Monday, August 08, 2005

Mary with the Broken Fingers

I've been curious about Mary since I first began noticing her in shops in the mid '90s. As a Presbyterian, we don't mention Mary much in our religious thinkings so I don't have the wonderful lessons and history that other denominations have about her. She has always held a fascination for me. While I lived in Chicago, I was an accomplished thrift store shopper. It was a thrift store mecca with some very fine goods passing through the doors of even the grungiest places. I could spot "creativity" on a dime. Mary would often show up in the Housewares Department--often in pristine condition, sometimes with broken parts. I always opted for the pristine ones & before long I had a growing collection of Mary figurines. You can easily see that my studio is filled with Mary and her presence.

Last week was a gathering week. I had finished the Adoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe & I was not quite ready to begin another project. I knew I had some ideas and deadlines looming but I needed to get out into the world to see what was going on. When I have that kind of urge I often head for the thrift stores or "make my rounds" as I am fond of saying.

Mary appeared to me twice last week while making my rounds. I buzzed into Barnes and Nobles to pick up the latest issue of Quilting Arts for the Yvonne Porcella challenge that Teri is using for her guild. Something told me to stay and browse a minute and there in the bargain section was Mary waiting for me. The book, Mary, Queen of Angels is a small book by Janice T. Connell but it is packed with beautiful, understandable Answers to Universal Questions. It has the format that I love and I am humbled when I take it out to read. Like chocolate, I am savoring every word and carefully unwrapping each morsel of knowledge. Maybe this will be the answer to my questions about Mary.


Mary appeared to me at the Junior Assistance League Thrift Shop in Conroe too. There sitting amongst the cups and crockpots was Mary with two broken but mended fingers. I picked her up & looked at her delicateness. What a shame she has broken fingers, I thought. And I moved to return her to the shelf but she would not go back. And so now, Mary with the Broken Fingers, lives with me on my studio table holding pencils, reminding me that even the broken can be creative again.


Allison, in an email to me, asked me if I felt any special emotions while working on my Adoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe quilt. She is beginning a quilt that will have the figure of Jesus in it. I can say that working on the Adoration was not hard. It kept calling me--maybe Mary was speaking to me, telling me how important it was for me to speak to her. Adoration was the piece that I have been designing in my head for years. Doing and then finishing Adoration liberates me to do more quiltwork about Mary. And, to find out about her and her powers. That is very strong motivation. So, yes, I guess to answer your question, Allison, Mary did speak to me while sewing and she continues to speak to me. ~~~Debra

1 comment:

Two Madonna Gals said...

What a lovely post Debra. The image of the Virgin with broken fingers is very powerful. We're all a little chipped around the edges, but there we go, carrying our pencils, waiting for the opportunity to create. She's a wonderful inspriation. Barbara