The morning worship felt threatening. I wasn’t sure what was being threatened; I just had a sense something went very wrong. I had prickly skin and all but no language for what I was experiencing. Emotional electricity lit up my insides like a thunder bolt. What is this? I wondered. Rage? Fear? Despair? Betrayal?
I was at church to give praise, but no praise was on my lips. My usually dancing hips were fixed, my usually up-raised arms were by my sides, unwilling.
Everything as I knew it was about change.
I trudged up the San Francisco hills home to California Street, huffing and puffing, my lavender dress sticking to my legs and shortening my stride. My brow was knitted into a hurricane cloud. I didn’t say good afternoon to anyone. I stomped, a rebel ready to unleash herself in a temper tantrum of cosmic proportions. And—still—I had no language about what was coming over the horizon.
It was Mother’s Day. Although unconscious of it at the time, I had an expectation that this open-minded gospel singing non-Bible thumping church would talk about mothers. Other churches might not, but this was liberation theology that celebrated having room for everyone. Everyone had to include women, mothers—right? not just include, but uplift? All the other down-trodden were heralded as those worthy of our service and tithes. Here, we broke bread with outcasts, with homeless, with transgender people, with punks, with pimps, and with tech geeks getting high on this version of the culture club, many still reeking of last night’s adventures.
I had been here coming to this church off and on for a decade, since I was thirteen. My mother, Caron, a poet, brought me to prevent me from being an uptight Christian—and she had done well by me in this, and in many things. I learned to dance in the aisles, and I had indeed been liberated from the confines of being judgmental.
But, on Mother’s Day, there was no talk of mothers in any fullness. The lack of attention to mothers struck me with the start of this soul-thundering odyssey. Yes, the words “Happy Mother’s Day” were said, and obligatory carnations were passed out. But no one had bothered to search scriptures to find a mother to talk about—not Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, or Leah, not even Eve, the Mother of all Living. What about Mary—shouldn’t we be wishing the Mother of God, a Happy Mother’s Day? There was no talk of mother earth, not the feminine part the we in “created in our image” in Genesis, not women’s work in the church, not the women who risked their lives to be His 14 great-grandmothers. No mention of them. Nope. There were plenty of women in leadership, so I can’t blame just the men in robes. It wasn’t an intentional exclusion; it just wasn’t considered significant enough to preach and teach about. But, for me, the absence of the feminine struck a soul chord and vibrated throughout my earthly form and on up to heaven.
“A great wonder appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”
Revelation 12: 1
Excerpted from my Chapter in the New Feminine Evolutionary Book: Where is My Mother?
To keep reading this fairly long chapter, order your own copy of the book here
My chapter in the new book talks about my faith, my move to the mountain with Sue Hoya Sellars in my twenties, tea with Alice Walker, the awakening of my art and legacy, my break with patriarchy and my stand for the feminine. It was cathartic to write it all out and share it in the context of many women’s voices.
I will be signing the first 25 books and mailing them personally with a red thread enclosed.
Thanks so much to publisher Jane S. Ashley for her good work on this. I had the gift of creating the custom cover, as well as the invocation that opens the book.
I was reading the stories the other night in my co-author copy and was amazed at the courage and creativity of these women’s stories.
If you have been waiting to purchase the Mother Mary deck or Tea with the Midnight Muse, you can order that at the same time directly from my shop.
Thank you for your support for independent publishing and women ‘s voices!
Witness Tree Collaborative Project at Shakti Rising, San Diego
Wow there is a lot going on. It is hard to know where to dive in. This morning as I was stretching and doing my morning prayers the thought came into my mind:
Prayer endears us to beauty. And how saving beauty is.
I thought about what happens when we pray… how we engage our hearts and minds and bodies. Often when I am stretching, I pray with my body, honoring heaven and earth. My spirit calms down and I can focus my love where it really matters. My prayers are with the people of Mexico and the continued hurricanes, and the information I keep reading about fracking and wells with waste being pumped back into the earth.
As you move into this new moon Equinox and the Fall air and light – may you find the space and time to just ‘sit’ with yourself. To think. To reflect. To pray. to be with you and yours. And see what prayer emerges….
We are headed to Terra Sophia this weekend – the land of Sue Hoya Sellars in Mendocino, I may write you from there.
With a hopeful heart,