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Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom Paperback – June 16, 2012
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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.
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.
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.Read more ›