Friday, July 24, 2009

The Black Madonna, sacred and profane

The Black Madonna of Czestochowa. A mysterious figure linked variously to the Crusades, pagan goddesses, and Mary Magdalene. Miracles and pilgrimages. From Egypt, from France, from Poland. She is both sacred and profane. This Madonna belonged to my grandmother and I was always drawn to her--- much more than the blond blue-eyed statues of my local Catholic Church. No one can quite explain why she exists. Some claim she is black from the soot of burning candles. Feminists have reclaimed her for this very reason--- we are free to write our own stories upon her dark face. For me, she is the deep wisdom and strength of my grandmother who saw ghosts in her kitchen at night, and thought nothing of it.

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