Friday, April 2, 2010

Diana...not a muse but amusing (humor) on a mother of a goddess...

April 2, 2010

Diana…not a muse but amusing

Ahhhh…sometimes life hands me so much to riff on I can’t make up my mind which topic to go for next. Today it’s my first name and the fact that it’s a derivative of the goddess, Diana's, name, aka Perpetual Virgin Goddess of the Hunt.

I don’t know why we feel the need to correct people when they don’t get our name completely correct. Witness my need to tell people that I’m Diane with an “e,” not Diana, with an “a,” when folks twist the name up just a skosh. This name deal has really provided me with a whole lotta comedic opportunities, be they small or large because when this happens I say, I’m a goddess, but without the “a.” When someone tells me they know another Diane I often say, “Oh, maybe we’re related.” You get the picture. Always with the funny, funny.

So today I was fooling around researching some things and I came across additional background on the goddess Diana that is unfamiliar to me, some of which is amusing, some compelling. As to the amusing part, the incorporation of virgin in to her whole appellation somehow tickles me as she is known as, Diana Perpetual Virgin Goddess of the Hunt. Or as I like to think of her, Diana Goddess of Perpetual Memory Loss because folklore does not exactly depict her as the Virgin Mary.

Just the “perpetual” part is intriguing, soon-to-be-entertaining, because perpetual is a word that means unending, everlasting, permanent and all of those words easily found in a thesaurus, but I thought you were either a virgin or not, much as you’re either pregnant or not. Evidently, there is a “permanence beyond your control” element to these things that has eluded me.

Also, the “perpetual” part is somewhat interesting as a linking adjective bridging over to religiosity given that many orders of nuns have names like, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. (And that last one may have to be another blog, I can get so much out of it.) This makes me wonder if the “perpetual” part has been added in our more “recent” history, like post some Pope or other. (One order of irreverence coming up!)

I never realized how aptly I was named until I learned that Diana is the symbol of creative insanity for poets and artists. It’s funny. I don’t think my parents gave a great deal of thought to my name, it was just a popular one of the time that my mom liked, along with the Debbies, Donnas, Connies and Sharons of the time. Back in the roaring twenties (?) our parents chose names, not necessarily because they were family ones, which I thanked them for – profusely – as my first name could have taken the form of so many hideous choices requiring quite a bit of phlegm to say correctly as my ethnic background, literally, covered an enormous amount of territory. Rather they selected names they liked the sound of and knew they would be calling for years and we all remember how that works.

Your parent, usually your mom, would yodel your first name out into the neighborhood, right along dinnertime, rendering even one-syllabled first names into multi-syllabic sustained vocalizations of wonder. And if you were in trouble? Out of the parental arsenal would explode the middle name usage proving, once again, that your mom was the quickest linguistic draw in the west.

Like so many of us, the goddess Diana experienced her own metamorphosis, not of name, but in deed, first being viewed as a lithe, athletic, hunting vixen, then as a protector of all that is wild and free (think animals and all things foresty) and then a symbol of lunar power. She has developed into a symbol of motherhood which makes perfect sense in view of the fact that many of her duties have been caregiving, protecting creatures and relying upon her wits to accomplish the impossible. Sound familiar to you mommies out there?

All of this information has done an amazing thing, in that I feel as though, when the situation now arises and someone calls me Diana, with an “a,” I won’t feel it’s so necessary to correct the innocent moniker mistake, but rather I’ll just politely say, “Thank you!”


Diane...The Once Upon a Time Virgin Goddess of Name Correction

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