The Christmas of 2015 I was inspired by the traditional images of the Virgin and Child to create my own series of Madonna pictures. I saw this most sacred image of the Divine Feminine as present in all women of all ages and all places and all times and all circumstances of life. In total, I created 50 pictures.
This year I have decided to display most of them as a digital gallery in movie format. As you will see my pictorial representation is not sophisticated, but leans towards the childish in artistic terms. But each of these girl/woman images speaks to me in her own unique voice.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I am presenting the Madonna Mandalas to honor the Mother present in every woman. (I am also posting this on my Marie Taylor, Art blog.) Here is the link to You Tube:
I looked out of the front door and saw the sunny, leaf-covered yard of my childhood home. A small sob rose in my throat, “Oh, mama!” The scene instantly vanished and my eyes flew open. I had just been sleeping; it was only a dream in an afternoon nap, I realized as I sat up.
As the vision that had rested in my mind’s eye began to fade, the strings of my heart were stretched taut and pulled back into other memories; to a time when the big maple tree ruled the small front yard of my family’s home; to a time when the dry autumn grass would be buried under the bounty of its golden leaves.
Each year my mother would complain over the seemingly endless chore of raking of them and each day more and more would fall. Who would have thought the old tree had held so many in its arms, had been so rich. In my dream as I had looked out on that leaf-filled yard I knew that mother was gone and that it had now fallen to me to brush the ground clean and ready it for the coming winter snows.
In that instant I felt a stab of love for the long departed mother who had been both a support and burden to me throughout my life. “Oh, mama,” was the cry of a child who awoke from a frightening dream with arms outstretched, the cry of a sad girl who felt alone, the cry of a woman asking for forgiveness for her selfishness and neglect. “Oh, mama – love me, protect me, hold me, forgive me. I’m sorry,” all tangled and braided together in one long strand of yearning backward through time like a blind root seeking sustenance.
And while my heart was reverberating to the chord of the past, the maple stood composed and patient as trees so often do while it waited for me to pick up the rake with its worn wooden handle and rusting tines, to continue the yearly ritual of life, to accept the responsibility of its care as had been bequeathed to me – if only in dreamtime.
“Oh, mama,” my heart says as I rake up the scattered pieces of the day and ready myself for the long winter nights to come, “how I miss you.”
Mother’s Day will be here in a few days and as someone living in a senior community it is a touchy time for many residents. Those who never had children feel a little left out, and those who did have children are secretly praying that they will not be forgotten on this special day.
My own mother died about eight years ago at the age of 93 but today as I reflected I saw there were some other mothers I wanted to remember. First, my Aunt Lucy who is still going strong at 97, God bless her, and my cousin Mary who is in her 80’s. Both women were very good to me all through my life. Then there is my daughter-in-law Lori who is such a good mother to my grandchildren. I sent them all a card to remind them of my love.
But there is one more mother I do not want to forget. I was adopted as a baby and never knew my biological mother – who is probably 80-something now if she is still alive. Her name was Eleanor Fisher and from what I heard she was of Scotch-Irish heritage. Back in 1944 she was going to college – which was still pretty rare for most women back then. I assume she got pregnant by a soldier- it was wartime.
I was born at St. Elizabeth’s catholic hospital in Meadville, PA and she named me Linda Lou. I don’t know if she was ever allowed to see me or to hold me in her arms. In those days they discouraged such things. I was placed in foster care for several months and then adopted by my mom and dad just before I was scheduled to go to the county orphanage.
I have had some curiosity about this absent mother off and on during the years but other than registering at a national adoption match agency I never sought her out. Partly I thought it was best to let sleeping dogs lie and partly I didn’t want my adoptive mom to feel I didn’t love her – and she would have.
In any event, although I have never sought out Eleanor she has always been in a private part of my heart and today I want to acknowledge her. Believing that intention is stronger than physical reality, I want to send a message into the cosmos knowing that it will find its way to her where ever she is.
Mama, thank you for giving me life. It could not have been an easy time for you in those days when an unmarried pregnancy was so shameful. I hope your family stood by you and that you were not alone. I hope you loved my father. I must have been conceived in love because there is so much in my heart.
Through the years you have probably thought of me many times and wondered how I was and wondered if you did the right thing. I did pretty good and you did do the right thing. I had a good start in life and I went to college, too. I had two fine sons along the way and now have three grandchildren.
I hope you married and had other children. I hope you got to experience the joy that we couldn’t share together. Don’t feel any regrets or sorrow. I know you did the best you could and that you loved me. If there is such a thing as another life, I want you there to meet me when I come home. Wear a red rose in your hair so that I will recognise you.