Last night I couldn’t sleep – jet lag, probably, but I kept thinking about Fields of Gold, “A story of two sisters.” Pam Morrison wrote the words, some her own and some from her sister Annie, who was dying of cancer in her mid-50s. My older sister Margaret died before I was born. Sometimes, when I’m lonesome, I wonder whether I would have called her . . .
Annie and Pam talked about everything. They made music together. They massaged each other with heated oil. Once, Pam wrote, “Annie climbed into bed with me. We tucked into one another — a soft and perfect fit, but for my left arm. ‘Just like lessies,’ says Annie. ‘No dick in the way.’ my reply.” (p. 13) This scene and others like it embody the unfettered intimacy that lucky sisters share.
The book has a deep, searching spirituality. When she learned of her sister’s cancer Pam was steadied by the idea that the soul contains the body. I’ve always thought the body held the soul. Early gnostics believed souls are trapped in bodies through a great cosmic mistake. For them, death releases the soul so it can hurry home to the mystery and love of God. So many of our Western religions view death as a journey. But if the soul is cradled in God’s love and the body is enfolded by the soul death is somehow less dislocating. Annie’s death was peaceful. She passed away surrounded by her family in a “cradle of love” (p. 108).
Ten years later, Rosa Mira Press published the sisters’ journal. I couldn’t put the book down, even as a snide part of me insisted that it was “too perfect” ” too smooth.” I tend to wallow in the mucky mess of life and relationships and there isn’t a lot of that here. Still, the story and the photos at the end of the journal speak of the lovely, haunting possibilities of sisterhood.
The ebook cost me $US9.00. Money well spent. Here’s the link to Rosa Mira Press.