Goddess or beggar?
Some months ago I relocated from Sacramento to Woodland in order to regroup. Shortly thereafter I gained survival employment …back in Sacramento. As a result, I commute there to work, but shop here as a rule. Still, now and then I venture back to Sacramento to visit friends or to shop for things hard to obtain in the smaller city.
It was on such an occasion that I happened to be driving past the once-mighty Country Club shopping center, so-named before they thought to call them “malls.” I saw a woman in perhaps her late fifties pushing a heavily laden shopping cart which bore canvas luggage along with the usual plastic bags and such. A German shepherd trotted by her side, its tongue lolling. Upon the top of the basket sat a large orange tabby placidly watching the scenery roll past him.
I was reminded of the story of how the Hindu Saint, Ramakrishna, experienced an awakening when he saw a prostitute transform into Parvati. The woman still bore herself proudly as she walked. She carried her dignity about her yet. I could see the goddess within her with the right kind of eyes.
The Greeks told stories of how Hermes used to walk among men in disguise as a beggar and reward those he encountered according to the treatment he received.
Maybe He does, and maybe so does Athena and Diana and all the rest of that great dysfunctional family.
The world would be a better place if we behaved as if it might be so.