Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Earth Mother

I like to use visualization when I pray. I don’t remember where I learned it, but somewhere along the line when I was in a particularly painful period I started putting myself to sleep by imagining God as a warm, pulsing glow of light and color. Kinda like the angels in A Wrinkle in Time, hovering in the space above me. Or, if that wasn’t working to comfort me I would picture God as a black woman with dreds. Whoopie Goldberg, in her Star Trek wise woman/bartender role. She would tell me jokes and laugh with her big goofy teeth showing. However much I was hurting and scared Whoopie God made me feel safe and loved and hopeful. Like my mother, God would rub my back and say soothing things. Sometimes God would sit in the rocking chair by the bed knitting and singing lullabies.

Today I read Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

In Jackson’s beautiful story Earth Mother, the Creative Force takes the form of a woman walking across the land singing. Men, frogs, and mosquitoes each thank her for her kindness and then complain to her about each other. They all think the world would be better off without the characters that plague them. Earth Mother sighs at their foolishness and still takes delight in her creation. She loves all her creatures and she sleeps knowing the world is perfect in its own way. I love the illustrations here, showing Earth Mother as a Black woman with an afro. She is beautiful and wise and powerful. She walks through the world loving and seeing and listening to each one of her creatures. She smiles and caresses, feeds and encourages. Leo and Diane Dillon’s illustrations of this original folktale make this a vision of God/Goddess that I can hold onto.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: