JUN 16, 2007 Early Years
Commissioned by Karen Dieleman, as a gift for her thesis supervisor (Grace Kehler) at McMaster University in 2006. In her doctoral dissertation, “Women, Worship and Writing”, Karen explored the Religious Poetics of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti and Adelaide Procter. Rossetti’s metaphors in particular were appreciated by Karen and her supervisor alike.
In The Face of the Deep, Rossetti presents an intriguing image for her understanding of this bond. She writes, “the acts of all saints from the beginning to the end” form “one fair unbroken web”; when “held up to that light which manifests all works,” this web reveals itself to be “a perfect whole” made by the “interweaving of cross threads, of crosses” (437, Rossetti’s emphasis). With this image, Rossetti values the individual acts of the saints, even the bearing of their individual burdens, as necessary for the fullness of the community.
I imagine the complexities of interweaving texture that happen here to be as intricate as the struggles of faith that they are meant to signify.