Saturday, January 17, 2009

SS: Queen Meabh in the Flesh!

When I saw the cover of The New York Times magazine this morning, I was rather non-plussed. "OBAMA's PEOPLE" shouted the headline at me, with the subhead indicating a series of photographs of all the people who are working or going to be working with our soon-to-be president. While I'm thrilled that the Bush era is over and we are going to have a president who might actually help our country rather than push it further into social, economic and educational oblivion, I really didn't care about seeing a bunch of photos of Washington politicos.

I grew up in the DC metro area, and since I fled for New York in 1999, I have sort of knee-jerk gut retch whenever I think about my hometown. I have "issues" with DC -- it was just not my kind of town -- a severe lack of diversity among class, race, ethnicity and occupation, an unhealthy obsession with educational status, too much middle-of-the-road, "I don't want to say anything radical"-type political views, very little to do after 5pm except for bars, and my number-one complaint: Too few dating options for straight gals such as myself.

So I opened up the magazine, expecting to see page after page of wonks -- yes, "the wonks of hope" for this is to be the administration of hope -- but still wonks. Wonks are not generally thrilling photography subjects.

I was not disappointed. Aside from the opening shot of Rahm Emanuel doing his best arms-akimbo Henry VIII pose -- it was wonk after wonk.

And then I saw her. I'm not a New Age/Pagan kind of person, but the first thing that came to my mind was that this was a living reincarnation of Queen Meabh (Maeve), the mythical Irish Queen and goddess. Not because this woman had long red hair, green eyes and wore a Celtic pendent on a chain around her neck -- but because she radiated the kind of brilliance, confidence, and an interesting sense of...sovereignty is sort of the word...that are qualities very often attributed to Meabh. In her goddess form, Meabh was thought to imbue new kings with power - ancient Irish kings performed a symbolic marriage with her when they came to their thrones. Honestly -- this is what popped into my head the moment I saw her.

It was a photo of Samantha Power, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her writings about genocide and has consistently been one of the most passionate, articulate and influential advocates against genocide this generation has likely ever known. She is one of my heroines (yes, even with the "monster" debacle) and before I saw this picture, I never really "saw" her. This photo just really brought the essence of her out, and it is beautiful. This woman is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Click here for the link to the online gallery featuring the photo of Samantha Power.

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