small deities

Alice and I were going from one place to another in Brattleboro when we were captivated by something visually and aromatically spicy. The shop on Flat Street selling things from India sucked us right in. We wandered for a moment, caught by different things. Alice fingered all the tiny interesting objects – there were puppets combining men and women into one two headed flip/flop creature though only one was visible at a time, and boxes of tiny skinny bangles, some too small to fit over Alice's hands. I found an astounding array of textiles, embroidered, dyed, appliqued and stitched together. And we wound up together looking at a shelf of tiny gods. Alice wanted to know who they represented, and I had no clue. The only individual I knew, even glancingly, is Ganesh. Others I have only heard of, and could not match names with the images in front of me.

Alice picked up one in particular and was ready to bring her home when I stopped her. I found myself saying "We can't invite her into the house if we don't know what she stands for." Which has made me think of all the things that do come into the house, when I don't know what they stand for. Food, clothing, random stuff migrates into the house, invited in on the spur of the moment yet without a clear statement of intent.

Aside from a new metric to think about, I have to do some research on the panoply of Indian deities and see who caught Alice's eye.


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