Tag Archives: mary

Mary on the first Monday

Funny how things conspire to create other things.  My dear friend, Elizabeth, whom I rarely get to see because she lives on the Vineyard, and who lives very close to the bone, especially in the winter (not unlike a lot of service professionals on an island populated by seasonal wealthy folks), always, somehow, manages to send me the most extraordinary gifts.

This year, among other things, she sent me UNTIE THE STRONG WOMAN, Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (oops, I wrote, “UNITE” the Strong Woman – by mistake?!!)  There was a time I read a lot of books of this sort, but have fallen out of the practice.  The timing of this gift gives me a road back.

The opening words are, “With needles and thread, soft red felt, and white ink, I carefully… ”

Really?!! “With needles and thread”?!!  She’s a therapist, a writer!  And she is talking right to me, it would seem.  It is a book I have begun reading from the middle out (some books ask for that), and I only happed upon the opening words just now because I linked to Amazon and looked through some preview pages.

Another thing:  K. gave me a really good tripod for Christmas.

And another thing:  my nearly penniless sister gave us bones, beads, nut hulls, star fish, skull, sand dollar and more (pictures below) for Christmas, which I photographed with my new tripod.  Objects that had been collected over ten or more years.  Real treasure.

And another, much longer ago thing: when I was twenty and living in Dublin as an exchange student, I bought the image of Mary (above) for about 15p.  She was in a cheap frame on the staircase ledge, which as I passed three, four, five times this morning putting away wrapping paper, boxes, tape, etc., grabbed my eye.  That piece of paper is one of my most precious possessions!

And there she is: in a wooden box, framed by natural, gorgeous objects given in the Christmas spirit!

And , in keeping with my New Year’s commitment to more freely include others’ words, here is a Pinkola Estes quote:

She is ever in motion.
If there is emotion, she is there.
If there is commotion, she is there.
If there is elation, she is there.
Impatience, she is there.
Fatigue, she is there.
Fear, unrest, sorrow,
Beauty, inspiration,
She is there.

Today, I will remind myself that: generosity is a wondrous thing; that what is precious often surprises us; that even my impatience can invoke the holy; that I am not alone.  Nor are you.

‘all great words lead to silence’

The snow storm that they canceled half of school for today has not materialized. Light wet flakes are falling, but nothing sticks.

I heard a WBUR interview on ‘speaking of faith’ a while back and took notes while driving (but I don’t text, really I don’t!!). It was about language and prayer. Stephen Mitchell was one author who spoke (Roberta Bondi was another). He has translated major spiritual and literary works, including a Book of Psalms, the Tao Te Ching, letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, Gilgamesh, the Book of Job, and the Bhagavad Gita. Given that he spends his time with the most amazing of texts, I was particularly impressed that he said, ‘all great words lead to silence’.

In looking him up online, I was reminded that he is married to Byron Katie, whom I’ve mentioned before, whom I read often. In fact, he coauthored the book I consider essential, these days, to chucking some of my baggage: “Loving What Is”.

Funny how things connect, or show up, like the window and glass ball in this photograph.  Without my glasses on this morning and using the auto mode of the camera, I didn’t see the reflection until I downloaded the picture.  So there they are —  the surprise connections — two sources of inspiration married to one another, and one frame opening up into another.  Somehow, they read like signs of hope.