Thursday, February 14, 2013


The second half of my life will be black 
to the white rind of the old and fading moon. 
The second half of my life will be water 
over the cracked floor of these desert years. 
I will land on my feet this time, 
knowing at least two languages and who 
my friends are. I will dress for the 
occasion, and my hair shall be 
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old 
birthday, counting the years as usual, 
but I will count myself new from this 
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift, 
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder, 
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road. 
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed, 
fingers shifting through fine sands, 
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet. 
There will be new dreams every night, 
and the drapes will never be closed. 
I will toss my string of keys into a deep 
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rain
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,
and smoke going
upward, always up.

by Joyce Sutphen

Crossroads is a common metaphor across cultures. For the Greeks the crossroads were the beginning and end of Oedipus, the mythical king of Thebes' journey with the themes of flawed nature of humanity and the powerlessness against destiny. Hercules at the crossroads is depicted as choosing between Vice and Virtue. Giovanni Baglione's painting depicts Virtue in the form of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom wearing armour.

Hercules at the Crossroads, 1640-42, Giovanni Baglione

Odipus and Sphinx, 1808, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
The goddess Hecate is the goddess of the crossroads, magic, lunar lore, and childbirth. She is intrinsically polymorphous as she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition and is shown in the trimorphic form and were placed at crossroads and city gates. Hecate ruled over the earth, the sea and the sky. Hecate is associated with Isis in Egyptian mythology, Artemis and Diana. The Romans knew her as Trivia.

Goddess Hecate 

Elegba, the god of destiny in the Yoruba tradition in West Africa is an Orisa or intercessor who opens the roads bringing clarity out of confusion.

In the United States one of the most common stories of the crossroads comes from the south and Robert Johnson's song about selling his soul to the devil to reinvent the blues.

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