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In the past I would have walked the streets until my legs gave out. But one of them gave out three weeks ago, changing the tenor of this latest New York visit.
New tack: two days on crutches at the Met. All is never lost.
From the outset, with all the recent Campbell reading sloshing around in my bean, I found myself pondering the ever shifting, ever pendulating, ever ongoing dance between Woman and Man.
Crutch left from inside the main doors—mightn’t that in itself be towards the Feminine?—and you find yourself in the ancient pre-Homeric Aegean.
But not for long. Crete and Mycenae is underrepresented. There’s a paucity of Goddesses. Sorry ladies.
Stop for a moment to examine the pottery and you get some idea as to what came next.
Thankfully the Homeric Greeks loved the graven image. Carve wood, stone or marble, and soon you’ll be carving Woman, or her metaphorical equivalent at any rate. As an aside, proscribe the image, as now and then us uptight men do, and life slips out of balance—the feminine suffers.
For a short while Man fancied himself the measure of all things. However, time is often on Woman’s side.
And today, as it did long ago, the dance is being played out.
The wandering, warring, world conquering Western Male, borrowing a leaf from a Levantine—and hence image-proscribing-über-Patriarchal—volume, has had an amazing, technologically wonder-working run.
(Un)naturally, Woman has accompanied him the whole way, idealized, or—more deftly—allegorized. Either way, rarely Herself.
Once more the pendulum swings back. Time, the great restorer of balance, works Her magic.
Man, for a brief moment there the measure of all things again, falters. Spanning the farthest reaches of the heavens and plumbing the minutest depths of the infinitesimal, He exhausts Himself, turning in his self-inflicted disheartenment to….
You guessed it.