Friday, August 16, 2013

Diana and I

Yesterday, as I was more or less putting off finishing my last post, I had a sudden, desperate need to get the hell out of my house. I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, I just knew that I needed to be somewhere that wasn't my house. I needed to see something that wasn't my computer screen, or my TV screen or my walls or my ceiling.

So I got in the car, and after stopping at Sheetz to grab a Mountain Dew, I went North and found myself wandering around Hagerstown. (This is about 15-30 minutes’ drive from my house, depending which part of the city we’re talking about.)

Now, usually when I need to get away for a few hours, I wind up by the Potomac River, either at the C&O canal in Williamsport, or down in Shepherdstown, or occasionally in Harper's Ferry. Those places are all pretty good for spending time alone with the voices in my head. This time, though I found myself at the city park in Hagerstown. I hadn't been planning on going there, but I was glad I did.

I did some wandering around the park, mostly around the lake because I always find the ducks, geese and swans pretty friggin entertaining. As I wandered, I listened to my Existential Crisis playlist (I really have one of those. Srsly.) and thought lots of thinky thoughts.

But the best part was the art. Within the park is a little building called The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. And in that museum is one of my favorite pieces of art ever.

This beautiful lady here is Diana of the Chase. She was sculpted in 1922 (lookin' pretty damn fine for a woman 91 years young, yeah?) and was a gift from the artist, Anna Hyatt Huntington to the museum in 1941, for their 10th anniversary.

I fell in love with this piece a few years ago when I was taking that general ed Art Appreciation class, and we had to visit a gallery and pick a piece of art to write about. I can't remember what the hell the details of the assignment were or what exactly I had to say about her, but I know that it took me a while to write something that wasn't just gushing about how amazing she is.

Now, there are a lot of things I love that I can't quite explain why, other than just you know, it appeals to me, but this thing, this I know why.

I’ve always loved Diana. Or Artemis. Whichever you want to call her. I’m not saying I identify with her, or anything. I wish I identified with her, even a little bit. I wish I could be more like her - this amazing, strong woman who is totally contented with her dogs, her bow, and the hunt. She is perfectly happy on her own.

So what does it say about me, then, that my favorite version of her story is the one where she falls in love with Orion? I mean, the thing I admire most is that she’s happy on her own, but my favorite story is the one where she isn’t on her own. (Well, until until her d-bag brother tricks her killing him and all...)

She found this person, a fellow hunter, perfectly suited to her, and she loved him. Wanted to marry him. She was willing to redefine herself - virgin goddess of the hunt, of women and childbirth - to be with him.

..I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

Maybe I’ve just been spending too much time thinking about Love and shit. Partly because it seems in the last few months I get asked about my love life much more frequently than usual. And partly because I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and I’m wrestling with conflicting feelings of “OMG IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU” and “your happiness offends me.”

...or maybe I’ve just had too much to drink tonight.
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