This week I read Untie the Strong Woman and I loved it. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, has written another incredible book about the wild feminine. Reading this book is like peeking into the brilliant mind of woman who loves Mary with incredible depth of heart.
This is a book to savor slowly. Her desire is to share the wild, unbridled love of Mary, as opposed to the soft, sweet love of Mary many of us know. She does this very successfully through short stories, poetry, and a chapter full of quotes.
My favorite chapters were chapters three and twenty three. Chapter three is about her experience building an altar to the Virgin Mary in her front yard, and the transformation of the stone mason who works on the project. Chapter twenty three is a collection of quotes from various sources about the Virgin Mary and motherhood in general. This is a rich list to visit again and again.
For example, here's one of the quotes included in the chapter:
Ms. Estes writes that Ms. Steinem's grid can "most certainly be applied with forward hope regarding the visibility of the force of Mother in the world being seen in new ways."
And another one of my favorite quotes from this section:
I love this quote, and the next time I find myself in a competitive mode, I hope I remember to shift that sensibility towards cooperation instead.
So, sometimes I didn't love the poetry in the book. Sometimes I felt the need to skip chapters. But sometimes her writing hit me so strongly I had to put the book down and go meditate.
After reading this book, I will not just work with Mary when I need comfort and love. I will call on her when I need strength, too. I'm very grateful to Ms. Estes for writing this book.
Excellent! Three books down, 49 more to go! Next week we're moving away from religious texts, and moving into more meditative/metaphysical worlds. We'll be looking at Opening to Channel by Sanaya Roman, and afterwards moving to Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton. I hope you'll join me!