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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


The other night I dreamed that I was walking with someone (Michael or Talaura or Stephanie...I don't know. someone) through a neighborhood. We walked past one house that had a huge pomegranate tree in the front yard. The branches were heavy with pomegranates, many of them hanging over the sidewalk. There were so many pomegranates. We turned our shirts into makeshift baskets and filled them with as many pomegranates as they would hold. That was it. That was all to the dream. The next day I told Talaura about it and she replied "Persephone". I didn't understand. I said "Why would she visit me?" and Talaura said "No, she IS you". Then I was all "no...get out" because...well...just because. Persephone, a Greek goddess of the underworld, was so beautiful that everybody loved her. Instead, I said the dream was probably about the seasons changing and winter coming since Persephone's mom was the reason we had winter. She would be so sad during the months that Persephone had to spend in Hades that she would make all the things stop growing.

Later that day I was telling this to Michael and he said "But you ARE Persephone!". He also said a bunch of other things like what kind of person has dreams of making baskets with their shirts and picking pomegranates. "Can't you have dreams like every one else? Zombies? Falling off tall buildings?" Nope. But any way...Persephone...beautiful and loved by all. It's not that I don't think I am loved. I know everyone loves me. It's the word beautiful that I am constantly having a problem with. Michael tells me that I'm beautiful all the time and I've finally stopped rolling my eyes at him only because I physically hold them in place. Mentally they are rolling all around in my head. Why am I so opposed to this word?

Beautiful is defined as "pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically". When I break it down to the raw definition that word doesn't seem so bad. But I guess I have turned the word beautiful into the highest form like lovely, lovelier, and loveliest. Loveliest is the absolute most lovely. Beautiful is the word you use to describe things that are unattainably beautiful. Works of art, goddesses, models. It is not a term that should be applied to lowly ole' me. I remember once asking Chris early in our relationship why he hadn't told me I was beautiful. He told me because he didn't actually put me in that category. He said I was cute but not necessarily beautiful. He had the same ideas about that word as I did. Beautiful is a special word used sparingly and doesn't apply to all or everything. Now, though, I think we were both wrong.

The thing about the story of Persephone is that you don't know what it was about her that made her so beautiful. We don't know if it was her perfect porcelain skin or her flowing main of hair. What if the thing that made her so beautiful was her spirit, her generosity, her kind heart? I am no Greek goddess but I think I can get behind the idea that I have qualities that are pleasing to the senses or mind.