th century where it is stored in this ornate silver reliquary.