Thursday, 26 June 2008

Artemis, or, All about my Sister

Remember when we were going to make a series of posts about Greek mythology? I think we still should. Therefore, today's post is going to be about Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, and also about my sister, Jil, because it was her birthday on Monday and I'd like to celebrate her, and also because if Jil were a Greek goddess, she would be Artemis.Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto (a daughter of the Titans and one of Zeus' many lovers), and the twin sister of Apollo. She was all about contradiction: the goddess of the hunt, she spent her days chasing down animals and killing them, but was also considered their protector. This was a role she took seriously; for example, after Agememnon killed a stag in her sacred grove, she punished him by stalling his ships on their way to Troy and forced him to sacrifice his daughter in order that they might sail. More contradictory still, Artemis was a vehemently virgin goddess, yet was also worshiped in cities as a goddess of fertility and goddess of fertility and childbirth. Even in within the realm of the latter, she's paradoxical -- she's the protector of women in childbirth, but it's said to be her arrows that shoot them down when they die in labor.
Why is my sister like Artemis? Well, I guess she's contradictory too -- anyone interesting is. Artemis was the goddess of purity and, while hunting, she ran a lot, and Jil has recently embarked on a mission of purity that involves a lot of running. She's trying to detoxify herself in order to spend two months hiking through the New Zealand wilderness in the fall. According to, Artemis' "main vocation was to roam mountain forests and uncultivated land." Sounds like Jil alright.
But enough about Artemis. More about my sister. One thing you should know about my sister is that she's HILARIOUS. Cases in point:
1. Last winter, we were driving home from Lake Tahoe. My dad and I were sitting in front of the car and Jil was sitting in the back, filling out university applications. She was a little frustrated: "Fuck college!" she said. "It's not like I know my GDP or shit!"
2. A few days ago, my sister and I were in Santa Barbara visiting my grandfather. We were at the graveyard, looking at my grandmother's tombstone. My grandfather stood on the empty patch next to it and said, "Well, this is where I'm going to be buried." "Oooh!" said Jil. "Let's take before and after photos!"
3. That evening, my sister and I were hanging out at my aunt's house. I was sitting on the couch, crocheting, and she was lying on the bed with her legs up against the wall. She told me to think of a topic of conversation, and I asked what she wanted to talk about. "I don't know," she said. "Honestly, I'm only thinking about one thing right now." "What's that?" I asked. She replied: "How FUCKING tan my legs look against this wall!"
4. It's Pride week in San Francisco right now, and Jil was trying to convince me and her friend Cristina to accompany her to the dyke march this coming Saturday. "Come on, Cristina," she said. "I know my calculus. It says YOU + ME = DYKE."


Sofie said...

I want to meet JIL!!! now!!

Else said...

thank you for starting the greek mythology trend and letting us get to know your sister! I love it

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