Well, it is December 12th, and you know what that means!
No, no. It's not Keith Richards' birthday. Hold your horses. Slow your roll. Simmer down, now.
It is, however, the feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe, aka La Reina de Mexico, aka Virgin of Guadalupe. The picture above is a sort of mash-up of the Virgin's image and an image of the Aztec goddess Tonantzan which many believe the Spanish Catholics appropriated and merged into a more acceptable sort of goddess for their particular brand of religion. They have a very lovely story involving a guy named Juan Diego and roses blooming in winter and a priest and the Lady's appearance and all of that kind of Catholic magic.
I should not make light of this. I have very little doubt that Le Reina is far more popular and gets far more candles and prayers than her boy Jesus in Mexico. Everywhere you go in Mexico she is represented and in Mexico City the cathedral has its own feminine Shroud of Turin in the form of Juan Diego's cloak with her image imprinted on it where millions of people line up to gawk and worship and pray every year.
I prefer the folk art renditions myself but that's just me.
Lately I've been having serious thoughts about getting rid of some of the images of the Madonna around here. I have many, not just of our dear Lady of Guadalupe, but other versions of the so-called Virgin too. Some of which were given to me, some of which I've bought, some which I inherited when my darling Sue died. She did love a Holy Mother. I'm quite torn about the whole Madonna thing. On the one hand, there is not one damn thing wrong with having an affection for a loving mother image but on the other hand- that whole idea of her being a Virgin is so based in the fucking patriarchy that it makes me furious.
And I can rationalize it by saying that to me, she represents not some holy virgin but a goddess, a woman, a mother, a representative of the spiritual and physical aspects of the divine female.
Or something like that.
Or something like that.
It's funny how many posts I've written, not only about the Virgin of Guadalupe but about my many and various madonna images as well. So, so many.
There's one here, if you'd like to read it, written seven years ago on this very date.
Anyway, it's been a real bitch of a Sunday, filled with the angst of approaching Christmas, the fear that I'm living my life as if I'm just waiting to die, and wondering what, if any, meaning this life holds.
You know- the usual.
I need to go make supper so I'll end here.
And happy birthday, or feast day, or whatever you Catholic people call it, to a little lady who has the heart of millions of fans throughout the world. I hear that even the Pope loves you!
And hey- happy birthday, Tonantzan! You came first. Love you, Mama.
N.O. you may not get rid of the Marys. I have Marys here and there and she is a different sort of magical being, she is a Mom and she does love children and babies and maybe even grown men for they once were babies too. I LOVE the Marys! Primitive, fancy, gorgeous, homely. The marys will see us through and she is the first one i want to meet when I go to - the place.ReplyDelete
Okay, dear Linda Sue. Just for you...I will keep the Mary's. At least the folkie funky ones. I promise.Delete
So wait, this makes her a Sagittarian? See, another overachiever!ReplyDelete
You can say that again!Delete
I'm reading a book right now that you might like, "The Book Of Longings" by Sue Monk Kid. It's about Jesus' wife, Ana. It's quite good and I'm enjoying it. It also puts Jesus in a different light.ReplyDelete
Jack went to see his other grandma so we got a bit of a break today. Yesterday the big guy had to drive down to Wetaskiwin to visit his father in hospital. His dad's ok, just waiting for a bed in continuing care because his mom won't take him home. She's not what you would call a natural born caregiver.
The big guy also found out he has a cataract and will need surgery so I'm guessing that's weighing on him. He's kind of a grumpy, quiet grizzly right now.
I do not generally like Sue Monk Kidd, unlike everyone else in the world but I'd give that one a shot.Delete
Glad you got a little break but I'm sorry to hear that your husband needs cataract surgery ALTHOUGH my friend Lon got it and he says he sees better now than he ever has. So there is that...
You are living your life loving your beloveds and being loved in return. That is everything. Accomplishments?? Phooey!ReplyDelete
Ay-yi-yi. Thank you for saying that, Susan.Delete
Having an affection for the Maternal Goddesses, whichever Holy Mother is being portrayed, is something I have an affinity for too. Motherhood is so precious and such a responsibility that I took seriously and many Mothers do. Whenever someone hasn't had that positive Maternal Role Model I find they seek one out, it's just that important a role to be filled, some kind of way. Whether you keep your collection or move it forward to be cherished by someone else... I enjoy your Posts about them.ReplyDelete
I have long since realized that I love my Mary's because they do help to fill that hole of not having the mother I wanted. And that is not a bad thing, is it?Delete
I must say, I have never been a Madonna fan. Her music has pretty much passed me by though I quite liked her single, "Frozen":-ReplyDelete
You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be?
When your heart's not open
Eat your heart out Emily Dickinson!
Tonantzan seems a far more interesting figure to me and more worthy of personal enquiry.
You need to go to pop culture school, Mr. P.Delete
I've never even seen the movie "Frozen" which is odd in that I have five grandchildren and Maggie knows it by heart. I still have a sort of fondness for Madonna, she of the Like A Virgin fame, though.
I really don't know much about Tonantzan. I should do some research on her.
I share your Sunday and pre Christmas angst.It is Monday morning now,and the world looks slightly less awful.Take care if yourself,MaryReplyDelete
Thanks, Terry. You take care of yourself, too. As always, we will get through this.Delete
Just as the Church appropriated the pagan and other local religious celebrations since the people would not give them up so they did the goddess who was here long before their male god and the patriarchy. They took her and turned her into a powerless vessel. If I was going to have that sort of thing around, I'd rather have the goddess figures than the madonna.ReplyDelete
I used to hate this time of year but I've gotten over that. It just doesn't impinge on my life in any way anymore. I buy one present for one person, my sister, because she refuses to stop buying me one. The kids are OK with it, they don't have to spend money and time they don't have on me and the grandkids have aged out of their holiday money since they are grown.
I agree about the goddesses. They sure seem to have a lot more backbone than poor Mary.Delete
You have the exact correct attitude about Christmas in my opinion. But wait- kids age out of getting money for Christmas? My children are not aware of this.
I find the Virgin Mary interesting (and beautiful) in the same way that I find many traditional and religious figures interesting (and beautiful). It doesn't mean I believe in them.ReplyDelete
We have a heavy concrete Pieta that we use as a doorstop.
I don't spend too much time mulling over the meaning of life and its purpose. Who says it has one? I think we're all just here because, in the grand scheme of things, we were incredibly lucky.
Haha! You use a Pieta as a doorstop! That cracks me up, Steve. You are definitely going to hell. I'll save you a seat at the bar.Delete
You're right- life may not even have a purpose and so what if it doesn't? But do we? Have purposes?
I can use more purpose in my life too. Or maybe my purpose is to read a lot and take a walk when I can and get dinner on the table and do my laundry and keep the house sort-of clean. Oh, and reading blogs and playing solitaire on the computer.ReplyDelete
So if all that is my purpose now, I am really nailing it! :)
Yep. Me too. Except I do crosswords on the computer instead of playing solitaire. Otherwise- same-same.Delete
What are any of us doing here? I miss you. I miss coming here twice a day and reading. I don't know what I'm doing. One of Sophie's Marias went to church last night to pray for Sophie on the Virgin's day. She told me that it's her very favorite day, her name day.ReplyDelete
Oh I mostly lived that Elvis was in that post. Sweet rooster. And sassy Maurice.ReplyDelete