Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Down to the Underworld

"Persephone and Demeter" by Susan Seddon Boulet.

The day after Christmas, probably because I let my guard down and relaxed, the viral plague being passed around the neighborhood brought me low. In the past three days time has slowed down to an eternity of misery. I have probably turned the corner now but it may be a while before I'm back at the helm. So, in wondering what I could share with you (because it won't be my own work at the moment. I can't even write without shaking.) I have decided to take you to the underworld, where I have been visiting with Persephone.

Many parts of her story I relate to. Like Perspehone, I have felt ravished by this harbinger of doom and taken down to a dark place where there is no sunlight. I like this 1938 painting of the Rape of Persephone by Thomas Hart Benton because it conveys the ickiness of what has been happening to me, like being taken advantage of by a dirty old man. (Although what was she doing lying around so exposed? I guess that applies as well.)

I see her pomegranate as little globules of virus tossed to me by others - so innocent, so deadly.
(Sorry, I couldn't find a reference for this painting.)

Persephone's story reminds us of innocence lost, death and rebirth, the cycle of life. In my everyday travels my mind is on my work and the task ahead, and not on such lofty principles. Sometimes it takes being dragged down to Hades to appreciate one's everyday sunlight.

1 comment:

  1. The dratted viral plague!! :)
    I wonder how well pomegranates go with chicken soup?
    You will feel well soon.