Cassandra was the princess of Troy, a priestess of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. The god Apollo loved Cassandra, and offered her the gift of prophecy. She maintained her single-minded devotion to her patroness, and so Apollo added a curse to his gift: Though she would always prophesy with complete accuracy, no one would believe her.
In the days before the Greeks breached the walls of Troy in their great horse, Cassandra prophesied the destruction of the city. Had her parents–the king and queen–and her brothers listened to her, the people might have been more wary and seen through the Greeks’ trickery. As it was, she was doomed to watch her beloved city fall, knowing that the people she loved could have been saved had they only believed her.
Perhaps you are feeling like Cassandra these days. Keep speaking your truth. Keep telling the world what you see happening around you. As Grace Paley says in her powerful poem, “Responsibility“:
“It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman to keep an eye on
this world and cry out like Cassandra, but be
listened to this time.”
1. Gangly blue heron walking across the ice of the pond this afternoon.
2. Reading about gnomes with a small person this afternoon. That Rien Poortvliet book desperately needs updating to reflect the fact that gnomes are much more open-minded these days regarding gender roles. If I made a mistake and read to him the sexist bits as they appeared in the book, he corrected me: “No, it’s not man, Mom. It’s man and woman.” Yup.
3. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who said, “It’s time for women to stop being politely angry.”
4. People who keep the fires lit.
5. That 45-minute nap I took this morning when I realized I had a 2-hour delay. I was in that space of mid-consciousness, where I was almost lucid dreaming, and almost consciously planning a project. And a warm cat purred on top of me.
May we walk in Beauty!