The other day my sweet fiance stopped by the local plant store, called Petals and Vines, to get their information for our wedding. While he was in there speaking to the lady he also noticed a beautiful potted anthurium. Not only do anthuriums have beautiful year-round foliage but also they are desert plants, which means they are tough. They do good inside because they thrive with warm weather and indirect sunlight. They do need to be watered every day but they do well with dryness around the root ball. My aunt, who also has one at home, suggested that I give my plant three ice-cubes once a week. This works well as the plant needs time to dry out thoroughly before being watered again. It also works nicely because I can put her on the same watering schedule as Seymour, whom I water on Monday mornings.
I settled on the name of Calypso for this new member of our family because the flowers on anthurium plants are hermaphroditic, and according to tales Calypso is of the bloodline of Hermaphrodites. I also admit that I like the idea of naming her after Greek mythology, and that because Calypso has to do with the ocean it does make me feel closer to the sea.
It wasn’t until I had decided on the name that I looked further into it’s meaning. Calypso is most known for her role in Homer’s Odyssey. Also according to Greek mythology she lived alone on the island of Ogygia and was the daughter of Atlas and Titan. It was on Ogygia that she seduced Odysseus and kept him for seven years away from his true wife, Penelope, until Athena intervened. Calypso bore Odysseus two sons during this time, Nausithous and Latinus. Homer does not mention them in his Odyssey but they are definitely apart of Greek mythology.
Calypso carries with her both negative and positive connotation in Greek mythology, I believe this is because even though she did keep Odysseus prisoner and, for all intents and purposes, rape him she is said to have done it for love and with a righteous heart. She also helped to build Odysseus his escape boat when it was time for him to leave. To me this shows that like the rest of us she had a great need and desire to love, it was merely her solitude that drove her to go after that love in a less than desirable way.
Perhaps having Calypso in our home will symbolize both the good and evil in all of us. It can push us to be fair and remind us to consistently show our love for one another.