Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Muse Who Came to Stay, by Erica Jong

The Muse Who Came to Stay

You were the first muse who came to stay.
The others began and ended with a wish,
or a glance or a kiss between stanzas;
the others strode away in the pointed boots of their fear

or were kicked out by the stiletto heels of mine,
or merely padded away in bare feet
when the ground was too hard or cold
or as hot as white sand baked under the noonday sun.

But you flew in on the wings of your smile,
powered by the engine of your cock,
driven by your lonely pumping heart,
rooted by your arteries to mine.

We became a tree with a double apical point,
reaching equally toward what some call heaven,
singing in the wind with our branches,
sharing sap and syrup,
which makes the tree grow thick.

We are seeding the ground with poems and children.
We are the stuff of books and new-grown forests.
We are renewing the earth with our roots,
the air with our pure oxygen songs,
the nearby seas with leaves we lose
only to grow the greener ones again.

I used to leap from tree to tree,
speaking glibly of Druids,
thinking of myself a latter-day dryad,
or a wood nymph from the stony city,
or some other chimerical creature,
conjured in my cheating poet's heart.

But now I stay, knowing the muse is mine,
knowing no books will banish him
and no off-key songs will drive him away.

I being and begin; I whistle in and out of tune.
If the ending is near, I do not think of it.
If the drought comes, we will make our own rain.
If the muse is grounded, I will make him fly,
and if he falls, I will catch him in my arms
until he flies with me again.

-Erica Jong
Old photo, I believe is by Duffy,
and had to be retouched by me!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coming Into the Light

I would love to have this standing statue of Ma'at for my altar here at home... It's generally understood, when you find a statue of a god or goddess holding a "form", they are aligning themselves with the cosmos. In regard to images that you find standing, such as this one, the god or goddess (or Buddha) is more or less establishing a final order. With standing Buddha's for example, the view is that the standing position means it is the Buddha's choice to make it his or her last lifetime. The standing position represents the final judgment, and the ability to come into the light.

The kneeling position of Ma'at is very similar, if not the same, to many statues of Isis. This "form" is showing Ma'at going into a contemplative position of giving birth or new life to a situation. The sitting position represents the ability to go inward, to look into a glass darkly and come out the other side, where everything is eventually revealed to the light.

An Order to Chaos? The Egyptian Cosmology

Ma'at, the Divine Order, was an ideal world established at creation, summarized as "right order" and personified by a female goddess.

Ma'at was in control of differences, rather than their elimination.

On a cosmic order, creation itself was seen as order amidst chaos. Pharaohs had the responsibility of maintaining this order and keeping enemies at bay.

Humans were seen as being the primary reason for unrest in the world... "Because their hearts break". For Egyptians, the "need to act in accordance with Ma'at" came out of a practical realization, that any other action would result in disorder. So historians believe this is the main reason ancient Egypt never developed a codified system of either civil law, or religious commandments.