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05 February 2006 @ 05:29 pm
Medusa II  
I was frightened of what I would see in his face when I revealed myself. But I did it: tore off the mask. I was expecting to see a flash as he raised his shield, or horror frozen upon him. I expected repulsion, fear, hate. Instead, when I removed the mask, he looked at me steadily, accepting this new me, as if there was no surprise, as if what was beneath was no different, or that the mask has been transparent, or obvious. He looked at me, calm. He took my hand and together--my hand in his--we removed his own mask.

What was below his was better than the face I had been looking at. I realized that he felt the same about what he now saw in me. There may be flaws, but they made us both more real. There was no fantasy here. Now there's just two people, two hearts with nothing in between.

hollsterhambone was right. It was sexy.
bodhiceabodhicea on February 7th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
you exhibitionist
I think this is exactly the reason that yonica suggested I add you. Thanks.

I am not, generally, very fond of Freud, but this passage gives me a bit to think about (once I dismiss all of his penis obsession). Was the ripping off of my mask, revealing my snaky-headed-ness, an apotropaic act? When my audience didn't take flight, did that mean he wasn't the devil?

If my Medusa head does relate to female genitalia, by revealing it, was I becoming a Sheela-na-gig?
BONEhollsterhambone on February 7th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
Re: you exhibitionist
I like your interpretation: "when my audience didn't take flight, did that mean he wasn't the devil?" What I often find problematic about Freud is that he tends to forget that there are more subjects in play than his writings avow, meaning he often forgets himself, the author. And when he is able to talk about himself he seems to explain his participation away too neatly (The Uncanny). And, of course, the penis thing that you mentioned.

I had to look up Sheela-na-gig...don't know anything about it. But when I did it reminded me of the venus of willendorf, those grotesquely pronounced woman-parts, on display, ready to devour? Vagina dentata? Maybe that you were able to reveal and he didn't run away speaks to his not imagining the Medusa you feared you possessed. In other words, accepting the "real thing," and not the image or the veil.
bodhicea: headsbodhicea on February 7th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
Re: you exhibitionist
I have to admit that my own knowledge of the Sheela-na-gig stems not from scholarly study, but from PJ Harvey.
(The song is awesome, check it out if you haven't already).

But, still...

These images of women with prominent or enlarged genetalia, which they are often touching, sometimes pulling open while they bare there teeth are striking. No one definitely knows their purpose (like Freud cannot really lay claim to what the myth of Medusa really means, since he is unable to talk about the origins of the story). Sheela-na-gig are often generically referred to as fertility figures, but frequently referred to as objects with which to ward off evil: the apotropaic charm.

And now I'm thinking of the scene in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues where the cowgirls chase away a man (who happens to be in the business of feminine hygeine products), by pulling up their skirts and chasing him off with their unwashed genetalia at the fore chanting "the vagina is a self-cleaning organ!"
BONEhollsterhambone on February 8th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: you exhibitionist
I find all this stuff so fascinating. Now I want to read up on Sheela-na-gig instead of writing my dissertation. No, NO! Must not delay any longer!