111 Day Artistic Spirit Pledge: Spiritual Growth Through Creative Expression
Day 36: Ancestral Conversations
The Creativity Prompt posted on Friday (Day 33 of the pledge) was as follows:
Continuing with the theme from yesterday’s post, imagine two of your ancestors (one from your paternal side and the other from the maternal branch of your tree) are standing on the beach. Now, write a conversation between the two of them.
I picked one of my great-grand aunts on my paternal side and one of my 2nd great-grandmother’s on my mom’s side of the tree. I know very little about both of these women, who died much too young, but took what I did know and fictionalized the rest. This was a fun conversation to write!
Standing on the beach, Margaret and Birdie gazed out towards the horizon. So much left behind but beauty awaits them.
BIRDIE: Who is mourning you?
MARGARET: My sisters…in the convent…my mother, sister and brother. You?
BIRDIE: My husband and children
MARGARET: Oh, I’m so sorry. How many children?
MARGARET: Fourteen?! Oh, God bless you.
BIRDIE: (laughs) Some days I needed many blessings.
MARGARET: Did you know that you were coming here?
BIRDIE: (shakes head) I got very sick, very quickly. Thank God for my husband and older children. They looked after the younger ones. My babies. It must be so confusing for them.
MARGARET: My Papa died when I was nine. He had cancer of the stomach. My mother was a saint – hard working and strong. Yet, I still missed my father very much.
BIRDIE: I worry about my children holding onto grief instead of being happy kids. Will the pain pass?
MARGARET: It does. I felt lost for many years, but I realized that I now had two fathers in Heaven. While I couldn’t be with one, I’d devote my life to the other.
BIRDIE: That’s a brave decision, making such a life-changing choice.
MARGARET: It was an easy one to make. My mother took us to mass regularly. It was like home to me more times than not.
BIRDIE: I miss home. We moved to Trenton a few years ago, but I always considered Pennsylvania home. I missed the open land, the community feel, and the sense of belonging.
MARGARET: I didn’t like living in a big city. Living with my sisters and fellow teachers I knew I belonged.
The two women refocus their attention on the now setting sun.
BIRDIE: Look, it’s nearly time.
MARGARET: Yes, nearly. Do you have anyone waiting for you upon our entrance?
BIRDIE: (nods) I do. I want to see my parents again.
MARGARET: Then we should not keep our loved ones waiting. Take my hand, Bertha, and we’ll go together.
**I am an Artistic Spirit! For most of my life I’ve used the creative arts as a source of spiritual exploration and healing, even though I didn’t always do so consciously. Sometimes I was the instrument creating the art and other times I was on the receiving end. The connection between art and spirituality is so significant in my life that it’s infused into everything I do. I love music, theatre, television drama series (daytime and primetime), and creative writing and find fulfillment in artistic expression of various sorts: singing, acting, and jewelry design. Throughout the next 75 days, I’ll delve into how all of the above strengthens my spirit and has saved my life on more than one occasion.**