Isis and I
Do you ever get the feeling we are on some pre-destined path? That there is an invisible string connected to all the events that happen? Maybe we are being pulled by an invisible string and it is leading us somewhere? Have you had those moments where the penny drops and it all clicks into place? Sometimes we don’t know what the future has in store for us but when we look back the events in our past somehow link up and things make sense. Or do we just try to find things to explain the coincidences? Do we try to find a pattern to make it make sense? Why do we need it to make sense? Why do we feel the need to tie up loose ends and have an explanation for everything? Will this help us figure out our future?
Sometimes, I believe we set ourselves up for certain things to happen, whether we consciously or unconsciously do it, we make decisions every day that take us to that next step leading to something else. And other times I think God or the universe (whatever you believe in) just intervenes and there are things you just can’t explain. The chances of some things happening are ten billion to one. Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t always peachy and easy to map out and more often than not life throws a few curveballs at you knocking you right off the path. I’ve been there a few times. But at some point, you get back up and find yourself on another similar route. Or at least that is how I feel.
I was scanning through some of my work on my laptop today when I came across a file titled, “Isis and I”. Curious I opened it up and smiled as I read a short paragraph I had written over 12 years ago. It’s a weird feeling to see yourself through your own younger eyes. Like reading your diary as a teenager. I then sat totally dumbfounded as I thought for a moment and connected a few dots. Well, I’m a little blown away by what I read, so much so, that it inspired me to write this article today and share my thoughts on journeying through life thus far.
I first met Isis, the Egyptian Goddess, at East Preston Junior School. I was seven and we were learning about Ancient Egyptians. One of our tasks was to draw a God or Goddess. We had to find a picture and copy it. I love to draw so this was something I enjoyed and after perusing the books I stumbled across a girl kneeling down and praying. She had a soft bluey-mint green dress on which reminded me of Princess Jasmine who is my favourite Disney princess. I fell in love with her instantly and decided to sketch her. I remember doing it, taking care to get all the little details right. I never really knew much about her. I just liked the way she looked and her hieroglyph headdress looked like big gold bars stacked upon one another. I no longer have the sketch but the memory of drawing Isis has remained with me ever since. I’m not sure why but I feel there is something significant about that moment. About meeting her for the first time.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians and their mythology. The history and language of the hieroglyphics, the astrology and medical knowledge they had back then, the first evidence of writing and education. I grew up with Arabic relics, Egyptian artefacts and papyrus artworks of Nefertiti and Tutankhamun on the walls at home. My dad spent a few years in various places in the Middle East during the 80’s working freelance so I grew up learning little bits of Arabic here and there and listened to stories of my dad swimming the Nile, stealing pieces of the pyramids (which I think led to bad events in the family because you shouldn’t export bits of sacred tombs * rolls eyes* ) and surviving for months on a diet of watermelon, peanuts and strong black coffee. He would tell me what the people were like, their mannerisms, their views on life. He wore the Jellabiya and went on the run during the Coups there. I was fascinated and liked learning about everything in the Middle East. I later met a Lebanese girl at secondary school and we’ve been friends ever since and I’ve flown to Beirut twice. I’ve yet to go to Egypt.
I’ve had the privilege of experiencing many cultures and meeting people from all over the world. The last decade I’ve been submerged in Russian and Ukrainian life despite being in Germany and now I am learning a little about German culture here in West Germany and I’ve been meeting Americans which has been interesting, and a little like whiplash at times but that’s for another story. I also meet refugees and immigrants from the Middle East through my work so I am delightfully absorbing all this new information and observing and learning about these people. But now and then Isis pops up and surprises me and I’m not sure why.
The word document titled, “Isis and I” was written on June 1st 2007. I wrote that I was scanning the internet for something and came across Isis. Lord knows what I was looking for, probably best not ask because I have researched some weird stuff over the years, but I felt compelled to write down my findings. Back in junior school, I didn’t really know much about Isis. We briefly learned there were many Gods and Goddesses but didn’t go into detail about each one. On June 1st 2007, some 15 years later, I recorded the following (it may have been copied from an internet source or Wiki or written myself but I didn’t reference it nor can I find it online so apologies for possible plagiarism):
Isis, the Egyptian goddess, remains one of the most familiar images of the empowered female. She is the goddess of fertility who gives light, and who rules over the earth and the harvest. Isis is depicted as the loving wife and devoted mother. Isis was known as life-giver, protector, provider, healer, mother, kingmaker, and teacher.
The goddess Isis spent time among her people, teaching women how to grind corn, make bread, and weave cloth. Isis taught her people the skills of reading and agriculture. Isis was skilled in the use of words and power. She was worshipped as the goddess of medicine, wisdom and knowledge. Isis embodies the strengths of the feminine: creation, rebirth, nurturing, love and compassion.
The goddess Isis is known as the essence of feminine energy and the personification of the “complete female.” The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has many gifts to share with modern women today.
I continued to write that I connect to her idea of investing love and creation into the world and generally just being ultra-feminine. I questioned how she randomly came up on a search and yet in that moment learning about her made me feel more aware of myself and the person I am or wanted to become so was this a sign? I can’t remember what was going on in my life back in June 2007 but many things take me back to my childhood and I now see things in a clearer way or respectively, a distanced adult perspective with more knowledge and experience. I have to be careful that I do not erase the fun moments with my sobered views but remain objective and try to interpret what the situation was at the time and how I felt. But it is a really peculiar feeling at times when you allow yourself to interpret things as signs especially when they reappear years later. Does age simply give us the tools to see what we didn’t see before? Has the message always been the same throughout? Was my true calling just blinded by life’s obstacles?
Pretty big questions that I’ve never answered.
I wrote that I was enlightened and felt good about myself. I don’t think it was the start of discovering who I am but it was definitely another cog in the works that moved me in the right direction because I have been delving into literature on relationships and building on my knowledge ever since. As a child, I was very shy, introvert and quiet. I was afraid to have an opinion, to stand out and to be heard. Over time, and due to events and people in my life, the need to survive and find where I belong has changed me. If you put me side by side with my junior school self you would realise a lot had to happen to make me the person I am today but it has been a series of things and me reading a mammoth amount of material on psychology, relationships and books on love that has changed my perspectives and attitude on people, love and life. And this empowerment, this need to understand my psyche, what makes me tick, my own sexuality, this need to discover the person I am underneath, it is this which I associate with Isis. I am a strong woman, but I am also feminine and like to indulge in things like painting my nails, getting beauty treatments, cooking, looking after people and being a good lover to my partner. When I turned 30 I was unhappy and it was the beginning of the end of my marriage. I needed to feel free, empowered, confident. I wanted to experiment, to dig deeper into my core and find out where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do and what I wanted from a relationship. I read more material on love and sex. And I started this blog.
Isis was a teacher and among many talents, she was skilled in the use of words and taught reading. I have always loved writing, to entertain but also to provide another perspective for my readers whether they agree with my views or not. Over the years writing has sometimes faded into the background but it keeps coming back again and shifts my focus propelling me onto another path. The path I now feel is my calling and has been all along. What I lack in confidence and orator skills I make up on paper and at school, I’d often write hundreds of pages for homework tasks whilst most wrote a paragraph. I took part in writing competitions and wrote for my local newspaper. Aside from school and university papers, I also blogged about gluten intolerance, cooking gluten-free, I wrote an e-book and I ended up teaching English here in Germany and becoming a freelance proofreader and copy editor. I joined Soldiers’ Angels in 2015 and was part of the cards and letters writing teams; writing to deployed US troops to boost their morale and entertain them. Writing has inspired me and reignited my passion for life when things were tough and it has been a constant in my ever-changing eventful nomadic life of wandering around Germany feeling lost. Writing centres me and somehow has led me to Mainz.
Of all the job transfers I could have taken, only one appealed to me because it was closest to an airport and near water and that was Mainz. I grew up on the coast and I miss being near water and I wanted to be closer to an airport for when I eventually get enough money together to travel and see places. I knew nothing about Mainz. I took the job and just moved here. A new start after separating from my husband. Shortly after arriving in 2017, incidentally, it was 10 years almost exactly to the day I had written the “Isis and I” text which I had long forgotten, I discovered two things.
One, the famous Gutenberg lived here and this city centres around his work and history, and two, there is a Temple of Isis and Mater Magna underground beneath a shopping mall. O.M.G. Yes indeedy! I was so surprised and went and visited the Temple twice!
I studied German at Bristol University in 2003 and learned about Gutenberg, but I also studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Northbrook College, Sussex, in 2008 and there we reviewed Gutenberg from a design perspective. Now I find myself in the same city as Gutenberg once was, and who I had met in textbooks in previous years unknowing where he lived, and Isis has once again made an appearance, albeit from an Ancient Roman perspective. I can’t help but think, however, there may be clues somewhere to my future in all this, that these are signs or confirmations that I am on the right path. That I need to follow my calling and keep writing.
Or is my mind looking for reassurance that I am doing the right thing?
But listen to this: There were fifteen years between learning about Isis at junior school and coming across her again on the internet and ten years between writing the text in 2007 and moving here in 2017 to a city where an exhibition is dedicated to her. And between learning about Gutenberg at University and again later in Design school there were five years. If we do some maths, we see a pattern forming and things are happening faster and in fives. Or we could say the number seven is relevant. I was seven in school, 2007 I wrote the text, 2017 I moved to Mainz and 5 years from 2017 will make me 37. Or am I being paranoid and thinking too much about this? Is this quantum physics stuff and can we map out when changes will happen based on our past? Either way, in three years’ time I am expecting another Isis sign! Anyhow, I love that Isis is in the same city and that somehow the universe is aligning for more wonderful changes. I’ve been feeling this shift in energy for a while now.
I’m not saying I am Isis. God no, have you met me? I don’t want to sound arrogant nor would I ever compare myself to anyone least alone a beautiful mythical Goddess. That’s really not my style. I am not a mother and I don’t think I am the maternal type. And I am not Goddess material with my cellulite and teenage skin! I do not do Isis justice by the short description in this post. I don’t know very much about her but I endeavour to change that out of curiosity by reading some scholarly work. But a few words from the description I noted back in 2007 stuck out for me today: healer, empowered female, love and compassion, spending time with her people, protector, wisdom and knowledge. I love these words and if there is something to learn from her to take into my future then these things would be great things to encompass wherever my path takes me.