Resurrection Girl

A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.” – Bethany Hamilton

“After the Rain” – photo by Katie Bennett

Last week I was nervous.

Some of the nerves were over good things. Everyone seemed to be emerging from the rains to frolic in the spring sun. Even better, these people wanted to have contemplative, meaningful conversations. 

Some of them even offered me jobs.

Being nervous is no fun. But as I examined the feeling which swept down my legs and up through my mid-region, I had to remind myself that I would much rather be anxious than depressed.

That gave me heart.

“Snowed In” – West Linn, Oregon (Jan ’17) – photo by Katie Bennett

Thinking of the dark winter when I holed up in my shell like the classic Portlander I’m becoming makes me think about the year cycle and how we equate winter with aging and death.  We want to hibernate like the seeds of the dying plants or like eggs buried deep in a feathery nest. It happens over and over in this town and this year is no exception.  

Lately I find that more and more I think about my past more than my present. Some people say you shouldn’t do that.

It is true that it is easy to idealize the past or kick myself in my own shin over things I did, telling myself I should have known better when the fact is I couldn’t have known at all unless I did them.

However, thinking about myself as the little girl I was helps me. She was sweet and flawed. She is me. If I think of the doddering aging fumbler who never got it right, how can I forgive myself?

“Persephone” – art by Rachel Walker

It takes courage to do things. It takes an openness of heart to change. Sometimes it’s as simple as one small change in thinking. One thought such as, “what would it mean if the problem weren’t me?” or “do I really have to decide if that person is “all good” or “all bad”? can soften all the muscles in my body. It’s a self-made massage done with thought.

Coming out of my winter shell I feel like Persephone rising from Hades to embrace the spring.

Arise, little girl!

In Greek mythology, Persephone was a maiden who was kidnapped by Hades, god of the underworld.
Every Spring she courageously emerges.

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5 Responses to Resurrection Girl

  1. Janae' Werner says:

    Here’s to the little girl in all of us rising… I so enjoy your blog, keep it up.

  2. Cosma Davis says:

    This is an inspiring piece, and your honesty is really refreshing.
    Especially around finals, I find I am being really hard on myself and feeling extremely nervous–often thinking about past failures. But beating myself up is pointless, as you said, we have to make mistakes to learn! Your point about youth is true for me as well, why can’t I be as confident and carefree as I was as a child?
    Although spring is awhile away, I think the lesson of rising above past failures and being open and courageous is great for this time of year too. A positive attitude is a saving grace on these cold and dark winter days.

  3. Julianna Volta says:

    The imagery of Persephone as a symbol of resurrection is a truly powerful one. She is one of my favorite goddesses because of the duality that she contains: the power of death and the power of life. I also love your connection to your inner child, I feel that that’s something we should always embrace.

  4. Julianna N Volta says:

    (I commented on this before and it didn’t go through, so I apologize if it duplicates!)

    I adore the use of Persephone as a symbol of resurrection. She is one of my favorite goddesses, largely because of the duality she contains: death, and life. Her gentleness and her ferocity are both qualities I look to have in myself. I also love that you connect with your inner child. She’s there and important and it’s never a good voice to ignore.

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