Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Woman Of A Thousand Faces

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

December 28, 2005

This essay, Woman Of A Thousand Faces, is the companion piece to Wine Country.

It is also the first in a group of nine on Passion:

I meet her again and again and again and again.

The Birth Of Venus
Alessandro Di Mariano Filipepi Botticelli
She's Botticelli's Venus. She a little girl with carrot red hair squinting in the sun playing with her brothers and sisters in front of a dusty western American farmhouse. She's a woman, vibrant and full and totally in charge. She's big enough to lead. She's soft enough to cry. She's a young girl, overly cautious, polite and proper. She's an Amazon goddess, satisfied, unstoppable, and she's totally clear about her own power. She's Mother Kali, the multifaced Self of all women, of You, of I.

She drives with the steely aggression and stone cold calm of a Mario Andretti. She gets misty when she points to the antique rocking chair in which she breast fed her children. She decorates her home with sea shells and glass, aqua hues and tenderness. She yank starts a lawnmower and uses power tools and heavy equipment like a construction worker.

She dresses like a hard rocker, like an elegant business executive, like a hillside hiker - cool and comfortable. She shows me how to make love with the amazement each time of the first time and the relaxed unhurriedness of knowing it's never the last time. She plays like a finely tuned instrument with no margin for error or assumption. She takes me beyond merely giving and receiving pleasure: she shows me how to really share  pleasure. When I'm naked, and she, fully clothed, holds me, it's an expression of her sheer full hearted generosity lit by the moon rippling shadows through bamboo blinds for nights that never end. She serves fresh strawberries and dipping sugar for breakfast. Each of her days start like a new page, like a clean slate, like a fresh mound of cut hay.

I listen, intent and awed, to her expression in the gathering evening dusk. She's the downtrodden poor. She's the champion of the world. I hear her bliss of innocence. I hear her shock of betrayal. I hear her waves of happiness. I hear her pang of separation. I hear her ecstatic realization of transformation. I hear five different expressions, then five more, all of them different than the ones I heard yesterday. I'm mesmerized. I'm fascinated  yet absolutely affirmed. She's one person. She's all people. She's all women. She's all woman.

And is it a play of light, or is her face really changing again and again and again and again, like some kind of gorgeous divine chameleon even as I gaze at it? It's bright and full, eyes twinkling with laughter. Now it's gaunt, pursed, and furrowed. Look! It's changing again: young, childlike and fresh. Now it's sombre and business like, yet open. Now it's a sun framed in the amber gold cascades of her long wheat hair spilling, falling over just the very tops of her eyebrows and her ears. Now it's tight, lips pensive, hair drawn back - no nonsense. And just when I think I've seen all her visages, it changes yet again to the purest thrilling radiant joy, bright eyed and unreachably content.

She's the woman of a thousand faces.

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© Laurence Platt - 2005 through 2017 Permission