The other night
with the Moon’s light
veiled in her dark
Mary Beth Moser, PhD is passionate about the cultural history of her ancestral homeland of northern Italy. Her publications include “The Everyday Spirituality of Women in the Italian Alps: A Trentino American Woman’s Search for Spiritual Agency, Folk Wisdom, and Ancestral Values.” (ProQuest, 2013), and “Honoring Darkness: Exploring the Power of Black Madonnas in Italy,” along with several published essays. In addition to writing, traveling and giving presentations, she dreams under the night skies of her island home in the Northwest US.
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[This is Part 2. Read Part 1 here.]
To further stoke the fires of my Catholic ambivalence, ten years after my mother left him, my father petitioned the Archbishop to annul their twenty-three year marriage. He had fallen in love with a widow named Rose and wanted their marriage blessed by the Church, an act that would have been forbidden to him as a divorced man. With enough witnesses and enough cash, my father was able to reverse the effects of the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, into which he had entered with my mother, and erase the Church’s long-term memory. In the process, he relegated to illegitimacy, the souls of the six children he had sired with my mother. In the eyes of Mother Church, my brothers and sister and I became bastard-children. In a strange twist of canonical logic, the daughter of my mother and her priest boyfriend had become the only legitimate offspring in my family. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why my father has felt compelled to say Novenas for his sons and daughters, as if his nine-day devotions in our honor will placate his Catholic God, seduce Him into forgiving us our dubious birthright and accept us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Hebrew prohibition against pork was a product of the agricultural realities of the Levant. While Egypt and Mesopotamia were able to amass large stores of grain that could outlast prolonged drought, the harvest in this region was sparse and uncertain. It did not make sense to divert precious grain stores for porcine consumption when much of the arid land would only support grass. Goats and sheep were better suited for the region even though kids and lambs grow more slowly than piglets.
~twilight of the goddess, call to song to aery dancing, lady fair your fiery trance rewinds our souls; enjoy these offerings of fancy: all art is yours ~
By sibylline light
images I recognize,
creviced captures of my life.
I know her judgment to be my own.