Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twelve Days of Mary

Words by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Art by Hettienne

So, did you think I was only demure?

I have been portrayed as only clean and sweet,
nice and neat, but you know, dont you,
I've been to war and in knife-fights?
Did you blieve those who said
I have no scars?
Look in my face: my one eye clear
and my one eye blind:
one eye for seeing the world as it is,
and the other for seeing the world
as it can and will be...
by way of your mercy,
by way of your love.

See yourself
the way I see you
dear Soul.
Then, ¡Arriba!
upward and onward:

Some have said
she looks like a blob;
they have taunted,
'What is the supposed to be?!"
A log only good for the fire!
A piece of junk.

And I'd say
those who have eyes to see
see Our Lady,
battered by hail
torn at by rain,
chipped, splintered,
nonetheless she
holds her shape...

for The Mother
is unerasable;
even were one
to grind her wood
to pulp,
the sawdust of her
would still nourish
the ground
and maketh small
roofs for ladybugs,
and nest linings
for the winged.

Even were one
to burn her down,
her ashes would be taken
by some mad artist
who would draw her
a hundred times
on the walls of caves
so the not-yet-born
would one day see her,
know her, love her.

Nothing can extinguish her,
not conquests, not vandals,
not disrespect, not ignoring
her existence.

She goes on.
She continues.

Like the ocean continues.

Like the sky continues.

She continues...

in us. As long

as we remember,

she continues.

Even when

we forget,

she continues.

We too.

Same and same.

Same and same.

Even when we remember

who we belong to,

even if we forget

even if we ignore

to whom we belong...

we still belong tight

we still belong close

we still belong cheek to cheek

to the Great Woman,

and She to us.

She cannot be erased

She cannot

be brought down

nor made small

We also, the same.
The same, the same.
We who are
Tribe of the Sacred Heart,
many of us Scar Clan...
and with love enough
to hold onto her hem--
no matter which shape
she takes,
no matter what
condition we are in.

We hold to her
and she to us.
We cannot
be brought down,
we cannot be diminished,
for our shape is hers
as hers is ours: eternal.
Siempre. Always.

Our Holy Mother
gave birth
to the God of Love,
outdoors, under
imperfect conditions.
We do not merely
celebrate this Act,
but we replicate this:
We give birth
to the God of Love
every day
in our own
human ways,
in every out of the way,
unsheltered place
under all imperfect

Let us go forth.

- Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes


  1. Let us go forth.
    A moving art collection...the red one? My favorite!

  2. I read this over and over. All I can say is, "Holy S**T!" That is so cool! I love all the mary images. Each more beutiful than the one before and after. The words speak to me. How can we ever suffer as much as Mary as she watched her son being crucified? She teaches pain and teaches love all in one. Fangtastic all around.


  3. Yes, she is with us in whatever what shape or form...she is eternal and always will be...

  4. Not only do you make wonderful shrines, but you are a great painter. I am impressed!!

  5. I'm a fan of Estes but don't remember ever reading this before. Her prose poem along with your images is a very rich experience indeed.

  6. she is the beginning...and she is the end.

  7. I am a great fan of Estes. Her words can be so one's face that it is quite uncomfortable. She posted this on her FB page. She has also done an amazing piece on audio on Our Lady of Guadalope!

  8. Hettienne,
    I too am a fan of Estes. I have read her Women who run with the Wolves. I also have given her audio of Warming the Stone child to a friend. But this is remarkable. I think the last section is what speaks to me the most, deep in my heart, the part about replicating the birth not just celebrating. I am moved beyond words by that and I love that it happens in "every out of the way unsheltered place under all imperfect conditions." I am partial to the last painting. Its softeness appeals to me. Thank you for all of this.
    Peace and Light,

  9. Yes, very powerful, I am reading 'Women who run with Wolves' as we speak, timely!

    Sue x

  10. So powerful. All that can be said has been said. Amen


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