Sunday, September 5, 2010

Writing Our Stories

Welcome to The Alderwood Triptych! A few weeks ago I was listening to an interview with historian Claudia L. Bushman. For most of the interview she discussed the history of women in the LDS church and read some very cool excerpts from journals kept by the early Mormon pioneers. At the end of the conversation, the interviewer asked Claudia what women in the LDS church could do to better integrate women's voices into the larger church narrative. She said without a breath of hesitation, "Write! Write the stories of your grandmother, your mother and yourself. Write it down!" I was completely inspired by her response and not a little drunk on the entire interview and decided to create The Alderwood Triptych. This project is part genealogical record, part social history, and part journal. I want this to be a place where I can develop and give honor to my grandmothers' stories and the spiritual traditions with which they identified. Each month will begin with a religious/spiritual theme. The first Sunday of the month I will write my feelings and experiences about the theme and the subsequent Sundays will be used to explore that theme in relation to each of my grandmothers. September's theme is Foundations. I'll introduce each grandmother and offer some background on their cultural and religious identities. I'll begin with me:

I am a triptych. My left panel reveals the ancestral ties and vigorous traditions of my Jewish grandmother. My right panel reveals the fierce devotionals and saintly passions of my Catholic grandmother. My core panel reveals the soft assurances and rigid ethics of my Mormon grandmother. Jewish. Catholic. Mormon. This is my holy trinity.

Next Sunday: Foundations with Grandma Blanca (the feisty, Jewish grandma)


  1. I'm so glad you are going ahead with this project! Your background is so diverse it makes my head spin! (I already wear myself and other people out at two religions).

    Yay! I'll make sure to check up on the Sundays.


  2. Krisanne!
    This is so exciting! I am Mormon and Jewish and marrying a Catholic, and so eager to love and celebrate all of these things at once! I'm grateful you are doing this and that I can follow along. Thank you!!! <3

  3. Thank you, Lumina! I had forgotten that you had both the Jewish and Mormon background!