Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Year of Unknowing Stuff

Okay, so I'm way sorry about the craptastic image here, but turns out my scanner is broken. Dude... Doooooooood! This the the WORST time ever for my scanner to tank, but maybe God is in this. It wasn't a great scanner in the first place.

Anyway, and I hope the picture shows up. Elaborate blog maneuvers get tricky on the iPad. I am busy! I work the day job. Two year olds are still killing me, bless their hearts, and I'm still living in community, trying to be faithful, and starting a new life as a separated, soon to be divorce mother who homeschools. Hey, is this me I'm talking about? WTHeck???

Anyway, if that doesn't sound like unknowing, I don't know what does. From January my life has changed so dramatically I'm reeling! But I did do my annual self-portrait vision board. That's it, lovies, and may I say, boy was I surprised. Last year's was chock full of images. This year, totally stripped down. Mind you, I'm not done with the collage. I'll probably add some paint elements, and finish coating it with mat medium, but what I want to share here is how informative this vision board is.

I began with the understanding that this is the year of unknowing. The word "unknowing" kinda spooked me. I thought I'd experience all this gloomy, dark, what the heck is going on here, and despite any effort I made to reassure myself with the idea that that is NOT what unknowing is about, my creeped-outness persisted.

I am not even a third way done with the book, The Cloud of Unknowing. Mostly because I wanted to go slowly enough to savor the journey, but also because the stress in my life has effectively made every ADD tendency in me, and there are many, run amok. I can only do itty-bitty things, read short bursts of info, take baby steps, and boy am I ever dreamy. See what I mean? I'm supposed to be telling you about my vision board revelations.

So, just before the new year my daughter Abbie dreamed I had TWO babies. They were miracle babies, and we were all thrilled that not one, but two miracles came into my life. When I was praying over the magazine images, the one of the naked black woman and baby jumped out at me. When I pray through collage, that's what I look for, that gut feeling that THIS is the image I need to pay attention to. I snipped it out, and put it aside. Not much came to me that session. Roses, and a carnation. Red, and white. Roses always signify redemptive suffering to me. Heavy on the redemptive. Honeys, I'm awesome at suffering. Redemptive suffering, not so much, that's why I wrestled with the issue in my novel Wounded, and why I still struggle with getting to the essence of such a mystical concept. Carnations--and this is just me y'all--make me think of death. All those funeral carnations I've seen in my day. I didn't want that on my freakin' vision board, but there it was. You have to pay attention to your instincts when you do the pray, paper, scissors thing. Somethings, many many things, will die this year, but that ain't all bad. Somethings really needed to go, and rest in peace!

I also used the small image of Our Lady as envisioned by St. Catherine Laboure. You can GOOGLE her. This was the image my raised me mama gave me when I was about seven or eight. We were ridiculously not Catholic. Nothing in my life was Catholic, but receive a necklace of the Virgin Mary I did, and this was it. I think she was drawing me to her Son, and mother love even then. And here she is again, arms outstretched. I may really need a mom this year (so say my instincts). Jesus is good to give me his.

And here I am, too, trying to process all, being courageous, and not afraid. The Year of Unknowing is wild with change, but it isn't necessarily (always) terrifying. Today, I am full of dreams and plans for my sacred, creative business. If you like me friends, you are going to get the best, most authentic, and generous version of me soon, when I finally launch The Sunshine Abbey. I hope you stick around. I feel as if I am in a warm, safe, womb. It is dark, I cannot see what will happen, but I feel so connected to God. And loved. If love makes you real, I am feeling oh so very, very REAL. And not afraid of the dark.

The text is called The Prayer of Privy Counsel I found it in the introduction to the audio version of The Cloud of Unknowing I purchased on Audible, that also has The Book of Privy Counsel by the same anonymous English monk. I modified it a teensy bit. It says:

That which I am and the way that I am,
with all my gifts of nature and grace,
you have given me, O Lord, and you are
all this. I offer it to you, principally
to praise you and help my fellow human beings (anonymonk wrote fellow Christians)
and myself.

I pray this year that I will be able to serve, share and love, here, through any new books I may have traditioanally published, and the SuperFantabulicious ebooks and e-courses you find on the soon to be born Sunshine Abbey.

I think the year of Unknowing will be full of surprises. What say ye?

mair, who has not forgotten you are still waiting for chapter 2 of the NPWitY. Soon! Keep coming back!


Anonymous said...

Hi Mair: I hope it is ok that I call you that. I was so struck by your collage. I have a picture of myself like the naked woman. A photographer friend of mine took a picture of me like that when I was pregnant with my now 21 month old and was hold my at the time 1yr old, with her lil naked Yes I have a 1 and 2 year old. They are exactly a year and a month smh.

Mrs.D Monique

Marti Pieper said...

I am glad you are feeling real. Because I have always known you were. And (more importantly), so has the-giver-of-all-good-gifts-including-wildly-creative-collages.

You come to mind often. Holding up your arms!

MaryAnn M said...

oh wow...the creativity and sunshine is pouring out...
great idea for the collage

i keep wanting to do a vision board but need to blow the dang whistle on life long enough for me to sit and ponder and pray...cut and paste it together

~Leslie said...

excitedly anticipating your new births!!!

yes, being loved IS being REAL!! so happy you are finding comfort in the darkness.

things are coming together, as they should!


Victoria Gaines said...

I need to do a vision board. This is excellent. You inspire me, bless me, spur me on. I'm all about this Sunshine Abby thing - tell me more. Trying to brainstorm a few ventures of my own, now that we are totally jobless over here. Blessings to you, dear one. I have missed your blog but hope to drop by more often:-)


ragamuffin diva said...

Yes, please call me Mair. Thanks for the beautiful image, Mrs D. Marti, I'm so happy to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words. I need those arms right now. My heart too, truth be told.

MaryAnn and Victoria, make it happen. I'm happy to help.

Leslie, I truly believe they're coming together.

Anonymous said...

I hope your Year of Unknowing produces exactly the fruit you need. Your collage is wonderful - so is your heart. Today would have been my eldest son's birthday, had he lived past 27. It's been a hard day for me. Your words give me hope. Thank you.

Clayton, NC