Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Mother Wove the Morning

Carol Lynn Pearson is one of the most lauded LDS poets ever. Her books of poetry have flown off the shelves at Deseret Book. She is also known for the books she has written about homosexuality and her gay husband. She also wrote the lyrics for I'll Walk With You, one of the songs currently found in the Children's Songbook.

She is a gracious and generous soul, and when I went to her home this past summer, I left with a few copies of Mother Wove the Morning in tow to read. I have since given away and lent out all the copies but one, it was that wonderful. But it took me a while to finally come around to reading it. I knew it was wonderful. I was afraid of the possibility that reading it would be life-changing for me. So I put it off until I couldn't any longer.

I judge books based on how many times I end up reading parts aloud to my husband. I read so much of this book aloud, I was afraid Carol Lynn would come to my home, burst down the door, and sue me for giving an unauthorized performance of the play!

In Mother Wove the Morning, Pearson depicts 16 women from history (and pre-history) and their relationship with the Feminine Divine. You can see the list here. I found Lydia and the Rape of the Levite's Concubine particularly hard to get through- in fact, the first time I just skimmed it because I didn't want to cry. I did go back and give it a proper reading, though. And I did cry. The parallelism between Hilda the Nazi Woman and Rebecca the Jewish Woman is poignant and beautiful. There isn't a part of this book that I don't recommend. It makes you wonder, what if we all saw God as the combination of a man and a woman, a real partnership? How would that change the world? I think it would mean less violence and we would see more of the divine in every person we meet.

You can read the book's introduction at Carol Lynn's site, here. You can also buy copies of the book there as well as a DVD of the performance. One of my greatest regrets was missing the chance to see her perform the play last summer (when I went to her home last June, I missed the performance she had done earlier in the day). But if I get the chance in the future, I will be there. If you have some time, check out her interview at the Mormon Stories project. In the fifth segment, she talks a little about the play and book and performs a few lines. And find a copy of this book or DVD. It's awesome.

1 comment:

Katrina said...

As a the lucky benefactor of one of your copies, I must join in saying that I can't recommend this highly enough. It has changed my life.