I've wanted to share this picture with all of you for some time and so last night I asked dear Alexandra if she'd upload it, which she kindly did. Thankyou sweetheart.
I've sent it in the past to friends by mail because I think it's very comforting. I think it perfectly sums up the spirit of this place. So have a look:
It is by Rubens and depicts the nymph Callisto, who has just been raped by Zeus. (Anyone with a knowledge of Greek legend will know that Zeus was a prodigious rapist, the bastard). Callisto was one of Artemis's nymphs.
What I love about it is the perfectly captured expressions of tenderness and concern on the faces of Callisto's sisters. And, as one sister pointed out, the pain on hers...
One interesting point is that Callisto had been Zeus's lover. But from her sisters, there are no questions, no blame. What she gets is acceptance, validation, comfort, support and love.
So, my sisters, I want to tell you that what you see in that picture is what you deserve. When you've been hurt, hold this image in your heart. A band of us would gladly gather around you, stretching out our arms; draping something around your shoulders.
It doesn't matter who it was.
It doesn't matter if you never met him before.
It doesn't matter if you loved him.
It doesn't matter if it wasn't a him.
It doesn't matter if you are not a "she"-use that picture symbolically.
It doesn't matter if it was minutes, months, years or decades ago.
It doesn't matter if you were, like Callisto, beautiful and sexy.
It doesn't matter if it was once.
It doesn't matter if it was many times.
Your pain and your need for tender support is what matters.
What you see in that picture is what exists for you here. I know this from experience, and having said that I'll take this opportunity to thank my sisters & brothers, because quite a few times now, it has been me in the role of "Callisto".
Anyhow, I hope you like it.
PS. I love that picture too, 'cause those ladies are built like me and that was then the height of beauty ;)