Advice From Dionysus

DionysusI’m always interested in the etymology of names and often wonder if the name informs the personality and who the person becomes or if there’s something more cosmic woo-woo where the name was predestined for the person. In any event, my name comes from Dionysus; god of fertility and wine. I love me some wine and celebrations, but there are many out there who love those things who aren’t named Dennis. Dionysus invented wine and spread the art of tending grapes, but he has a dual nature. Despite being known for bringing joy and divine ecstasy, he is also known for his brutality, unthinking, and rage. These are things that hit just a little too close to home. But that, my Friends, is a post for another time.

I stumbled upon this poem by Shinji Moon a few months back and found it to be such a beautiful expression of writing. I love the duality; the brutal and the divine. I read it as something akin to the idea of Svaha. A nod, perhaps, to matter that is transformed with boundless potential at the end of a fire ceremony.

The festival for Dionysus is in the spring when the leaves begin to reappear on the vine. So, in celebration of Spring’s arrival (finally) and our rebirth after a long Winter, take a moment with this poem. As you read, perhaps identify those traits that aren’t serving you. Anything you don’t need…get rid of it. Bury it. Burn it. And be reborn.


Burn all your bridges
just so that you can build them again
with thicker ropes.

Hurt all the people you love
and then commit every felony to win them back.

Drown yourself in bleach until not even Heaven’s light
can compare to how bright you burn.

Turn yourself inside out
and paint your organs the color of what you see
in your dreams.

This is the art of
living with a ticking heart, a grenade you
throw through windows to make a
point that language
has no room for.

This is how I destroyed you.

And this,
is how I kept you alive.

Dig yourself a ditch, six
feet deep, and bury everything that you’ve ever
said, everything that you’ve never
meant, and everything that has
burned you and left you with nothing
but ash.

~Shinji Moon, Advice From Dionysus

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