as told to Katara Moon
Baubo Biggins here.
I send this missive to you after being inspired by Karen Tate's lovely book Walking An Ancient Path. My memory was jogged and two tales of epiphany came spilling back which I have vowed to share with you one and all.
A bit of background must be indulged - how did Baubo Biggins become my alter ego, muse, guardian Goddess, et al? "Oh", I hear you say, "She has taken her name from an adventure series known to millions". But no ... you'd be wrong. Baubo is a Goddess. A Greek Goddess. One who saved us all from freezing our asses off.
And Biggins? Well Biggins speak for themselves. "Oh no", I hear you say, "She is going to make them talk". But No. I thought about that briefly. And well ... that would be tacky. Even Baubo has certain standards.
Baubo, as you know, figured prominently in the tale of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was the Goddess of Growing Things. Her daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Bruto Pluto the god of the underworld and taken to Hades. (Whether Persephone went willingly with Bruto Pluto or was abducted is up to question but that does not figure in this retelling of the story). Demeter grieved prodigiously. Crops stopped growing. Birds stopped singing. Bunnies stopped humping. The earth became frozen with Demeter's grief. It snowed. It snowed a lot. The other Goddesses and Gods of Olympia became so concerned they implored the Goddess Baubo to speak to Demeter.
After searching high and low Baubo found Demeter. Baubo (being Baubo) did a body dance with her bawdy parts and which ever way you read that it pretty much comes out the same. "Demeter Sweetie, Lighten Up!", Baubo said at the end of her dance. And Demeter did. Crops started growing, birds started singing, bunnies etc., etc. And thus the earth was saved and seasons were born. Now those of us from Southern California are far enough away from this particular myth so as not to be effected by its weather patterns. No. We have myths of our own. Many to do with hot tubs and avocados.
But I digress. I will now tell you of my very own epiphany with Baubo. I was not always as I am now. No. I started my life as a serious artist minding my own business and doing the things artists do to make a living, when the Universe came along, thumped me on the head and said , "You Who. Fibromyalgia. Look it up." Well I looked it up. It was not in the dictionary. Being an up-to-date artist (working with computers and such), I went to the internet and much to my dismay I found it. Not only did I have an illness no one could pronounce or spell - no one could treat ...
Even so, I went to my doctor hoping for the best, telling her that I could not sit, stand or use the computer for more than three minutes at a time. She said " YOU are depressed." Imagine that. She put me on medical leave and sent me to a therapist who said I needed to respect my disease. Ah huh. She also said, I needed a new less stressful line of work.
But what? I could not sit stand or use a computer for more than three minutes at a time. For what could I qualify? At this point in time I had been on sick leave for endless months. I was sitting in my dining room on an outdoor lounge chair. It was the only way I could watch endless hours of television without having to turn my head. (Head turning being a serious disrespect of the aforenamed illness). And it suddenly came to me as I was watching the comedy channel. There was Baubo, thumping me on the head and I clearly heard her say, "Lighten Up!" And thus Baubo Biggins was born.
On my very next visit to my therapist I happily announced to her that I had come to a new calling... Stand Up Comic! I don't think this was the outcome she was expecting and said I might want to speak to my doctor about my meds and mentioned something called "serotonin overload". Serotonin overload!? Could such a thing be possible?
To make a long story short, you can guess the stand up thing hasn't quite materialized but Baubo continues to visit me and get me through many otherwise un-amusing days. Which brings us to the second epiphany I have to tell but you will have to wait for Part Two. Stand up (or sit down) should be brief - given time to digest. (Plus I haven't written Part 2 yet.)
As for Part 1 I leave you with two thoughts ... if you don't need to look up Fibromyalgia ... don't. And second. On whatever road you may find yourself, look there at a crossroads as you pass. There she is. Baubo waving a sign (or something). And you hear her say with love and gusto "Sweetie, Lighten Up!". All of your little cells, neurons, and transmitters will thank you for it. They'll kick their little feet back and have a healing meditation, a day at the beach. They might even have a dance of their own. Laughter really is good medicine.
Blessings and Hugs,
P.S.(Being a former serious artist and almost stand up comic BB feels free to take full artistic license with language and punctuation.)
© Whitehouse/Moon 2008
After a 30-year career in the arts (including a BFA, years of staff and freelance work in New York and Los Angeles) she left the Arts field due to severe fibromyalgia.
Now residing in Arizona, she prefers writing humorous musings about art, illness and everything under the Goddess. Current attacks on Women's Rights in the US, however, have urged her to stretch her feminist/protest muscles to enter the fray. Send her and the women of America your blessings.
You can see Baubo Biggins' facebook page here.