Love Letters to the Universe #21: The Diva Rises

20 Apr

Dear Universe,

Who am I? Who am I to write to one such as yourself, so grand, powerful, and inspiring; while here I sit, a commonly miserable mortal just recovering from a nasty illness during my vacation?

You see, this is why there are so many gaps between my letters. This is why “ Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;” I give up. How many stories, how many truths have languished in the cloistered hothouse of my imagination all because I did not feel worthy of telling them? It is fear alone that so locks me out of expressing my love for you. It is unworthy of me, of you, and the rest of the brave men and women who have from time immemorial took the time to put their mark upon the walls of humanities caves, so that others might happen upon them and think, what a wonder! What if I should (someday) be so brave, and add my thoughts to those I see so proudly etched above?

The argument continues thus: How much evil then is done by those who think they have a right? You are humble! That is noble! Now go waste time humbly and idly. But, then I think how much goodness does contend with that fact. If the good person does nothing, says nothing, than nothing good is accomplished. I want to be good, I want to accomplish things. I realize that my “playing small does not help the world” as it were. But, what qualities would I most need in order to fully embrace this understanding, to ever push forward with the burning desire to write, to speak my love, and to know that I have not wasted one moment in indulgent despair which parades itself in a mocking show of humility?

I would need control, strict disciplined control over my emotions, my mind, and my fidgety fingers. I would need to control my time, so that I could best use it to shape the words that would best fly out and hit the mark. I would need the control of space, to create, literally a space of my own, where none may easily intrude and give hope to the grumbling idler that threatens revolt with ever paragraph break, every twinge of desire for more tea, another smoke, or just a couple cookies from the jar downstairs. Hence I must turn to the Empress within myself, if it were, or at least visualize that I was speaking to you, most exalted empress of the star flown sky.

I would also need the desire to be recognized, to be noticed, to grab someone’s attention and hold on and rattle and joke and hum until my (hopefully) captivated audience is tapping along, seeing if they might be the one to answer all of these questions that I ask.

The woman I am about to introduce to you, my sweet, embodies both of these qualities. She is one of the shining stars of all of the personalities that dazzle all before you. She is…

  1. The Diva

Primary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Recognition (South)

Epithets: The Queen Bee, The Cheerleader, The Main Attraction,

Mythic Examples: Cordelia Chase (From Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Angel), Miss Piggy (from The Muppets), Countless performance celebrities, Quinn (from Glee), Fish Mooney (from TV’s Gotham)

Description: The meaning of the word Diva is “goddess”, so it is not a surprise that in this historically patriarchal and rather misogynistic culture that the word and this type have gotten quite a bad rap. The powerful, attention getting woman is all right as an objectified performer, but not as a fully functional human being. Although it is difficult to find fully articulated paragons of the female archetypes in most existing folklore and entertainment, it is doubly so for the Diva.

As a youngster, the Diva will be attracted to activities that will put her in the limelight. Often musicians, dancers, actresses and cheerleaders are full of the young Diva trying to shine as bright as she can. She will also spend much time in front of mirrors, practicing how to best control her own image and how her demeanor can be used to pull the strings of those who witness her unmitigated glory. Her natural vivaciousness will lead to a pack of admirers who can quickly turn into fast friends if the Diva allows. She will be the center of attention, and strike mercilessly at those who try to deny her this, which can make for some caustic and brutalizing social environments (again depending on whether the Diva allows). The Diva is in control, but young Divas (or stunted, immature ones) are not always keen on admitting this fact.

However the wise, benevolent diva, realizes that she is in control and also that the best form of recognition is love. Divas are always happy to be applauded, however they are the most consistently happy when they align their star with the welfare of a cause or group. Here they become the spokesperson, the cheerleader, the rallier for great change and progress. These are the Divas that have seen beyond their own egos and are now free to see their recognition found in the success of their people or the cause that they have adopted.

Hence, although the Diva will succeed and enjoy performing and most artistic pursuits, they can also best use their magnanimous abilities as teachers, mentors, public spokespersons, liaisons, journalism and public relations. The Diva that recognizes that through control of herself and her environment, recognition will come, will always find an avenue toward contentment. However, if the Diva fails to see any recognition beyond the immediate rush of fascination, then they will become horribly embittered and will use their abilities to lash out at a world that has (in their eyes) cast them aside. It is for this, that we must cheer on the little Divas around us, make them see how needed they are to inspire us, to enchant us, so that the damage done for centuries does not vilify the next generation of these sparkling maestras. The true seasoned Diva is respected for her poise, her positivity and her honed mastery of skill which trumps any trivial qualms about age, time or fashion.

Ideal match: The Scientist

Challenging types for the Director: The Sage, the Medicine Woman, Medicine Man or Fairy Godmother, fellow Divas.

The Shadow Type: The Prima donna- As Noted above, the shadow self of the Diva has failed to find love in the world and love in her own inner world. She looks for external validation, and failing to find it, will tear it from the world in whatever torn and sundered quality she can manage. She is wholly ego-based, and is thus a truly tragic and pitiable character. This does not, however, excuse the prima donna’s behavior, which is magnificently awful as her benevolent Diva counterpart is inspiring. Sadly, history and folklore are rife with these shadowy figures.

In Snow White, the queen is the stepmother to Snow White and it is her jealousy of the girl’s beauty that is the motivator for the entire plot. Instead of becoming the gracious mentor for Snow White, she drives her into the wilderness then tries to poison her. Is it any wonder that the Grimm Brothers originally had her ending come in the form of her being shod with iron which causes her to dance until she died?

We can also find the behavior shown in the fashion obsessed character, Cruella DeVille  from One-Hundred and One Dalmatians. A thoroughly modern witch queen, this woman forced her rich husband to change his name to hers and will control the countryside if only to get her a fashionable coat made from the skins of little puppies.

These women serve as reminders to us all that if we seek contentment in the material, we will ultimately be drawn down to death with the very things which will not last. However, when the Diva is allowed to shine and taught, hopefully through the good example of seasoned and masterful Divas themselves, that the starlight that never dims is made from love, then we will all tear up during the final encore, and join in with her on the final heartfelt verse.

And here I am, sweet universe, at the final verse. Please know it will never be final, nor will it be as heartfelt as I could possibly hope. I have felt the spring sunshine on my skin, and despite my days of illness, I have heard your love in a birdsong.

Love,

Trav

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