Saturday, February 14, 2015

Book Club Meeting - The Invention of Wings

What happens when you put 10 sociable women in a room together, add a small amount of wine and a good book? It's conversational chaos -of the finest and most enjoyable kind. Our book club rarely has everyone in attendance but last night we all showed. It takes quite some time to get past the "Hi Howareya's"; in fact, we barely discussed the book, maybe because everyone enjoyed the read and ways in harmony regarding the major theme - the abolition of slavery. 

The book was "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd. Most of us were surprised to read that, although the book was fiction, it was based on a pair of real sisters: 

Angelina Girmke

Sarah Grimke
From Wikipedia: 
Sarah Moore Grimké (1792–1873) and Angelina Emily Grimké[1] (1805–1879), known as the Grimké sisters, were 19th-century Southern American writers, oratorseducators, and Quakers who were the first American women advocates of abolition and women's rights.[2]
Throughout their lives, they traveled to the North, lecturing about their firsthand experiences with slavery on their family's plantation. Among the first American women to act publicly in social reform movements, they were ridiculed for their abolitionist activity. They became early activists in the women's rights movement.
A complete account of the sister's lives can be found here: 

In her very rare personal time, in secret, Charlotte, a slave, works on a quilt to tell future generations the story of her life.  The author was inspired by the quilts made by Harriett Powers, born a slave in Georgia. One of her masterpieces is pictured below.
Bible Quilt - Harriet Powers. From the www.daeandwrite website
On the suemonkkidd website, there's  a "Book Club Kit" which includes the following recipe suggested as a complement to the discussion. 

Also, there's a recipe for a Blackbird Cocktail. I cannot imagine what further chaos would erupt in our club if we all started drinking bourbon. 

As Quakers, the Grimkes would have been teetotalers or practitioners of teetotalism - the opposition to alcohol. They would not have approved of the Blackbird Cocktail. Apparently there were some significant rewards for sobriety to the group. They're known for having founded such financial institutions as Barclays and Lloyds; manufacturing companies including Clarks, Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry's. Not bad at all.

Below is the explanation of the Bible Quilt squares - Power's own descriptions: 
In her own words:
The meaning of the Harriet Powers "Bible Quilt"

African-American quiltmaker Harriet Powers's Christian faith, and her detailed knowledge of the Bible and "end time" prophecy, are vividly portrayed in her quilts.  Below are Powers's own descriptions of the scenes in the "Bible Quilt" now in the collection of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.  Also included are relevant Bible passages and links describing the prophetic events Powers depicts, which were of particular importance to some denominations, who would immediately recognize the events and their Christian meaning.
Job praying for his enemies.  Jobs crosses. Jobs coffin.{Job, esp. 14:13, 17:13; Job's undeserved suffering anticipates that of Christ on the cross)The "dark day" of May 19, 1780. The seven stars were seen 12 N in the day. The cattle all went to bed, chickens to roost and the trumpet was blown.  The sun went off to a small spot and then to darkness.{Revelation 6:12)The serpent lifted up by Mosses and women bringing their children to look upon it to be healed. {Numbers 21:8-10]Adam and Eve in the garden. Even tempted by the serpent.  Adam's rib by which Eve was made. The sun and moon.  God's all seeing eye and God's merciful hand. [Genesis 3:1]John baptising Christ and the spirit of God resting upon his shoulder like a dove. {John 1:31-33]
Jonah casted over board of the ship and swallowed by a whale. Turtles. {Jonah 1:17]God created two of every kind, Male and female.[Genesis 1:27]The falling of the stars on Nov. 13, 1833.  The people were frighten and thought that the end of time had come.  God's hand staid the stars.  The varmints rushed out of their beds. [Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13]Two of every kind of animals continued, camels, elephants, gherrafs, lions, etc.[Genesis 7:15]The angels of wrath and the seven vials. [Revelation 15:7] The blood of fornications.[Revelation 19:2] Seven headed beast and 10 horns which arose out of the water.
Cold Thusday, 10 of Feb. 1895.  A woman frozen while at prayer.  A woman frozen at a gateway. A man with a sack of meal frozen.  Isicles formed from the breath of a mule.  All blue birds killed.  A man frozen at his jug of liquor.The red light night of 1846.   A man tolling the bell to notify the people of the wonder.  Women, children and fowls frightened but Gods merciful hand caused no harm to them.Rich people who were taught nothing of God.  Bob Johnson and Kate Bell of Virginia.  They told their parents to stop the clock at one and to morrow it would strike one and it did. This was the signal that they entered everlasting punishment.  The independent hog which ran 500 miles from Ga. to Va. her name was Betts.The creation of animals continues.The crucifixion of Christ between the two thieves.  The sun went into darkness. Mary and Martha weeping at his feet.  The blood  and water ran from his right side.  [Luke 23:43-45; John 19:34]

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