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Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom [Kindle Edition]

Isabel Anders
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Spiritual wisdom drawn from a woman's world; word paintings expressed in the poetry of mother-daughter dialogue.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Isabel Anders is a teacher pulling up threads in the tapestry of our collective lives so that we might examine them and then weave them into our own personal tapestry. I found myself wanting to enter into the dialogue and to be included in the conversation. (Marian Windel, Executive Director, Sophia House, Louisa, VA) What is here is the eternal feminine in its most sacred presentations, and all people, regardless of gender, yearn to know and be embraced by that hallowed fullness. (Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence and The Divine Hours, in her Foreword to Becoming Flame. I like [Isabel's] mixture of profundity and populism - her sense of addressing something accessible but without leaving behind the most serious paradoxes. (Richard Grossinger, author of On the Integration of Nature.)

About the Author

Isabel Anders has authored more than 20 books for adults, children, and young adults. She has been Managing Editor for Synthesis Publications for twenty years.

Product Details

  • File Size: 238 KB
  • Print Length: 54 pages
  • Publisher: John Hunt Publishing (June 29, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008H3W8RU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,927,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weaving discipline into gold June 28, 2012
Format:Paperback
We women are all daughters, someone's daughter. Some of us are mothers, too. This tapestry is an intricate weaving of the growing process from childhood to maturity, the discipline of wisdom, reminding us that wisdom is not inevitable--it requires work. "Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold" builds on the foundation of "Becoming Flame" and the dialogue continues in greater depth.

As a daughter, I read Anders' words and am reminded of the wealth my mother passed on to me. In her mothering days she was orderly, precise, a model of doing things well. Words were not her strength, but she wove into her children faithfulness and diligence, "building her house." Her legacy remains and weaving gold becomes an on-going process. "Savor the journey, my Child," Anders writes, "learn and grow along with those you love."

As a mother, my own mortality becomes part of that journey's realities. My college-age Isabel commented one day: "Mom, when I was little you were so tall and you could do anything." Now she knows better, but the weaving has been true and "our souls remain connected regardless of dimensions of physical space." Anders touches on a breadth of Truth defied by the brevity of the book. With the pithy focus of Brother Lawrence, she uses a macro lens to bring home the details that remind us of our interconnectedness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Tapestry of Meditations for Women May 23, 2012
Format:Paperback
Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother/Daughter Wisdom contains conversations between mother and daughter about female spirituality that is connected to the physical and material, such as the actual weaving of cloth. The conversation is a metaphor for the spinning and weaving women do to create their tapestries of wisdom to be passed on to future generations of females. It is the second in a collection of that which Isabel Anders calls "uncommon mother-daughter dialogues" that call attention to the small scenarios of women who struggle and become successful in the weaving of their various tapestries. One of the sage observations in Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold is the quotation from St. Catherine of Siena: "Make two homes for thyself, my daughter. One actual home...and the other a spiritual home, which thou are to carry with thee always. These are the two lives we are building as we labor, sometimes all in one motion." Complete with notes and study questions, this book is a rich tapestry of carefully chosen colors created from the pieces of Anders' own life...and that of many writers of wisdom literature.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-Woven Life August 7, 2012
Format:Paperback
A daughter to my mother, a mother to my daughter, the circle spirals ever onward, and this thoughtful book of "word paintings" by Isabel Anders provides much to mull over and ponder upon.

Beginning with the introduction, Anders talks about spinning and weaving, the evolution of wise crone-words, and the nature of this theme in the lives of women. She also addresses the all-too-often belittled value of the stories of women ("old wives' tales" told by "spinsters") and the desire to not only express the worth, but also the innate beauty, wisdom, and power of feminine thoughts. As Anders states, "Can we then propose that the blended elements of women, work and wisdom--and even of age and endurance--be reconsidered for our time in new and fresh lights?"

In each segment of this book, a dialog between the daughter and the mother (who are seen not only in their relationship to one another but also in the light of crone-to-maiden conversations, which enrich all the lives they touch), the daughter questions or seeks enlightenment on mundane yet worthy questions. "How will I know what Work I am to do in the world when I leave our Home?" "Where is the Center of things, and how can I get there?" "Does life become easier as you increase in years?"

The mother interacts, replies thoughtfully, and teaches her daughter the nature of spinning our lives into form and shape. "The strands of your adult life are being gathered together, day by day..." "It is where love resides..." "...each day she must still sweep the rooms, tend the fire, and spread the board." The book is rich with metaphor and parable, wisdom that reaches beyond mere words, into the realm of heart-felt answers to questions that have unsettled women for millennia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure of a Book June 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Spinning Straw/ Weaving Gold by Isabel Anders is a treasure of a book. It is a series of mother/daughter exchanges while they both spin and weave. These short exchanges are very intimate and beautiful. Here is my favorite:
The Mother reflected aloud as they worked: 'It is said in a mystery that `You did knit me together in my mother's womb...--that God too `spins' and weaves us of the stuff of life."
"I am thankful that I was `spun' near your heart," the Daughter acknowledged quietly. (Pg 11)
The dialogues progress into deeper and deeper questions about life. The Mother tells the daughter that our lives are woven together as the spinning and weaving of our practical work. We weave the straw of our lives into meaning. This connection between the work women do and the unfolding of the Pattern of their lives, Ms. Andrews says, is something women do best. It as waiting and learning and doing; not a grasping and taking. This is a feminist book in its own quiet, strong way. I loved it.
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More About the Author

Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom is Isabel Anders' sequel to her award-winning book Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom.

Phyllis Tickle said in her Foreword to Becoming Flame: "What is here is the eternal feminine in its most sacred presentations; and all people, regardless of gender, yearn to know and be embraced by that hallowed fullness."

Lyn Sedmina, Christian Literature Editor of BellaOnline, calls the series: "A poetic perfection of biblically inspired values with a folklore feel."

"Isabel's dialogues are arranged in conversational form and embrace the collective wisdom of the feminine in short responses that approach Christian parables as well as Socratic dialogue in form and context. The author has included dialogues with questions at the end of the book for individual and group study." --Diane Marquart Moore.

The Daughter asked, "How do you spin all day, and see so little for your effort, and keep from discouragement?"

The Mother answered: "See this little square of texture and design? It is enough to wrap the universe in comfort and warmth."

The Daughter was perplexed. "How can this be?"

The Mother replied: "Even a few inches of loving intent can spread to span continents. Ask a ray of sun."

In Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold, Isabel writes of women, work, and wisdom, as "Woman's work and woman's wisdom come to us in literature, as in life, as two inseparable strands, braided within her very person."

***
Why do I write mother-daughter dialogues, and not mother-child? Most of the wisdom dialogues of old, after all, were between men: rabbis, abbots, masters of various traditions teaching male disciples one-on-one. There were reasons for this in their historical contexts. Though there are some writings by desert Mothers in the Christian tradition, they are few compared to their male counterparts.

First, I am a mother of daughters; I write about what I know. Second, I found that using a time-tested form of question and answer but between daughter and mother allows for open-ended responses by the readers themselves.

My emphasis in these writings is on exercising our gift of inner perception or intuition in concert with God's guidance, wise counsel, and the assent of our own heart. Mother-daughter dialogues are also an encouragement to readers to trust this process--that we too can knead reality and "make" wisdom between us like bread.

***
The Daughter loved the Spinning and Sewing Room, where the rough, carded wool was transformed into shimmering, useful thread.

"See," she said one morning to her Mother, pointing to the results of her effort, "our spinning teaches the wool to connect!"

"Yes," acknowledged her mother, "and it is our most basic lesson in life, as well, to learn how to Connect."
--From Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold.

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