Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Red Tent

At the beginning of the Nativity Fast, she entered the Red Tent, not only to prepare with Mary for the birth of Jesus, but to prepare for the birth of her Real Self. צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים. Imago Dei.

She took only a few things with her into the tent:

Her novel-in-progress.

Her prayer book and her Bible.

An icon of the Mother of God, and an icon of Saint Mary of Egypt.

Pearl of China: A Novel.

Her leather and pearl jewelry made by Wendy Mignot.

Several bottles of Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc. (It's not just about the pearl thing. This is her favorite wine.)

Kate Spade prescription sunglasses to shield her eyes from the Brightness. And because of her great vanity, even during the birthing process.

Swaddling cloths to comfort the newborn. (yoga pants and modal night shirts)

Her cell phone, for contact with the midwives back in Arkansas and Tennessee.

A DVD of Michael Cunningham's "The Hours."

Books of poetry by Beth Ann Fennelly and Corey Mesler.

Oh, and cleaning rags for the bloody mess.


Mimi said...

My prayers with you during the process indeed.

Erin said...

Ha! As a woman who has said over and over (with great authority) that birthing a dissertation is far, far harder than birthing a baby, I feel your pain. And having never reached the end of the labor, I'm not sure if the joy is as great. I fear that it isn't, but the process is probably still worth it.

Emma Connolly said...

Susan, this sounds so like you ... and apparently great progress has been made! Can't wait to hear!

Susan Cushman said...

Thanks so much for the prayers and cheers, Mimi and Emma. Thanks for the insight, Erin. I'm learning that this is about much more than finishing a book, although I really hope to have the chance to find out what that feels like.