Scene4 Magazine - Eulogy - The Goddess In Exile | Griselda Steiner | December 2012 |

December 2012

From the screenplay THE GODDESS IN EXILE
by Griselda Steiner

When you, Elvira, died the earth died with you, your memory in the leaves of ancestral trees, your heart in the soil, your hands in the flowers you picked as a young girl scorched by the wild Andes sun. The ice that fed water to the streams and rivers that kept your clay moist filled with your tears and flooded the mountainside engraving the scar of your body on its sloping rocks.  The waters poured into the ocean and chilled the volcanic fires in its depth.  Then the winds swept your black hair to the clouds that parted in a barren sky.

When you Elvira died, time died with you and fled to the midnight sky leaving swirling galaxies to trace your dancing feet to the shaman's drum.  Your legs swept the earth's plains of vast hordes of migrating animals to the cosmos and your mouth sucked in all the fishes of the sea and spit them to the stars. Your arms arched with the flight of birds you flung in the shape of arrows in ascending scales of light and your face fell to the sun.  Now, your smile waxes and wanes as the light of the moon.

The earth our mother died that night with you - the Goddess in Exile.  We are left with nature's grandmother, an old woman with gray skies - polluted clouds - stretching continent to continent pierced by satellite beams.  An old woman who continues to be raped by men who suck her sagging breasts of oil - blast her plains with war - and ocean floors with atomic bombs - destroy her forests and starve her wildlife.  The old woman weeps that she must seek revenge and shake us off.

Because one woman-  one night was killed  - our civilization is over.  Because one woman - a spiritual woman - a Goddess - was killed one night by her husband who goes unpunished - our civilization and our natural mother have died.

There will be new stories, new myths born from the old.  A new civilization will gestate and grow, but we can now only remember in broad flashes of revelation, the passage that brought us to this end.


The  screenplay "THE GODDESS IN EXILE" is a fictionalized account of the life of New York City artist Ana Mendieta who was found dead on a roof beneath her Soho loft window in 1985.  Her death at age 36 became a scandal that rocked the art world at its zenith making headlines when her husband, conceptual artist Carl Andre, was acquitted of her murder.  Ana' s art was inspired by the mythic feminine, her body, nature and mystical associations.

This Eulogy is spoken at the end of the film by her close friend over a retrospective montage of photographs, films, objects, sculpture and drawings. 

The story holds fast to premise that the Goddess within is truly in exile in modern civilization. 

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©2012 Griselda Steiner
©2012 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Griselda Steiner is a poet, dramatist and free-lance writer living in New York City. A member of the Playwrights and Directors Unit of the Actors Studio from 2007 through 2009, she has written the play MARY M and the MAD PROPHET, the musical HYPATIA and screenplay THE GODDESS IN EXILE. Note:  Griselda is seeking full production of the musical "HYPATIA". If interested contact her at
For more of her writing and articles, check the Archives


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