>The Red Tent

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At the beginning of the Nativity Fast, she entered the Red Tent, not only to prepare with Mary for the birth of Jesus, but to prepare for the birth of her Real Self. צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים. Imago Dei.

She took only a few things with her into the tent:

Her novel-in-progress.

Her prayer book and her Bible.

An icon of the Mother of God, and an icon of Saint Mary of Egypt.

Pearl of China: A Novel.

Her leather and pearl jewelry made by Wendy Mignot.

Several bottles of Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc. (It’s not just about the pearl thing. This is her favorite wine.)

Kate Spade prescription sunglasses to shield her eyes from the Brightness. And because of her great vanity, even during the birthing process.

Swaddling cloths to comfort the newborn. (yoga pants and modal night shirts)

Her cell phone, for contact with the midwives back in Arkansas and Tennessee.

A DVD of Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours.”

Books of poetry by Beth Ann Fennelly and Corey Mesler.

Oh, and cleaning rags for the bloody mess.

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