This piece was developed during the second Bartimaeus Institute Online (BIO) Study Cohort 2016-2017. These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection. For more information regarding the BIO Study Cohort go here.
By Katherine Parent
In the cave of a great sanctuary, a granite womb full of light and bones, I sat among songs of the annunciation next to a new friend. Listening next to me, she didn’t know that I was having a holy moment of uncertainty. Each apex was an almond reminder of sacred arches, gateways of birth and body: seen, sacred, secret and silenced. I was considering, fiercely and privately, a surgery that would open my thick sealed hymen, a birth defect known as “Virgin Mary.” Continue reading
By Chelsea Page
Childfree Not Carefree
Years before I created my new online class about the virgin Mary’s motherhood journey and the reproductive justice ethics led by women of color, I wrote to a friend:
My decision not to birth a child and, later, not to adopt a child, has been so lengthy, messy, and labor-intensive that I feel astonished that I have literally nothing to show for it. I hoped that at least I have cleared space for a different kind of family or community in my life. I await it with some of the eager impatience that I imagine my infertile sisters feel when they long for a child. Continue reading
By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
I wrote this poem two years ago when I was pregnant with Isaac. These days in the wake of events in Ferguson, I still hold onto these worries and hopes of what it means to raise a white man today.
Mary, did you worry your son would grow up
to idealize the military and violence around him?
What did you sing in his ear?
What toys did you give him?
That taught him to put away the sword
and to give his life before shedding the blood of another. Continue reading