But instead, I’m taking personality quizzes on the internet. Courtesy of my colleague, Kate Laity, writer, medievalist, and pop culture maven.
So on the grand scale of goddesses, who am I?
You are most like the Egyptian goddess Isis.
The story of Isis illustrates the transformative powers of sorrow to create wisdom. When she was separated from her husband Osiris, she searched for him everywhere; she used the power of her love to bring him back to life and conceive a child of him, Horus. Isis was worshiped in ancient Egypt as the great mother goddess of the universe. Goddesses with similar attributes include Kuan Yin, Tara and Oya.
Want to try it yourself? Here’s the link.
Most of this I think we have to take as ironic; I hardly think that the power of my love for anything (with the important exception of really cute shoes) would bring it back to life. And I’m no mother goddess, that’s for darn sure. The connection to Kuan Yin, however, is an interesting one. I’m not quite sure how Isis maps onto KY as a legend; but if they are in some ways equivalent, then I can surely relate to the Kuan Yin legend about trying to save people from suffering and having one’s head split into eleven pieces. Often described as both a bodhisattva and the “goddess of mercy,” Kuan Yin has an interesting place in Asian American literary history: she is the narrator in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey. Readers/scholars have noted that as a narrator, she’s both a gentle observer of the shenanigans of the protagonist, Wittman Ah Sing, but also an incisive critic of his internalized racism and sexism.
Now that’s a vision of goddess-hood that I can get behind.
And now, off to grade! And read! And write a paper!