Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the Sisterhood of the Silver Circle


KEEPING SABBATH IN A TRAVELING JOURNAL


The idea for our traveling journal came from the movie “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. I fell in love with the idea of an item that traveled among a group of close friends who were to be separated over the summer. I had recently been separated from my friends forever by moving from New York to Georgia. But I knew I would never find a magic pair of pants, so I had to come up with something else. I shared my idea with some friends and we came up with the journal idea (the original Sisterhood wrote all over their magic pants) pretty quickly. We wanted something to wear, an amulet of some sort, while we wrote in our journal. One of our members was searching through a handful of change while paying for something and noticed one coin shining brighter than the rest. It turned out to be a 1964 silver dime. It occurred to her this could figure in our journal amulet. Remarkably, she was able to find four more, all of them from the 1960’s when they stopped making dimes out of silver. After doing some research, we learned that silver dimes were thought to contain magic properties. We commissioned an extremely talented and ultra-creative mutual friend to fashion an amulet for us, which she did out of suede and beads. We named the amulet “Luna Star” and it gave us the name for our group, “Sisterhood of the Silver Circle.” We bought a special pen, a copper-hued Monteverde Invincia and we named it “Rose Heart.” Once we had all the pieces of our circle together, we met in New Hope Pennsylvania by the banks of the Delaware River and consecrated all our items in a ritual for the purpose of keeping the journal moving among us. We took oaths to always write the truth in the journal and to honor our commitment. Then, of course, we went to eat.



During the period that I have the journal, which we also call “the precious”, it can be difficult to make space in my life to sit down and write. But having it keep coming around forces me to create that time. We have come to understand the act of Sabbath keeping as going to church. But at its most fundamental, it is making time for oneself, giving oneself a break from the constant grind of work. Not just one’s job, but all work, and making time for what one considers holy. My friends are sacred to me and leaving them was gut-wrenching. I keep Sabbath and reconnect with them by reading their entries and adding my own. We are onto our second journal and in them we have shared stories of leaving husbands, finding new lovers, seeing our parents age and thinking of death. We have documented wonderful and painful events of childhood. We have bid farewell to loved ones who have passed and have rhapsodized over the coming of the seasons. We have revealed our own actions that have caused us shame. In them we have photos, commuter rail ticket stubs and some beautiful artwork and poetry. Every time we sit down, slip Luna Star over our necks and pick up Rose Heart, we imagine those in the future reading our words. In this way, we keep Sabbath.

Margie Jacobs

NOTES ON THE PHOTOS:
#1: Shows the current journal on the left which is sporting some collage art work by member
Cyan Owl; the pen, “Rose Heart”; the amulet “Luna Star” and the box on the right is a wooden cigar box that has also been decorated by more collage art work by member Cyan Owl.
#2: The amulet by itself.
#3: The pen by itself.

6 comments:

Tygogal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Margie,
Thank you for writing such a wonderful spirited article for the site. The idea of a traveling journal shared by friends is great idea. If any of the other Sisters would like to contribute to the site they are invited to do so.

A Big Thank you to you & the Sisters.

The Big Red Dog

sandy campbell said...

Thank you Margie for such an engaging entry. For the past few years, a wonderful strategy has been a part of the writing curriculum in NY public schools - the writer's notebook. Students are encouraged to develop and daily maintain a repository of entries: noticings, wonderings, poems, thoughts, questions, etc. The writer's notebook is not meant to be a diary. It is a place where the writer returns to look for patterns in her/his writing to sort for seed ideas to nurture into longer pieces of rich writing.
Isn't it wonderful? Your piece and the previous one is so encouraging for this process. It adds another dimension for writer's notebook: interactive dialogue where children can share entries/seed ideas with eachother. I feel encouraged and plan to develop blog for memoir. Thank you. By the way, I hope to meet you some day. sandy

sandy campbell said...

Cliff
This blog site is so moving. I really love what you have done with it and what it will encourage others to do as they find a different depth in their own writing growth. Thanks my good friend.

Margie said...

Thank you for those words, Sandy. That is fascinating about the writer's notebook. It must be unbelievably difficult to do that with today's computer oriented youth! I know of you since you were such a big part of Cliff's life. I was so happy to hear that you two had reconnected. I look forward to meeting you someday as well.

Margie

Dyanne said...

Great work.