I’m Alive Goddess Potholders, Passion, Grounding and Self Preservation

I'm Alive Goddess 1
I’m Alive Goddess 1 SOLD

I have to admit my I’m Alive Goddesses are not so popular.  It’s true, but I also have to  also admit, I don’t understand why.  I asked Jon and he said they were different from what I usually do and they’re kinda strange.  Well I can see that, but I just love them so much, every time I look at them I get this great surge of power deep in my lower gut and I grin, a big toothy grin.

See, these Goddesses are a part of me, and I think they’re in us all.  They’re the free and powerful part, that knows no shame.  They’re like Eve before she ate the apple, but they’re older than Eve.  They not only love their bodies, but they know the power that loving ourselves brings.  They are primal.  We don’t understand them with our intellect, but in the hidden recesses of our bodies.  The part that remembers when we knew how to survive in nature, before we forgot we were a part of our natural world.

My I’m Alive Goddesses came right out from my root chakra.  The red one at the base of my spine.  She’s passion, grounding, stability and self preservation.  She says, “Here I am, I’m alive and you better not fuck with me.  I’m here to stay”.

I remember reading that when humans stopped hunting and migrating and started farming they lost their animal knowledge.  The darkness of night and the animals became scary to them because they no longer lived among them in the same way.  That’s when they started  creating gods that were half human and half animal.  As a way to keep them safe.

I understand that my I’m Alive Goddess isn’t for everyone.  But she speaks loudly to me, actually she shouts.   And  she seems to have a sense of humor about it too. So even if she’s not so popular, I still want to share her.  So here she is, and now you know what she’s all about.  Take her or leave her.  But she’s here to stay.

If you understand my I’m Alive Goddess, but don’t want to live with her, I’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t get her and want to let me know why, I’d also love to hear from you. The Potholders are Sold Out.  And if you’d like to invite her into your home, you can have her image on a potholder for $22 + $5 shipping.  Just let me know if you want to send a check or if you want me to email you a paypal invoice.  You can email me here at [email protected].   She’s looking forward to getting out in the world and getting to work.


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35 thoughts on “I’m Alive Goddess Potholders, Passion, Grounding and Self Preservation

  1. I don’t see goddesses at all in these — more like Spanish Inquisition-type demons, especially the chicken-footed ones. Also, a mouthful of pointed teeth, grinning or not, is rather off-putting.
    I think it’s also possible that there’s less of a demand among your usual readership/buyers for what mothers and grandmothers (I am neither) might regard as the limited display possibilities of a fang-toothed, chicken-footed, saddlebag-thighed naked goddess/demon potholder in a household with children. When I was a child these would have scared me to death.
    No need at all to publish this comment, it’s really just to answer your question. Perhaps none of your other readers see what I do, but I thought maybe some might, but they’re too polite to say so. I took you at your word that you wished to hear what some people perhaps didn’t get about this series, but if I have caused offense I apologize, as I truly admire what you have done with your life and your art.

    1. No offense taken Susan. I’m happy to publish your comment it’s very honest and I do understand what you’re saying. Although I would compare her to a gargoyle not the Spanish Inquisition. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how you feel.

  2. Some anthropologists say that it was the transition from hunting & gathering to “stationary” farming that marked the rise of a patriarchal society and our quaint notion that we “own” the land we live on. And look where that’s gotten us.

    When I first saw these very alive goddesses, my immediate thought was of Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman” anthem (“Hear me roar!”). Which also scared a lot of people in its day. ;-}

    For those who snatched up your antique lace handkerchief scarves, these may be the proverbial “bridge too far.” But they are you, they are as real as real gets, and I can’t wait to see what else is going to pour out of you.

    1. I think scaring people in that way is a really good thing too Jill. thanks for you input. And I agree with you about owning land too.

  3. Maria — thank you for this posting. I admit that I was one who thought “these aren’t for me” when you first posted pictures of them. However, reading your entry made me go back and re-examine my response, only to discover a deep seated fear of this part of myself. Still not sure I want to live with physical, tangible evidence of I’m Alive Goddess, but I clearly need to spend some time approaching her in myself. So, thank you.

  4. A cross between a Maurice Sendaky look, something Faustian,and one of
    my aunts who always scared the hell out of me. Peter and the Wolf music playing.

  5. Reading all these comments, I’m wondering if maybe we recognize ourselves in these pieces, and that scares us.

    In other words, keep up the good work!

  6. Okay, you invited armchair analysis, so here’s mine.

    I think your goddess violates the primary measure of a woman’s value: her appearance. We live in a time when a woman’s worth is bonded with iron rivets to her appearance. Your pieces represent bodies that are proudly, blatantly female, yet they are topped with faces that are the antithesis of Barbie-pretty, and it’s just too much dissonance for some of us to accept (an interesting experiment might be to put the same head on nude male bodies to see of the response is any different). It’s similar to when we cringe over an overweight female on the beach “flaunting” her flesh by wearing a bikini. Women, above all (we are told), should take measures to change or at least hide that which is unattractive about them. Women’s facial appearances should either be divinely perfect or swathed in makeup or hidden behind veils. To have a female present an unaltered, leering face—without apology—is a violation of that norm. I suspect you’ve represented her face as you have as a symbol of her spirit; we see it instead as a symbol of her inappropriateness. And it makes us uncomfortable.

    And everything I just wrote makes me horribly, horribly sad. I hope you get other responses that are more hopeful than this one!

    1. I really think you’ve hit on something Kristy. When I was drawing her body, I was loving making all the lumps and curves, to real to what I see in people everyday, yet now what we see in imagery of women. I think her face, the scary “mask?” is meant to intimidate now that I think of it. As if to challenge someone to just try and shame her about her body. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  7. I enjoyed the pictures of these but I do find them alien to my own feelings/psychology/mysticism or whatever…They make me think of the indian Goddess Kali–frightening. They may be too personal to you for others to share in them?

    I have a little collage on my writing table of a picture of a china ornament of a pale feeble looking woman in a crinoline and above her to right and left are added pictures of a howling panther and an Amazon Greek warrior. Underneath I added the caption of a dictionary definition of DISSIMULATION. I put this on my work desk some years ago after a colleague said “How can you stand the rudeness of some of those faculty members?” I told him that he should just see my thoughts. A student of mine came up with a lovely drawing of a crocodile and added a proverb from his own African country: “Don’t kick the crocodile until you have crossed the river” I framed this for my desk also.

    1. Yes, Erika, I think Kali is frightening, but I love her power too. She goes over the line for me which I can appreciate. To me it’s a full knowledge of personal strength and how to use it without being afraid of it. And I hope she’s not too personal. I want my work to be more universal. I think she speaks of these things, but isn’t something everyone can connect to. Thanks

  8. Interesting comments. I agree with Cary in that there is a Maurice Sendaky quality to the faces. Those were also happy, yet scary, faces. I can also understand why these aren’t ‘mainstream”, as being in a kitchen with people streaming in and out, children waiting to be fed, meals being created, etc. This isn’t necessarily the place where they should live. They belong, I feel, in a bathroom, or closet, or a private place, where a woman can let down her guard, view it, and ponder.
    Maria I am drawn to these images, yet they are intimidating. The blue palms I see as power, streaming out, the energy required for getting all the things done, and done well, that is accomplished by women. They do hold a mirror up to our self doubt, and lack of self love, when it comes to our bodies. These pot holders make one think, come back and look again, and question oneself. It got me thinking. Isn’t that what art really is about?
    Thanks for prompting self reflection, and creating a discussion. It has helped me see that I certainly need to work more on self acceptance.

  9. My husband said that they’re “very booby & vagina-y”. Funny how he didn’t mention the fangs, cat eyes, claws & different feet! 🙂 I think the juxtaposition of sexy, strength & unconventional beauty can be a little scary.

    1. Oh men, but it doesn’t sound like your husband was scared of her. It’s interesting what you say about what makes her scary to people.

  10. Gosh, Maria, a huge naked, hairy, pelvis poking out. A demented look in the eye and teeth. Blue holes in hands like some kind of stigmata. Too scary for me.


    1. It’s funny Janet. I don’t see her as scary, yet it seems many people do. But when you explain what you see, I can understand that she may be scary. Thanks!

  11. My thoughts: I don’t mind naked but I found them too naked!! Where would I hang it? So then maybe I’m not comfortable with nakedness. That’s ok with me. I’m not concerned. Maybe it’s because they are so primitive. I’m not very comfortable with the very primitive goddesses that are found in museums. I have a print of a very regal woman with beautiful jewels and clothing that symbolizes power and freedom for me. I went back and re-read today’s blog and I think I understand what you are saying. I can’t get to that level. Eve before the apple. I will have to dwell on that some more. I can be happy for you. Your are indeed a powerful and free woman.

    1. I believe Different gods and goddesses work at different times for different people Alice. It doesn’t matter how we get there as long as we keep trying. Thanks for your honesty!

  12. I like these Goddesses because they are a fierce strong statement of what you feel inside. The look of them wakes people up and causes them to take a look at what they are inside too, a good long look.
    I’m glad you explained them so well because when we can speak of pain, shame and healing out loud others hear our words. Even if they aren’t used to these words and maybe at the time don’t like them, it makes them begin to think, I mean really think.
    It is scary but there comes a time in our healing when we can stop hiding from the shame, and use the pain we have suffered and turn it into our fierceness. To stand up and exclaim that we aren’t just surviving anymore but living! Taking our lives into our own hands in a strong defiant way and changing into what we are deep inside, what we’ve always wanted to be but couldn’t even imagine it, let alone speak out about it.
    The more we can heal and speak out, the more others can heal and begin to think, then begin to take action. So many more of us can shout out how strong we are and how good we feel about our lives, what we do and how we live. It spreads the word and the healing so we need to keep going for ourselves and others.
    There is a most interesting book along these lines by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. called Women Who Run With the Wolves, it helps women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of their instinctual nature.
    Thank you for creating and speaking out as you do.

    1. Yes Bev! You’ve said it so well. Thank you. Not just surviving, but living. And turning the pain to fierceness. I read Women who run with the wolves years ago, but I may have to pick it up again. I hope everyone reads your words.

  13. …and the powerful Russian witch Baba Yaga roams the forest in her mobile house which has chicken legs. It’s enough to make me believe in Jung’s collective unconscious.

  14. Hi Maria, this Goddess is not the Good Girl I was brought up be (but no longer want to be), so she is kind of scarey to me. I’m not sure where she is going to live in our home – with the other potholders in the kitchen? Perhaps, we don’t have kids at home, altough I’m curious to see what my husband will say about her. On the wall by my desk? I think all of the other comments are spot on, thanks for bringing this challenging goddess into our midst.

    1. Embracing what scares us is good I think Janet! You’re a brave woman. Thanks for taking the chance I’m Alive Goddess. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  15. Thanks Renate. I’m glad you got what I meant.

    Also, I’d like to clear up that Maurice Sendak was not Paul Mazursky.
    I had what was sort of a conversation once with someone who was going to
    be a writer and I figured out near the end that he was confusing
    Maurice Sendak with P. Mazursky.

  16. Maria, these resonate very strongly with me. I go through them comparing/contrasting their features and musing on the differences. “Which one most accurately represents ME (and WHY)?” I wonder, to myself. I adore them. I am just not in the demographic that can easily buy a $22 potholder.

  17. I respect all the comments from women about the potholders. I think I wasn’t thinking of them as “kitchen” art but as art in general. I love the eyes and teeth. As young girls we were trained to keep our eyes down and not smile too broadly. Now that we are in touch with our power we can look the world straight in the eyes and say “here I am-just the way I was created”. I feel the images are powerful. Really love the breasts, bellies and hearts which are the center of our beings. I hope we can teach our young women to love their bodies as they are, and to get in touch with their power. Keep creating!

    1. Interesting Nancy, that not looking at the world straight. I hadn’t thought of that, but it is a big part of her like you say. Thanks

  18. I just read all the comments, and agree with many of your observations. I like the pot holders and all their uniqueness. Doing the “work” of a pot holder may even be part of the art. The rest of my family isn’t as evolved in their thinking as I, and would have a hard time seeing these in the kitchen; even though they are strong working goddess potholders. I do like their eyes and various bodies; makes me think of ages and stages of life.

  19. I love her! I think she represents a strong, mischievous sort of “in your face” humorous woman. Not scary at all, unless you are scared of strong women. I love that she is naked with boots. She delights me.

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