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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cupid Revealed ~ Rose Anderson

Yes, I'm teaching myself Photoshop. Funny, those thought bubbles were blank when I started...

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d give a nod to that rascally cherub – Cupid.

Depending on which mythology you ascribe to, this pudgy little deity is the immortal son of Venus (Aphrodite) and Mars (Ares) – an allegorical blending of love and war. Because he was the uniting power of love and therefore the bringer of order and harmony to the universe, some mythic tales make him a fundamental contributor in the formation of the world. A little known detail that gets overlooked as the lover’s holiday approaches: Cupid carries two arrows in his quiver – one of love and another of hate.

To the Orphic and Greek philosophers, he was the son of Nyx the Night and Boreas the North Wind – the first complete manifestation of Divinity. In other depictions, Cupid is considered a primordial god – an old one who came before Zeus and even before Zeus’ grandparents Gaia and Uranus. From the very beginning, even before the fabric of the universe was woven, Cupid personified love.

As Eros, his Roman counterpart, he was known far and wide as the god of passionate love. Fertility cults, and other things, rose in his honor. Some tales even have him with multiple heads, four eyes and various animal attributes. In other mythic versions, Cupid is blindfolded, and only the truest hearts will draw his blindly shot arrows. I had no idea Cupid was such a multifaceted little amorino.

When I met the love of my life, it was literally love at first sight for us both. I wasn’t looking, he wasn’t looking. It was fate. The arrow struck us both and it was totally unexpected. I write that love in my romances. I can see Cupid in my mind’s eye… his arrow notched on his bow. He’s tucked behind a tree or rock, poised to let his charmed arrow fly at just the right moment. When it hits, it’s totally unanticipated. It’s fate. Sometimes love is like that. Sometimes love waits in unexpected places. Has Cupid ever stuck an arrow in you? Please share in comments.

In honor of Cupid and his day, I’ve collected a few snippets from three of my favorite storylines. To me, they show the moment the arrow hits. I hope you enjoy.

Enchanted Skye
Inspired by an actual family legend and mythology. Here, an ancient charm captures a Selkie's heart.

He watched with mild interest from the rocks, but when Angus and the reverend walked back to the house, his interest got the better of him. He scooted a little closer and lifted his head to get a better view. He didn’t recognize this young woman on the land but watched her kneel before the pool. Her dark sable hair covered her face as she keened and for some reason he felt compelled to go to her side. He slid into the water and the closer he drew, the stranger he felt. Only feet from her now, he blinked the saltwater from his eyes and watched her. The wind whipped at her hair and the sea mist clung to her clothing as she hugged an urn tightly to her chest. He knew what he was seeing then. They’d scattered ashes on the water. He considered her. Who was this woman to Angus MacLeod?

The woman must have felt his presence for she looked up from her grief. Meeting his eyes, she looked startled to see him so close. She rose slowly and backed away.

His heart ached to watch her go and he found the feeling both perplexing and extraordinary. Then and there, he knew he had to meet her. Taking a breath, he plunged under the water and swam to the far side of the cliff where the sea cave sat undetected. On dry land now, inside the dark chamber, he peeled away his waterskin. And where flippers were a moment before, a man’s arms and legs appeared. Shaking out his spotted skin with a snap, he rolled it into a tight bundle and headed toward the passage.


The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo
Inspired by the very real legend of the Wisconsin Wolfman. 

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Ash rolled side to side, his tail wagging and teeth bared. Livie laughed, and it made him pause. He’d heard her laugh when she talked with Jenni, but he hadn’t heard her laugh like this, and never for him alone. The sound was merry and genuine and it made him happy. To his surprise, he wanted more. He craved her touch. He craved her. He nuzzled his nose under her hand. Touch me Livie.

She asked. “How did you heal so quickly? This just doesn’t make sense.”

Ash knew she spoke more to herself than to him but listening to her eased him. Heal? Yes, that’s what’s was happening. He felt the flutter in his chest and knew it for what it was. His heart was healing. He’d loved his wife with his heart’s every beat. He’d loved their precious child with his every breath. He always would. But because of this gentle, caring woman, he felt his shriveled heart expand for the first time since that monster stole his family from him. After a while her hand stopped its gentle caress and Ash knew she had fallen asleep. Listening to Livie’s regular breathing, he crawled up beside her and laid his heavy head across her chest. He closed his eyes and let her heartbeat lull him.

Loving Leonardo
Inspired by today's news headlines. An unusual, polyamorous, Victorian love story, with a touch of reader-interactive art history.

I sat Ellie and pulled a chair for Mrs. Ormont as she waited for her husband. A moment later, Colonel Ormont brought the historian to our table and made introductions. Luca Franco, late of Florence, was a Professor of Antiquities returning from London. I found the Italian quite the attractive fellow, impeccably dressed as he was. When in the presence of true beauty, my mind often imagines the person unclothed as the artists of the ages might have seen him. Sitting at my table was a statue carved in marble by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; an artist known for his remarkable ability to capture the essence of a narrative moment. And I found Luca Franco to be exactly that — a moment indelibly captured in time — a moment of meeting the mind could revisit in its entirety.

From every angle, he was beautifully made: black-haired, of medium build, and physically fit. He possessed a warm hue to his skin, his lineage no doubt stamped centuries past by the darker Moors or Turks. In startling contrast, and quite handsomely framed by black lashes, he had striking eyes the color one might see in a shadow falling across snow — not quite sky blue nor exactly steel gray, but a blending of the two in gradated rings.

I rose to shake his hand and felt the unmistakable current of compatibility. If this man weren’t forward in his mutual attraction, it was there nonetheless. I watched him bow over the ladies’ hands and found it curious that he lingered over Ellie’s fingers a tad longer. It made me smile. I had the distinct impression I was in the presence of a fellow dual-nature like myself.


About Rose
Rose is multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest. 

Love Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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Melissa Keir said...

Yes. Cupid struck me. I wasn't looking and honestly, I passed him over the first time. Thought he was a little pretentious. Then suddenly, he was the best thing I'd ever seen. His wit wasn't pretentious anymore but funny. He was cute even though I'd NEVER found his type attractive. No other explanation than Cupid. We're celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary this summer and couldn't be happier.

Sandy said...

I had decided marriage wasn't for me, but then Cupid struck.

I enjoyed your excerpts, Rose.

Tina Donahue said...

You are a blogging dynamo, woman - I don't know how you do it. I envy you. :)

Linda Andrews said...

I wasn't looking but Cupid got me anyway. I'm glad he did as it's been an amazing ride. Thanks for the excerpts and for the information on Cupid. Love truly is immortal.

Gemma Juliana said...

Cupid got us during a women's talking stick ceremony. He was the only man present, there to hold the male energy... sat right across the circle from me. Rose, have you ever come across a Native American version of Cupid?

jean hart stewart said...

Mine is another love at first sight story, Meet him and told my roommate "I've just met the man I'm going to marry'. Great excerpts, girl.

Rose Anderson said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. :) I wish there was a way to respond one by one.

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you for the very interesting history of Cupid. I was struck by Cupid too, one day in 1971 in a bar at the Jersey Shore. More than 40 years later, we're still together.

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