‘Nereus & Doris’ focuses on the virtuous power couple of the sea, known for their fertility and general good nature. If you know anything about Greek mythology, which is a lot like reality television, this could only mean one thing. They would be replaced.
Nereus, son of Gaia, was an honest man, known for never lying. But there was something fishy about him, and I don’t just mean his scales and tail. Maybe it was his shapeshifting ways, or his prophetic visions.
Doris was the daughter of Oceanus, and was known for the fertility of the oceans and her womb, for it is not every goddess who has the strength and tenacity to birth more than 50 children. There is even a cove named after her in Antarctica. Unfortunately her mother in law Gaia was always at her to have more children.
While it’s true that this couple had over 50 children together
It was never enough for Nereus, who was a bit of a momma’s boy. Add to that his ability to never lie, and we have a real problem.
Outwardly, no one even realized to ask if there was anything wrong with this watery super couple, which is a good thing, or Nereus would have to tell the truth. But behind the scenes, the tell tale signs of problems were almost there from the start.
Doris was pretty happy to end up with Nereus. She wasn’t wet behind the ears when it came to god like status, and she seized the chance to marry up-and-comer Nereus, who would eventually replace her own father as god of the sea.
She hadn’t anticipated the impact of her new mother in law who also happened to be her grandmother. In almost an instant her grandma Gaia had gone from a largely absentee grandma who sent the occasional birthday card to a mother in law who only cared about one thing: Doris making more babies.
At first Doris took this in stride, and maintained her composure
But eventually after birthing 50 children she had enough. She decided to talk to her honest husband, who could not lie.
Nereus, who took after his mother, wanted more children. As the god of the sea he felt the need to constantly have more children, and poor Doris was left to care for all her children.
Doris knew that in order for their love to continue and for her to have a break from labour pains that something needed to change. She not only resisted the pressure of mother-in-law Gaia to have more children, but she prepared her daughter Amphitrite to take over for her.
Doris then set her up with another up-and-comer in the ocean, Poseidon, who would eventually become the new god and king of the sea, thereby freeing herself from the chains of constant labour.
But unlike other dethroned old gods, Nereus was able to fade into obscurity with Doris, where they lie deep below the murky depths.
This was finally Doris’ Day.
Let me know what you think of these two vases, and our story today? I am also thinking of recreating one of the ancient vases on which the gods of old are depicted.
For now, though, you can check out some of our other raku vases here.