A parable for our times


Photographed at the J. Paul Getty Museum

I like to take the monster as a symbol of the state of our nation. It is especially descriptive of our men. The beast is conflicted, desperate, prone to violence, and painfully aware of its own lust.

The woman is the goddess of understanding. She understands herself, her place in the universe, and the pathetic state of the monster. She remains calm, and merciful. She does not inflict harm on him, although she could. She displays her physical charms with complete confidence, and without shame or guilt.

The monster is tormented by her level of comfort with herself because shame and guilt are what he knows best. He is accustomed to struggling with his lust and allowing it to torment and disorient him.

A parable often involves a character who faces a moral dilemma or one who makes a bad decision and then suffers the unintended consequences. Although the meaning of a parable is often not explicitly stated, it is not intended to be hidden or secret but to be quite straightforward and obvious.—Wikipedia

There is a little angel over her shoulder. He carries a flaming torch. He deals in light, something she already knows well. He is there not so much to protect her, but more to demonstrate attention and respect. The angel knows the beast is beyond any help he can provide. The angel serves the goddess.

The monster was not always in this condition. He made a series of moves over time. He confused himself, and attracted unworthy companions who led him further astray. He has only the faintest recollection of his own worthiness. The goddess can see into him, but she cannot reveal his own true nature to him. His thoughts are too clouded for that.

The useful message I get from this is that the universe is competent, caring, and orderly no matter how clouded our view of it is at present. The problems are contained in our own delusions.

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