Friday, May 28, 2010

Tennessee, Here We Come!

We're leaving on a trip to the mountains in a few hours; going floating down a river and spending time with my parents, four of our children, and the four grandbabies. I'll be watching them so Laurel can go down the river.

When I told my mama that we were all coming, I could hear her eyes widen over the telephone wire along with a sudden intake of breath. We're doing all we can to help out; taking most of the food, bringing sleeping bags and a tent, and providing plenty of outside time for the little boys.

We've made the five-hour trip to their house so many times that it's nothing much anymore. I have plenty of things to think about since finishing Traveling with Pomegranates last night.

I saw it in the new book section of the library and almost didn't get it. Sue Monk Kidd's last two books I read (Dance of the Dissident Daughter and The Mermaid's Chair) made me so aggravated I wasn't sure I wanted to read anything new by her. But I'm glad I did. It was co-written with her daughter, Ann and was about their travels in France and Greece and how they built a new relationship as friends as well as mother and daughter.

Sue, approaching fifty, was going through menopause at the time and struggling with her own mortality and thoughts of becoming an old woman. Her daughter had just graduated college and was filled with self-doubt and loathing having just received a rejection letter from a graduate school where she had hoped to study Greek history.

So many of the things Sue is thinking about and dealing with, I've been struggling with also. It's always good to receive validation about your own feelings and to know that another woman your own age is going through similar things.

Her idolatry of Mary is alive and well, though. I don't remember her mentioning Christ one time. So I do wonder about her spiritual state. I remember reading Sue Monk Kidd's writings in the 70's. I was a new believer, and she was a mainstream Christian writer from a Baptist background. I always enjoyed what she had to say.

Sometime in the 90's, she began embracing the feminine side of God and has never looked back. She tells her story in Dance of the Dissident Daughter. It's disturbing but fascinating reading.

I'm very glad I read Traveling with Pomegranates. It's a touching mother-daughter story. They alternate writing chapters, so you get both their perspectives on the same thing whether it's a place they're visiting, the struggles they're having, or Ann's wedding day. Sue also comes to terms with her own mother, so it's really a tri-generational story.

So with those thoughts racing around in my head plus new books I'm taking, I'll have plenty to occupy me on the trip. Let's just hope Superman will sleep for most of the trip, since he's riding with us.


Pom Pom said...

You speak my exact thoughts on SMK's thinking now. My heart sort of broke for her when I read D. of the D. Daughter, too. I also felt her anguish when I read When the Heart Waits and that was before all the Mary stuff/feminine focus. I trust your judgment, so I'll read her new book, too.
I hope your family trip is good. I went down the river once and found it all kinds of fun.
You are a happy grandmother! My mom gets a little overwhelmed with even just MY visits as she anticipates, but once I arrive and we sit and talk and think of fun places to go, she LOVES the time.
I realize that I think way too much and over think things that haven't happened and usually DON'T happen. Have a lot of fun. Take some pictures. I ADORE your photos.

Stacy DiNello said...

I think that I would like to read the new book and might have to check it out now that summer is HERE. Ann Kidd Taylor graduated from my alma mater a few years before me :) Glad to here your trip to Tennessee was a good one.