After what has seemed an eternity, I am finally in the last phases of editing before my book goes to press. Today, I will be pouring over the formatted text to find any last spelling or grammar mistakes, sentence structures and title adjustments. The basic writing actually took me only a couple of weeks to compile. The process of editing, re-writing, and basic updating and expanding the material, well that was quite an undertaking. I joked with my Dad that I felt like I was writing a dissertation, so I should just enroll in a PhD program and hand in the book.
What has been most interesting is that each and every time, which occurred with mind numbing regularity, I encountered some incredible set back (life drama and so forth) postponing publication, I would actually learn something new, something that would lead on another journey of discovery of the deep meaning, the deep message behind this enigmatic ancient art form. Even though I was personally suffering throughout the ordeal, the process actually helped me comprehend the message of the Black Madonna on a deeper level. What also became a realization, is that the story of the Black Madonna as I was experiencing, could not be told in one volume. The story of the Black Madonna is the story of creation, the story of the relationship between humanity and Divinity, of the evolution of the healing Christ impulse in human consciousness, the story of our past, how to transform our present and of our collective future.
Here in the US, we are celebrating Black History month. It seems on many levels to be an inspiration for interesting documentaries, library events and educational forums. Some people do not think it is necessary, others say it is ineffective. As an amateur historian, I enjoy learning the evolution of how something came to be. How did we get here, what happened to get us to this point in history. As a health care practitioner, taking a good history is the key to diagnosis. In the legend of Parsifal, his key question to unlock the healing of the Fisher King was "What ails Thee?"
A casual observation of global events reveals there is much ailing the human race at this time. We have diminished our planet to the brink of disaster. The current crisis in Flint Michigan with their water is but a hint of the fate we all have if we do not deal with our environmental challenges now. The ongoing violence in all sectors of our culture and internationally begs the world to deal collectively and creatively, but we must get over our differences in order to bring all of our gifts to the table.
One of the reasons I delved into the subject matter of the Black Madonna was that I wanted to understand how our human family got to where we are now. The viciousness perpetrated towards certain groups of people, women and people from continents other than Europe baffles those of us who see Divinity in everything we meet. If we can see Divinity pictured in many ways through Art, this may be one way to heal our divisions.
The notion of a Beloved Community is essential to our survival. It was a theme inspiring the advocacy of Justice from Dr. Martin Luther King. For me, the recognition of "Christ in me, Christ in you" is the first step in this process. Picturing Divinity through a Black Madonna is another step in this process, delving into the gifts of Africa is another.
|The Black Madonna of Anjony, France 17th Century|
I hope that in some small way, my books will add to the collective dialogue of healing of the rifts in humanity. As we dig into our collective roots and discover the majesty, creativity and wisdom of what is offered from each corner of the world, we will see that the hidden beauty that emanates from Africa and the Black Madonna is essential to our common future.