This post is about a book.
“The Testament of Mary”, by Colm To’bi’n.
(the punctuation marks should be directly over the letter o and i — I do the best I can on my Mac keyboard)
I normally have a number of books that I am reading at any one time. A kind of rotation.
Mainly, nonfiction, poetry, fairy tales, and some fiction. I find true stories and biographies more compelling than other genres.
I purchased this book well over a year ago after hearing Terry Gross interview the author.
To’bi’n’s portrait casts a spell.
In a strict, unsparing narrative of 81 pages, he presents her as a solitary older woman seeking to understand the events surrounding and after the crucifixion. In a latter life stage individuation task, she judges herself and others harshly.
From the cover note:
“This woman whom we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone.”
I found this self-effacing study of the human Mary to be gripping, enigmatic, and a testament to Self Honesty. Toward the end, Mary shares dream material, which demonstrates the veracity of the Dream and how the Dream brings Truth.
I first saw this Pieta at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
Massive in size and impact.
And as I read The Testament of Mary, the painting returned to me,
again and again and again.
Vox Anima, SDM
Art Credit: Adolphe William Bouguereau, Pieta 1876