For Lent, a time of living a simple life, giving up something important or enjoyable, and spending 40 days in alliance with Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness, I chose to fast from the news. I had been addicted, like many of my friends and loved ones, with watching each day in 2017 unfold in political recklessness. The spiritual part of me, the part that looks at life from a spot above a thousand foot waterfall, believes that our time here on earth is a short stop on a longer journey. Or as Anita Moorjani, who had a near death experience shared on an Uplift Podcast, “If you imagine a huge and complex tapestry, if you get really close to this tapestry—and this tapestry is huge—when you get really close you notice that the tapestry is made up of these really beautiful silk threads that are woven through it. …When you stand really far back you see the complete picture and the complete picture makes sense. …You can see the rainbows and the trees and the butterflies and the grass and the mountains. But when you get really close to the tapestry, you can actually see the grain, which is made up of these beautiful silk threads. Now imagine if each of these silk threads is a lifetime of a person, and imagine [that] one of those threads is your life. So, as you are traveling along that silk thread of your life, you are not aware of the big picture. The only thing you are aware of is this point in time, this moment in time, which is one point.”
Moorjani’s analogy is solace for me at this time in our world, this time when America bombed Syria, a young Muslim teen was attacked and murdered outside a mosque in Virginia, and a projection was made that by 2100 deadly heat may threaten up to 75% of humankind (Stephen Leahy, National Geographic magazine June 19, 2017). Today is a thread among millions of beautiful silk threads that make up a life. There might even be angels weaving these tapestries, even though at times it seems that a mindless wizard is hiding behind a large velvet curtain cowardly shouting at us all.
I am looking for the angels in the tapestry.
Charles Simic writes in his poem In the Library:
The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.
MISSIONI have long believed in the power of stories: cultural lore, family memories, recounting brave movements to overcome injustice, and the long journey of lessons learned while having a life. Listening to others' stories is an art, the gift of witnessing.
In January 2018, I will publish an anthology of essays by 70 women of diverse backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and experiences with Nothing But the Truth, LLC. Editor ZZ Packer has curated the "Trailblazers, Hellraisers and Stargazers" who tell their personal stories. It has been an honor and thrill to bring these essays to life in All the Women in My Family Sing: Women write the world--equality, justice, passion and humanity.
Please visit our web page to sign up for updates and to pre-order this phenomenal book.
Thank you, Deborah