Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Goddess Calypso

Calypso and Odysseuss - Arnold Bocklin
Calypso is a name we here often on this island, but we never delve into its origins. I had cause to recently, as a Calypsonian has asked me to do a painting with the Goddess Calypso as the main theme.
Calypso's most famous appearance (the goddess, not the music) is found in Homer's poem....Illyiad.

She was a goddess, who was imprisoned on a tropical island because of her father's deeds. Odysseuss, champion in whatever he was seeking, washed up on her shores battered and bruised.

There is more to the story with a love battle of itself between Calyspo and another goddess, but is isn't important to discovering the essence on the goddess herself.

She and Odysseus fall in love and he remains on the island in that blissfull state for ten years. Her symbols are the crab and the dolphin.

So I let my mind go, as I do when creating these paintings, trying to hon in on the energies that surround the story....and honestly, I did not like what I felt.

Calypso is often portrayed as the beuatiful compassionate goddess that nursed Odysseus back to health after his near death battle.She is sometimes portrayed as a muse But what is not portrayed is her inability to let Odysseus go when she knew she should.

Calypso, knew of Odyseuss' goals, yet she kept him in that state of bliss, knowing she was preventing him from doing what he set out to do. She was, in this aspect, a distraction, a diversion, a drug-like entity which makes one lose themselves, forget their goals, and live a state of false bliss.

Her symbol the dolphin, signifies assistance; but the symbol of the crab, signifies the emotional clingy nature of a selfish person, who assists only because it will benefit them. That ability to make you forget...the distraction...causing you to turn away from your goals.

My thoughts led to our island...Land of Calypso, and I could see some similar energies from the goddess. Our nation constantly gets diverted from the issues....we have the shortest attention spans. We easily get diverted from the important issues, and Calypso itself is responsible for one of the biggest diversions we have.
Then the crab came to mind..."crabs in a barrel" as one local author described us. Always trying to clamber to the top, while pulling our associates down.

It is a difficult thing to think of Calypso as a muse, a source of inspiration. All I can see is an inspiration which distracts one from their true life's path.

Well....... the painting will come soon........

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