Patty's entries are in TAN ~ Zoe's entries are in BLUE
Patty called 6 weeks before my birthday and said that she had a surprise. She wanted to take me to Southern France to visit the places Mary Magdalene lived and died. Patty had arranged for a house in Nans-le-Pins near the cave where Magdalene lived for thirty years.
Who could believe that it was almost 37 years ago, in room 211, Bishop Montgomery High School that our first conversation was about Mary Magdalene and Veronica? Patty was a junior and I was the World Religion teacher. All the books in the world about soul-mates, soul sisters, soul twins, karmic relationships had nothing on us ~ we did not need any explanation ~ it was simply obvious.
Virgos understand, one packs at least two days in advance. But here is the really unexpected great news (great for me) there is still room in my suitcase! WHAT! That blows my mind. I think that the reason it all fits in a 26" suitcase, as opposed to the gigantic plaid one I took when I was fifteen, is that everything in my wardrobe matches; everything. Several years ago I decided to narrow down everything to black and white. Maybe that is because I prefer things to BE black and white.
As you can see from this group photo, I was just thrilled to be traveling 21 countries in 21 days on a big red American Express bus. I am standing in the back row directly under Big Ben. The only fun things were torturing my mother with bad language, smoking Marlboro Reds and the Beatles had just jumped the pond so Beatlemania was everywhere. Yes, I do have on a hat and a frown ~ why not ~ I was fifteen and traveled Europe with forty American adults.
As Zoe described - this pilgrimage, in truth, began a long time ago…an unlikely pair of pilgrims are we. Who could have guessed the journey we would take together in this life? We have each experienced marriages and lovers, mystery schools and miracles, businesses and books…all journeys of self discovery with one another as a mirror, or as witness, reflecting back and occasionally pointing forward. Even so, in all these years we have never undertaken an actual journey - together.
As a Sagittarian, I’m the perennial traveler, comfortable living out of a suitcase, ready for the next adventure, arriving home with tales and talismans. Zoe is also a traveler but her journeys are not bound by mundane considerations such as geography or time. She always has the right clothes, her favorite pillow and her canine companions to accompany her.
Our bags are packed with books and maps. Zoe has posted the itinerary she has designed for us. We are on a journey for the first time - together – what will we discover about ourselves as we explore the terrain of some of our favorite artists, saints and heretics?
I hope it's not too confusing to read a joint blog. Zoe has been nudging me for years to start posting. I have been journaling since I was a teenager, but always resisted the pull to join the blogoshere - until this journey. A couple of weeks ago I suggested to Zoe that it might be fun if we blog about our trip together - so here we are. Of course Zoe has us color-coded while I would have left it to the reader to figure out the voice!
London. Yesterday was really something special. How often do you get to see your dreams come true? This was such a day. This particular dream started back in 2003. I was living in Redondo Beach at the time when I had my 'Road to Damascus' experience. (posted here under information) Within a couple of days I met Amber in San Francisco. She introduced me to the world of social entrepreneurism and a community of people who shared my intentions. Within a month my house was sold, I landed a contract in San Francisco that would keep my business afloat and I was comfortably settled in a cute cottage in Mill Valley. I helped Amber launch Social Fusion www.socialfusion.org It was a beginning.
As I am writing this Zoe is flying in to London and I am waiting to pick her up at Heathrow. I flew in a couple of days early and met Amber here. She invited me to an informal gathering hosted by Jonathan and Maria from the Hub in London www.the-hub.net . I didn't know what to expect but as I reflect on the day I realize it was my 'Road to Damascus' dream - beginning to come true - as I witnessed these extraordinary minds and hearts from culturally and professionally diverse backgrounds coming together in true inquiry, creative inspiration and loving service. Pinch me. Is it possible that the big dreams - the ones that don't seem realistic - can really come true? Today I am here to report - yes it is - and encourage you to dream your biggest dream and begin it. As someone quoted someone else saying today, "we are the 'they' we've been waiting for"!
Today is the International Day of Peace. We are in London and tonight we will be celebrating this day with Jeremy at the Royal Albert Hall. He is showing his new film called The Day After Peace followed by a concert with Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel etc.
More than an excuse to party, today is a day to recognize and be grateful for the peace we all experience in every moment of our lives. Perhaps we can join the millions around the world who are celebrating peace by offering one gesture to someone that will sew peace where there has been war - whether it is an old feud with a friend or family member or in your own inner war with yourself - I invite you to lay down your weapons for a day and recognize the peace that is always here.
Check out www.peaceoneday.org and post your commitment, send in a video with your message of peace and see what others have to say...
peace and love to all of you
First I have to tell you that jet lag kicked my ass. Second I can tell you that I am not home, that's for sure. I have 40 pictures to upload and I will get to it tomorrow but there are a couple of notions about the travel I want to post now (which is 2 AM).
After a grueling shuttle ride and trek to San Francisco, I felt like I had already put in enough travel time to be in London. No doubt, the little Santa Ana airport is a fairyland compared to LAX or SFO. Seven hours after leaving home I walked down the corridor to the gigantic two story jet to jump the pond. I crossed the threshold and began to turn to the unchartered territory known as first class. The flight attendant almost assaulted me to keep my peasant feet from touching Mecca. I flashed my boarding pass and all the barriers dissolved. I was free to "turn left."
Within a split second I was faced with a serious choice; would I act glib and have to appear as if this was my natural position or would I be natural, actually, and visibly enjoy every nuance the architect hoped for. My criteria was simple, in addition to it being truly overwhelming in its detail, I just could not face being a faker all the way to London.
We were each assigned a round back seat with buttons and widgets that were dazzling. I did what any self-respecting Virgo would do; I got out the flight magazine and tested every single possibility which included back, front, lumber, massage, recline, play XM, play video, play tv, and, not the be confined to the 40 movies on the menu, I was offered a tray of selections for the VCR.
You think I am going to just rush into the drinks and food? No way, it all begins and ends with a hot towel. I think I may try that at home. Th purser came by to get my food order and why not have the tomato bisque, the garden salad with blue cheese and the sea bass. A worry was always that the tiny tray had never fit over my legs ---- well NOT in first class - the tray was big, high and draped with linen,
This may sound a bit overboard (pardon the word) but what I took away was the sheer fun of refusing to get wrapped up in pretense. One flight attendant came and chatted with me. I told her that this was a birthday present - the whole trip and one by one, as word spread, the female crew members came by to congratulate me. What I eventually realized was that with each new discovery, I was unwrapping the biggest gift in my life, and this is only the second day.
BTW Patty is posting in TAN and Zoe is posting in BLUE
Heavy suitcases, lots of stairs, crowded lines, trains, planes and a rental car with a GPS that is a woman of few words led me to the sophisticated point of view that travel days can be nothing more. But the pay off was astonishing, in this case, as we landed in the Provence version of a condo, here at 43 Le Jardin in Nan-le-Pins. We arrived after dark, thanks to Ms. GPS. We are in a mountainous area and every window has a shutter, maybe it is a law.
Last night for dinner we had sole tropicale with basil. The waitress said she did not speak any English, as I have heard the French are apt to do but we were able to order ~ thank you Madame Eilser, my sophomore French teacher. Patty kept raving about the cheese and ordered it for both appetizer and desert. I had tiramisu and coke which tastes very different here.
Time to start the car!
I think it may be Wednesday but I am not sure. Most likely it doesn't matter anyway. The iPhone is MORT. No idea why. It seems that Mercury passes over France in retrograde too. I am most hopeful that is just the wrong current and not entirely, permanently fatal. We have wifi at Le Jardin but Patty's is being uncooperative and refusing to send from her outlook.
What are you doing back in the states? Palin at the U.N.? Are you mad? We cannot be letting this lipstick hockey mom anywhere near heads of state. I saw a picture of her with the head of Afghanistan. Was that Palin of Tina Fey ~ better be Tina! I have seen people with Obama hats and buttons. Actually at a party in London, a man brought a basket of Obama buttons. Obviously Europeans know what a different these two candidates mean in global communication; guns or butter. And after being in France for a few days I just can't say enough about butter.
After an adventurous journey through the streets of Marseille, we arrived in Nan-les-Pins. When we walked in the door there was a clamshell on the wall – the traditional symbol to let pilgrims know they are welcome. Thank you, Wim, for opening your home to the two pilgrims!
Our journey began where Magdalene arrived along with the two Marys and others, as the legends have it, in Stes Maries de la Mer, a quaint town known for their devotion to these women saints, beautiful white horses that I am convince are the descendents of unicorns and bull fighting! Go figure. St Sara is honored here every May. She is known as one of the Black Madonnas and the patron saint of the Romani people who we know as gypsies.
Everything you have heard about Provence is true! Opening a window last night, I was almost heady with the scent of lavender. The farmers market was a dazzling array of fresh produce and flowers, the best cheese I have ever eaten, fresh fruit de mer and did I mention the vin rouge? Even bodegas in little villages named after saints are picturesque!
In between glimpses of news about financial collapse at home we find ourselves strolling through the same streets in Arles where Van Gogh lived (and later the same highway he took to the asylum where he was committed). The beauty Van Gogh was obsessed with painting surrounds us; even as we are reminded by the suffering he endured during his lifetime.
From Peace Day to Provence, the tragic conflict in Afghanistan to the beauty and bounty of this beautiful land, Van Gogh’s mental anguish to the glory of his art, I am present to the paradox of this life and the contrast of such beauty and bounty amidst the evidence of a world in suffering. Here in the midst of glorious Provence, with suffering streaming in over the internet and echoing from the past I ask myself to somehow bear it all…to honor it all - your suffering and mine, your beauty and mine. That love can hold all of it.
Wandering around London and Provence I seem to vacillate about whether or not it is the right thing to do. And before I say anything more, know that this is unexpected. Over many of my sixty years I have not been proud of American behavior so I presumed that going to another country would be a relief.
There is a funny feeling walking back and forth blocking the dearest views, interrupting the precious moments and walking by graves; the residents must be inconvenienced. Yes, I am not wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts with a big canon hanging from my neck but it does seem impolite. My English, my swiveling neck, my taking pictures; I wonder if they mind.
I wear mostly black, I smile as often as eyes meet and I have done well with a bit of French but, still, I wonder if they might like their own uncluttered view of the setting sun on the horizon. All I can do is intend to radiate gratitude as I share in their treasured homeland.
Though I read several books and travelogues about the journey to see Mary Magdalene's cave, I seemed to have been called to disregard all of the discussion about a craggy, rocky, tortuous way and an easier way replete with true benches. I took the right hand turn with a French couple and their dog, Max. Madame had a map and, after all, Virgos do not argue with maps, particularly ones with yellow highlighting.
It was not long when they pushed forward to leave me on the path by myself. It had been predicted to take 45 minutes and at 20 I was looking at my watch. I was also looking for those foretold benches. Craggy is a word that belongs to me now ~ like no one else. Steps set from rocks, leaves wet from the morning rain, steep beyond expectation I ventured past the point of no return. I congratulated myself several times for quitting smoking eight years ago but wanted a cigarette more than ever before. After 45 minutes I was no closer, there were no people going up or down and the hand rails disappeared entirely.
I did what every self-respecting lady does; I put on my gloves. Then I found a walking stick and recalled every pilgrim who had made such a trek. Many years ago when trudging through the desert, I passed the time with Broadway musicals. This time I felt the Beatles serenading me on with a rendition of the Long and Winding Road.
I am not sure how long the "hard" path took but it was not a relief to find 150 steps to the cave yet to go. When my feet were back on the flat land, where mere mortals belong, I looked up the mountain and saw where I had been. I think sometimes it is better to not know just how far one is going to go ~ though I do recall a teacher saying, "Everything you want for everything you've got and everything you've got for everything you want."
Okay, Paris…what can I say about Paris that far more talented writers across time haven’t already said? If you have been here before – then you know – if not, then bag it all and come over now because it is postcard stunning everywhere you look and from what I can glean from news and emails – it is not so pretty stateside right now.
This is my 4th time and I am still seeing parts of Paris for the first time – like (window) shopping at Bon Marche (I know, how could I have missed that before) and the view of Paris from Sacre Cour – so stunning we stayed in Montmarte for dinner so we can go back and see the night time view. Then there is ‘le tour’ (as it is called here) Zoe posted her video – check it out - it blew our minds when it started lighting up like a giant sparkler!
Lest you are concerned we have been slowing down on our pilgrimage – ye of little faith – Our first stop was the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal where St Catherine Laboure’s incorruptible body lies in state. Apparently she herself is a living (dying) miracle. She also had visions of Mary and a medal was struck at Mary’s request. Mary promised Catherine that anyone wearing it will receive her favor. This chapel held very sweet, devotional energy. It was so pleasant I could have stayed there all day even with the annoying crowds crushing in to see her. But then again, Paris was waiting…next stop St Sulpice. For those of you who saw the DaVinci Code – St Sulpice was the church where the meridian line runs through to the Obelisk – figuring in the story. It is an interesting church with friendly staff offering information – so proud of their church. The towers are famous, one was never finished because they ran out of money, later becoming a ‘feature’. After a stroll down the Champs Elysees we grabbed a taxi to make our way to Sacre Cour. When we arrived mass was being held. It was so beautiful I sat through it. (I know, Gary, don’t faint!) A choir of nuns was singing and the people attending were very reverent. The stunning mosaic overhead included a boat with Lazarus, Mary Magdalene and Martha! It’s been strange, even when we are just sightseeing and not seeking out a known location that supports the legend we bump into more evidence to support Magdalene’s presence in France.
It seems ridiculous to post this 25 second video of Sainte Chapelle. I watched the tourists as they reached the top of the spiral stairs to finally see this magical chapel and their faces told the true story. Over 1,000 tiny stained glass vignettes create a kaleidoscope of color and mystery. And on top of all that, it is over the police station in the Palais of Justice. We saw hand-cuffed people walking with the gendarmes. Marie Antoinette had quite a time on that block in Paris, awaiting her death.
Not only is there a Saint Zoe but she is one of the famed incorruptibles. Her body, shown here, is in a glass case in the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal at 140 rue de Bac, Paris. I have known about her all my life as my father gave me a first class relic of her when I was six years old. Most children might think a piece of bone in a little case is not much of a gift but I swooned. I had a doll in her habit, a book about her, The Song of the Dove and the relic. I loved her then and I love her now.
The chapel is exquisite and filled with devoted believers. I got many medals and, a favorite experience of the visit was, a nun blessed them. She was a member of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul; which is, of course, the order of Zoe Laboure who became St Catherine.
Before any reader thinks that I have gone off the deep end, I have two responses: one is I went off that end long ago and two is that Patty and I went immediately across the street and shopped at the most fantastic department store in the known universe; Le Bon Marche. I bought a hat.
When I am allowed to speak to a class about being a rabid feminist, I often begin with a tirade about no works by women being in the Louvre. I then point out that it is not because women are not artists but that neither the church or the de Medicis wanted to buy work by women artists. Women spent their artistry on their families, homes and "domestic arts." Many times the reaction is that all of the women's work is in the Musee D'Orsay.
Well here is the news hot off the wire. NO THEY ARE NOT. I looked, I searched, I hoped. I asked at the information desk. ZERO. I have more Cassatts in my house than are in the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay combined. There were dozens of naked women, working women, women of leisure but all were by men. Didn't Degas say Mary was better than he? There was a whole room of Degas.
I suppose it means I have even more fuel for the fire. It also means how proud I am to be a member of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington DC and the Sackler Wing in Brooklyn for Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party.
The Plane reservation is confirmed and in 24 hours I will be in London on my way back to Starbucks French roast, my double bed and my dogs with cat. I miss my towels and weather and car and mail. DUH ~ my TIVO.
Today is jam-packed with monarchs and geniuses; metro and taxi, Magdalene and, I hope, no rain. The Louvre will see me again and though I crab about no women, there is a George de La Tour and Da Vinci and Caravaggio and Titian and Raphael. And though I believe that the body is nothing after death, we will silently visit the tombs of the French Monarchy. It really is just a cascade of sculpture and demonstration of importance. The Tibetans wish to be eaten by vultures and leave no trace - rather green? n'est pas?
It is not missed that Patty & I have been literally air-lifted from the calamity of the US these weeks. Our emails inform us that there is fear, concern and uncertainty. We have been focused on holy women, glamorous steeples and flagging taxis. In a few days I will be at a Palin protest but I will be changed forever knowing what legendary women have done, has been erased and is being re-discovered.
I am sitting in the first class lounge in Heathrow, as that is the kind of birthday present Patty gives. This is a peculiar slice between currencies as they accept both pounds and euros here but have no Jellie Bellies so what is the point?
My friend Chelsea commented that my pictures show a preponderance of dogs. That is true. European dogs are very smart; they require no leashes, walk well in traffic and stay close to the shoes of their masters. They clearly do not need the dog whisperer in Europe. However I did not see one standard poodle. This is most disturbing.
I can actually help the French with this as my Gracie is not yet fixed and, since her great, great, great aunt is Mary Magdalene, she would be properly establishing the Magdalene bloodline. Grace loves tennis, sits at the curb without being asked and has a taste for trendy high heels.
Another striking absence is cupcakes. Place de la Madeleine has patisseries and chocolate stores but as far as I can tell ~ no cupcakes. I have given it a lot of thought and this may actually be a better investment than any of the current markets - so if you want a business plan please let me know as I would love to make this happen: Zoe's Cupcakes & Poodles.
Though I have had an inexplicable and strong magnetic attachment to Mary Magdalene my entire life, after visiting Provence I am certain that it is not to validate, or even investigate her marriage to Jesus or authenticate their children’s bloodline. Validating any “relationship” is not my primary or spiritual interest. I do not care if Black Sarah of Saintes Maries de la Mer is her daughter, if thousands of devotees were murdered over the centuries to erase her legacy or if she was the “Apostle to the Apostles.”
All of these inquiries, while historic, academic and intriguing, are merely architectural components to building a community, a theology and, ultimately, a church albeit an alternative church to the Vatican variety. Even if it is matriarchal and establishes a bona fide bloodline to Joshua ben David, whom many believe to be exclusively divine; it still is not my pursuit or desired outcome.
Frankly put, even the titles of widow, wife, mother, aunt or “Apostle” are entirely relativistic and bear no possibility unless you are a widow, wife, or apostle to one who is established as, at the least, superior or, at most, divine.
In my journey to “re-step” Magdalene’s trail in France, it was the cave that spoke to me. It was not her being discarded, de-famed or newly discovered that is my listing mast. It is her practice; her 30 years in Ste Baume that is my oceanic interest. In Provence, she was not sitting at the feet of a master or documenting the life of another. She was not building a following for her deceased husband. She was not building a building at all. She was a mystic practicing self-discovery.
There many legends, dozens of churches, countless paintings and statues of Mary Magdalene/Madalene. There are images of a boat with no oars and debatable passengers. There are ideas about where she landed, did she teach, did she travel but I am not Mary Magdalene and, more personally important, she is not me.
Susan Haskins, China Galland, Margaret Starbird have written brilliant books about her. Holy Blood, Holy Grail is an astute book about the blood line of Jesus. Dan Brown entertained everyone on the subject. But until women stand unattached in their own enlightenment there will always be an association pressing in on them; either taking credit for their advancement or diminishing her importance.
At one of the many magnificent churches we visited some angelic Dominican nuns were singing. Mass was being held and one of the sisters was directing the congregation but it was the pure voices of the women in the sacristy that filled the dome to the door. Then when the real action began, consecrating the eucharist, a priest stood and officiated at the altar, (notice it is clear that priest = man). That will be the case until women are their own salvation, ranking below no one or, may I say, without rank.
Since myth making about Magdalene seems to be open for one and all, I choose to make my own. That is not to say that the unpeeling of Mary Magdalene serves no purpose or isn’t exciting. I am suggesting that as it becomes more and more irrefutably clear, to the point of being obvious, that union is sacred, Jesus and Mary were partners and they had at least one child; people will become loosed to question papal succession, infallibility, and a celibate male-only priesthood.
I believe, I will continue, I will press to dispense with all of that entirely. A woman does not have to be the brave sacrificing partner, thinking only of her man to be worthy of reverence. Furthermore, I would contend that the path unfolds even further ~ through the practice of meditation and self-discovery.
To me, the interesting thing is that once consciously afoot on the path of self-discovery; there are no relative ideas or positions. Each person is their own master. Each person is without rank. Each person sits under the tree, crosses a river or retreats to a cave. Metaphor, myth or real is completely irrelevant.
I just hung up the phone from talking with Patty. She was drinking coke light, eating peanut M&M's and watching the sunset set in Beziers. She is learning all about the Cathars. (She is drinking Coke Light! My drink - that is amazing. Isn't the name Coke Light so much better than Diet Coke?)
Since we have not heard from her in a few days, I texted her to make sure things are okay. She immediately texted back that her computer just gone black a couple of days ago and her phone has been out of rage. Then she called - and she is fine! I hope when she get back to the UK tomorrow, her MAC Powerbook will get back on board.
I am back in the Bay Area, alive and well, a little jet lagged, but very happy to be sleeping in my own bed. My computer played a clever trick of just not turning on for 72 hours with no apparent cause, then miraculously it booted up…I guess I needed the last few days of the pilgrimage to be completely unplugged. Perhaps it is an unadvertised ‘feature’ on my new Mac that triggers an automatic shut off having reached a spiritual/emotional/psychic threshold of sensory input. Whatever the reason, I was grateful in a way to have the last few days totally unplugged.
I dropped Zoe off at the Charles deGaulle Airport in Paris, rented a little Renault and, while unsure of my final destination, I was clearly being pulled back to the south of France. I was alone, an extremely rare occurrence in my wired life to have no one know precisely where I am in the world. In a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, I found myself in this bubble of awareness driving through the Loire and Rhone river valleys, wandering through the medieval hill towns of the Vaucluse, sipping wine on the Mediterranean in Cassis and exploring Languedoc, the land of legends. For all of its bucolic beauty just below the surface of things lies evidence of the history of massacres.
The Albigensian crusades, the 'Holy" Inquisition, the witch burnings all campaigns based on fear when the ‘order of things’ is threatened by a few who dare to live a different truth. How will history treat our current time? Today we witness an unprecedented global financial meltdown. It seems like the same tactics are in play, using fear as a shackle. This sense over time and in the present, impressions left by thousands of years of human experience, legendary alongside the mundane - as it is still.
What resonates now is that even in the face of terror, human beings do pass along the truth of what they know through love. The flame is never extinguished, it is always alight even in the evidence of all the violence we commit in the name of God, that light still burns. The artists, saints and heretics have been the keepers of the flame, those who bear witness. In this picture of Magdalene that Zoe posted – Magdalene holds a skull acknowledging the horror we are capable of committing yet she gazes at the flame which represents to me the flame of truth; awake consciousness, free and cannot be extinguished.
After spending these weeks in pilgrimage to her this is what she has passed on to me. Stay vigilant. Her life was given to that flame of truth - love - she did not succumb to fear. She kept vigil at the cross when others fled and hid. Her entire life was given over to this truth, and she remained vigilant. Today, I witness the fear of 'terrorism' that has become part of the global consciousness whether it threatens economic, political or physical well being - tyranny takes many forms. She asks me to be vigilant as fear arises. Her life is the example that I can meet the fear with love because love is free from tyranny and can never be vanquished.
I was leafing through my moleskin and this page fell open – Sept 16, 2008 SF -> Denver.
I am on my way to Europe contemplating the first entry into my blog. There is some anguish still about writing – this life-long love hate relationship with words that, in my voice or hand, seem so inadequate. I have always had this hunger to capture a sliver of pure emotion just as it slips, like a wisp of reality, through this moment. Reading Michael Ondatje’s new book, Divisadero, reminds me of the poetic melancholy of perception as we slip between dimensions of time. His stories so perfectly echo that deep sense of longing.
The subject of longing has always interested me, especially the soul’s longing that extends between a longing for connection and a longing for freedom - experiencing these as the same. Yet in relationship we call it desire and the desire for connection or intimacy with another and the desire for freedom are often read as the opposite. I wrote poem after poem in my youth trying to capture the essence of this paradox within myself. Luckily I was introduced to TS Eliot and the Four Quartets, “The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.?” Still, his words comfort me when I am in the grip of wanting some way to express or understand the ineffable.
So here I am, still exploring the relationship - or the difference between - longing and desire and this exploration has put me on a plane to Provence - on pilgrimage to the Magdalene. This woman who was the companion and confidant of Jesus, the one who did not betray him, who stayed by the cross through the crucifixion and to whom he chose to appear 2 days later. Yet this same woman - loyal, courageous and devout companion of Jesus - has been treated so shabbily by the church and by history. I have come to see the lack of regard for Magdalene as the wound our western society must recognize and heal regarding the feminine principle. It is gender independent, this wound. I observe that men and women, both, need healing of their fear of the feminine power of surrender. Also interlaced in this pathos is desire, the other face of fear, wearing a sheer veil separating perversity and devotion that, when lifted, reveals our collective longing. For me, Magdalene is the icon of this paradox. This pilgrimage to her has somehow been a journey home. I look to TS again to explain,“We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring, Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time.”