As I prepared to journal I found a little book that belonged to my great Grandmother. I had always wanted to scan the drawings inside and do something with them. I acquired the book as the result of an effort to discover myself. My parents were divorced when I was 3 and I didn't really know my Dad. (I had a wonderful Grandfather and step father) So I looked into my Dad's family history. He didn't really know very much. Not even were his own Dad was born. He did know they lived in Virginia. I found through my research my roots went back 200 years to the Cape Hatteras part of North Carolina. (funny I just saw the movie "The Nights of Rodanthe" which is in the area)The little village of Bath was were they came from. It is inside on the bay, the oldest town in North Carolina. Black-beard the famous pirate stowed away in that town.
My Dad called my Great Grandma Ma. She was tough. She had suffered much. Lived through the Civil War in her childhood. Was divorced with 3 children and had lost a young son and a grown daughter. The war left the South poor...what ever they had was lost. She had come from a family that had done well enough but now with her new husbands family and a divorce she was poor and very hard.
My cousin Bill who I found in my research sent me photo's, tin types and this little book. He really didn't care for genealogy but was amused by my interest and being a bachelor, school principal and Sunday school teacher he was kind and a good Southern gentleman. I was blessed by this little book. For in its pages it held drawings by my Great Grandmother...as a little girl...12 or so. The little book had a verse for each day of the year...I looked up the verse for the day of her birth and mine...we were only a few days apart for our birthdays. She had dog eared the page of her birthday. Her life had not turned out the way her little girl dreams had planned...she may have even given up and lost her faith...mad at God maybe...for her man had abandoned her. I really can't imagine....
As I looked at the little drawings I thought about a book I have been reading. A few months ago I was having some struggles common to women. I wrote my friend and she told me I was taking way to much responsibility for the problems. She shared a book with me that healed her heart as a woman and help in her marriage.
It is called "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul". I have been reading it, slowly drinking in the refreshing words. As an artist I am moved by the part in the book were it talks about the mystery of a woman and how she reveals beauty...it is who she is and it is such a deep part of her. I could see in Arcadia my Great Grandmother that she had this need.... (even as a little girl child) to reveal beauty. She drew beautiful little pictures on the front and back jackets of her most precious little book. She must have given it away to her daughter when she left Virginia in 1915 for a new life in California with her Son and Grandson. I noticed how she carefully and beautifully decorated the little dress on the woman in the picture...was that her mother? At the end of the book is a drawing of a little girl....I thought of how special it was that I had this piece of her...and that I was using her drawings in my journal...how I was connected to her and the whole of womankind.