Friday, March 26, 2010


A paradox, the goddess of the underworld and goddess of spring growth.


For some years, we had been on the lookout for a lawn sculpture that would really, you know, stand out. Something relatively large, and . . . interesting.

We finally found it when we were driving along Highway 50 last fall, at a concrete lawn ornament place in the town of Rosebud, which is about halfway between Jeff City and the edge of the St. Louis metro area. That’s a really pretty drive in the fall, by the way.

You all, this lawn ornament place is pretty darn good. It’s on the east part of the town, clearly visible, right on the highway. If you’ve slowed down for little Rosebud (as you damn well should, ’cause even if it’s tiny, it is a real town, so respect their speed limit), you really can’t miss it.

They have a huge selection. They have everything there: Patriotic, tacky, syrupy, flat-out bizarre, and yeah, some stuff that is actually pretty dang cool. And the prices are incredibly reasonable.

There is a huge concrete gorilla there. You could buy it, and then have your very own “800-pound gorilla.” Quite literally. (Real gorillas, by the way, only get to be about 450 pounds, and that’s the big silverback males. Oops, I’m digressing again.)

So we bought a voluptuous goddess there. Of course, we didn’t have the truck, only my little Civic, but we got her loaded into the back seat, which she completely covered.

The lady who owns the place was tremendously helpful in this heavy work—we didn’t damage my car at all, though this four-foot-high chunk of concrete easily weighs more than two hundred pounds. (I guess three hundred, actually. I absolutely cannot lift it by myself.)

So we’ve been “working on her” in the basement, off and on this winter, using concrete patch to fill in little gaps where bubbles had formed, and using the Dremel to smooth the places where the halves of the mold fit together and there’s a little edge of extra concrete to get rid of.

Our plan is to give her a nice white or whitish paint job that will look something like marble, and set her out in the backyard where only we can enjoy her voluptuousness. She is nude. We don’t want the moral conservatives, puerile neighborhood boys, or any other uncool riffraff messing with our lovely goddess!

I know that if she is a goddess, she is probably supposed to be Aphrodite or Venus—or maybe she’s just a “bather”—but we like to think of her as Persephone, the maiden goddess of springtime.

So in this pleasant vale we stand again,
The field of Enna, now once more ablaze
With flowers that brighten as thy footstep falls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For, see, thy foot has touch’d it; all the space
Of blank earth-baldness clothes itself afresh,
And breaks into the crocus-purple hour
That saw thee vanish.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, from “Demeter and Persephone”

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