Monday, May 30, 2011

The one inside of your head...

I recently read "Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story" a non-fiction work by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. It's a great book but many women are more familiar with Kidd's novels, especially after "The Secret Life of Bees" became a bestseller (which I also read and loved).

Kidd is a gifted writer and both her fiction and non-fiction books seem to have an overarching theme of listening to our inner voice. Kidd understands it’s a daunting task, it's a road she's been traveling ever since she launched into writing despite her own feelings of inadequacy.

I also read a commencement address Sue Monk Kidd gave at Scripps College in 2010. Once again, this idea of finding a purpose grand enough for our life is Kidd's mantra. While encouraging the students to seek meaning in their lives she shares a passage from her novel to explain this premise.

As background information for context of the quote, in The Secret Life of Bees, Lily is a teenage runaway who finds refuge among a group of African American women who turn to a statue of a black Madonna for strength and consolation. August Boatright lives in a bright pink house that houses the Madonna icon.

One day August says to Lily, "Listen to me now. I'm going to tell you something I want you to always remember. Okay? The black Madonna is not some magical being out there, like a fairy godmother. She's not the statue in the parlor. She's something inside of you. When you're unsure of yourself, when you start pulling back into small living and into doubt, she's the one inside of your head, all day long saying, 'Lily, don't be afraid. Don't ever be afraid. I am enough. We are enough.’”