Mothering the Mind is a collection of studies edited by Ruth Perry and Martine Watson Brownley that I am reading to further my research of Mary Moody Emerson (TNAMURYA) and her influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson. The essay is called Emerson and the Angel of Midnight by Evelyn Barish.
Mary Moody Emerson provided Waldo with an alternative education and critique for his intellectual, literary, and artistic journey. As muse and mentor he regarded his Aunt as “one of the best writers of her time”. Her “Almanaks” were sent back and forth for Waldo and provided him with constant inspiration.
I have imagined myself under TNAMURYA's direction and other possible influences if I grew up in The Old Manse. If I were somehow able to communicate with the cosmos through my needlework, how would she guide this ambition? What would she encourage? As a young man I might start to wear a death shroud as well in imitation and admiration along with necklaces of the arrowheads I dug up in the back yard.
It has also got me thinking about my mother and father and their influence on my life and work. The fleeting moments where their combined skills worked out, like building a tent from our neighbor Marianne Phillippe's bolt of yellow Gortex she took home from work. (I grew up in Delaware) I was amazed they had pulled this off while my family and I sat under it during a camping trip. Under what roof do we learn?