It was Donna’s comment on my blog that reminded me of Meggan Watterson’s idea of Angels and The Eye of the Heart.
When Donna wrote about my Owl Woman….This is getting interesting, Maria! What is happening between Owl Woman and Little Owl? Makes you wonder. Her words woke me up. I didn’t have to wonder anymore. I suddenly knew, remembered what it was all about.
I wasn’t aware, but all along, from the moment I drew my Owl Woman and chose her to be the start of a new fiber painting, my subconscious was at work.
It was a week or so before that when I began reading the book Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson. It’s about the Gospel of Mary Magdalene which was discovered in a market in Cairo in 1896 written in Coptic on ancient papyrus. It wasn’t published until 1955.
I got interested in the book when Janet Hamilton wrote about it on her blog. Then she sent me a copy which I’ve been slowly reading.
In her chapter, How A Feminist Sees an Angel, Watterson writes “Angels are the thoughts, the memory, the sensation of love. They are whatever comes and shifts us from being lost within ourselves, to seeing again, not with the ego, but with the eye of the heart.”
Watterson describes the scene from religious paintings of Mary Magdelene literally being lifted up by winged angels. In my mind, I thought of each angel as a true and kind word releasing Mary Magdelene and all women from the idea of Original Sin.
Watterson writes “…know that this is the most important message of Mary’s gospel: we are inherently good.”
She explains that the point of Mary Magdalene’s gospel isn’t about “becoming someone else, someone better”. It’s about being able to see who we really are, what is truly inside of us, without the voices and images of ourselves that people have put on us and we have taken in.
“And in this moment of recognition” Watterson writes, “this is when we save ourselves, from the self that was never real to begin with. This is when we see with the eye of the heart.”
The message felt very personal to me. It took years for me to question the idea that we are born sinners and how the Bible often depicts women and their bodies as immoral and something to be ashamed of.
And I loved the image of Mary being lifted up by angels. The symbolism of each one of us, shedding the lies and being lifted up by the truth. It made me wonder what my image of this phenomenon would look like. How would I paint it?
This all came back to me when I read Donna’s comment.
Not so much in words, but in images. The images I’ve been creating in my Owl Woman fabric painting.