Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aphrodite at Indiana University

I will happily admit that I am a proud alumna of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and that all of my notions about the campus and town are heavily skewed. I see the entire landscape through rosy lenses, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It wasn't until I was showing my beloved Glaux around campus, though, that I noticed that Aphrodite had made her beautiful mark on my alma mater long before I ever arrived there. In fact, I'm persuaded now to see the campus and town as places sacred to her, honored as she is by the local residents. (Even the very name of the town -- Bloomington -- calls to mind her flowery and garden epithets.)

The first picture was taken in the hotel lobby of the Indiana Memorial Union. I was on the Board of Directors for the IMU in 1996, during my undergrad career, and I can boast for the school that ours is the world's largest student union all under one roof. This replica of the Aphrodite of Melos (Venus di Milo) is larger than life and stands in the crook of the stairs, surrounded by plants and backed by the university's beloved former chancellor, Herman B. Wells.

This next set of pictures shows the sculptural fountain at the heart of campus. Named "Showalter Fountain" in honor of the donor who funded it, this is a depiction of the Birth of Aphrodite. She is surrounded by fish, and the circle of this particular sanctuary is bounded by the Auditorium, the Lilly Library and Museum of Art.

I'm taking classes again through IU in preparation for my MA & PhD in Religious Studies. My application to the program is due by the end of this semester, and I pray almost non-stop to my beloved Kypris to see me accepted. I intend to study once more on this campus that I love, surrounded by images of her, as I research and write about the Lady of Love. What better place could I have chosen?

1 comment:

Elle Hull said...

What a wonderful affirmation to find! I hope it all goes well and that you will once again be studying at "Aphrodite's University". :)