Money is my Bogey Man, doncha know?
There are altars built to "Bright Goddess of Abundance" and I have worshiped there. But you know how it is after you leave church: sometimes it is difficult to sustain the euphoric confidence you felt, on your knees with your arms outstretched...and the candles burning...and the uplifting hymns.
You find one more email detailing one more horror story of post-Katrina economic injustice in the morning. You discover your checking account is overdrawn (Hitchcockian, the way the discovery simultaneously disturbs both physical and psychic sensorium) a couple of hours later. And finally, your lunch date cancels 30 minutes before you were to meet--the infamous "free lunch" is, once again, a no-show.
I was running away from the Bogey Man into the Bright Goddess' arms when I left CA in '94 and it wasn't my first time on the run.
But He's a clever goblin. Even as the Goddess sings a lullaby and tucks you in for the night, Bogey Man makes His presence known. He is under every bed in every room, breathing slow and softly enough so only you can hear him. He gets inside your head. You know he is smiling. You know He will wait and you know that He will come for you in the dark.
Bogey Man nipped at Sojourner Truth's ankles most of her life. I don't know that she ever commented on the impact of poverty in her personal life but a number of biographers make reference to her lifelong desire to own a home. I suspect she did not have a checking account. She lost her first house after only a few months of ownership because she could not keep up with repayment of the loan that financed it.
She worked hard and traveled ceaselessly and passed the hat and sold printed images of herself and accepted invitations into parlors and salons where, though she would always be regarded as a fascinating, exotic outsider, she would be fed and lodged for a while.
It is a life. Certainly less terrifying and debilitating than sitting down to wait in the pit for Bogey Man to find you.