Saturday, March 14, 2009

Novena of Grace - Day Seven

It was Day 7 of the Novena of Grace here at St. Aloysius Parish in Spokane (at Gonzaga University).

We are definitely on the downhill side of the mountain. At least for me. It is like antibiotics. They tell you to keep taking the entire set of them even if you start to feel better in the middle of the cycle, to ensure that you really do knock out the illness completely.

One recurring thought this week is how, just before I started the Novena, I had been thinking a lot about the Egyptian goddess Hathor and her alter (altar?) ego, Sekhmet. In fact, I was getting ready to do a posting called "Hathor and Sekhmet: The Dual Diagnosis." As the story goes, Ra (the Egyptian name for God) was frustrated with the bad behavior of men on Earth and so he came to Hathor, goddess of all good things like sunlight and happiness and cows, and asked her to do something about these incorrigibles. And do something she did. She turned into Sekhmet, and went to war with the men. She started killing them all and drinking their blood until even Ra was afraid of her (and Ra was on her side). To stop her, Ra planted a bunch of beer and colored it with red pomegranate juice so that Sekhmet would be fooled into thinking it was blood. Sekhmet drank the beer and it mellowed her out, turning her back into Hathor.

I've had Sekhmet moments before. Once I was working on a case where the opposing counsel was being a jerk and was trying to harm my client, so I nailed him on it. Suddenly he started returning my phone messages by calling back my co-counsel who was, and still is, one of the most terrifying lawyers in this region. When my co-counsel called me with the messages, I said hey, why is this guy returning my phone messages by calling you? My co-counsel said, "Because you intimidate him. Hell, I'm on your side, and you intimidate me." Funny. I had taken on the guy only after he had tried to mess with my client. But I do think a little of Sekhmet was at the forefront there.

So last week, I was thinking - should I be shelving my Sekhmet side? And what does that mean? Sekhmet is a little insane, but is Hathor too mellow? Or perhaps the post-Sekhmet Hathor is the way to go. Perhaps that Hathor can take on the wrongs of the world with discrimination and evenhandedness, while still making her point. Don't know. Keep in mind, Sekhmet becomes Hathor again only because she's drunk with red beer. Is that a good thing? Maybe dump them both. In fact, over the years I have identified more with Joan of Arc - a warrior of balance - than with either Sekhmet or Hathor. But Joan is far more like Sekhmet than Hathor. And I am looking to put down my armor as I shift my focus from lawyering to writing. So maybe I should be relaxing all warrior ways. But if I do, will I let anyone down? Will anyone be in danger if I let down my guard? This was my thought process a week ago.

So this Novena of Grace - where I've been back and forth this week about exactly how tough I feel I must be on the hierarchy of the Church, when I know that problems still exist and that children potentially remain in danger - it seems like no coincidence that this week dovetails with all my recent Hathor/Sekhmet ponderings.

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