Sunday, February 17, 2013

Four Sisters: Journeys of the Heart

Shorebirds on the beach
Once upon a time there were four sisters who grew up beautiful and strong in an exotic land. The years passed and their close-to-idyllic home-life along the sandy shores and golden beaches of ancient terrains suddenly came to an end. Mother was diagnosed with a most modern ailment, cancer. She died. The oldest sister, a dreamer, loved her younger sisters. In her dreams, she became just like a mother to her sisters, and they lived happily ever after together with their beloved father. In real life, a few years after having tried to be a mother, she married and left for America.

The years passed. The four sisters, all grown up now, had established lives on different continents. They were separated not only by hundreds and thousands of miles but also by the choices each had made, unwillingly or unwittingly. Married with children, each was abundantly blessed with loving husbands, fulfilling careers, and the many good things of life. Most importantly, their father was dead and no longer the cause of the contention he had become between them. Still, with daddy gone, there was nothing, it seemed, to keep the sisters connected. Vast distances, physical and emotional, yawned deep.

Perhaps they felt something was missing or it was just middle-age; but, whatever it was, slowly, one by one, they began to wonder about the lack and loss of sibling camaraderie. As they watched hurtful rivalries and petty jealousies, powerful love and the strength of family bonds, play out through familiar TV tropes in popular dramas of the day like Downton Abbey, something began to stir. For Daya, the dreamer, the lack of love between the older Grantham sisters, Mary and Edith, was bittersweet to watch while endlessly sweet 24-year old younger sister Sybil's death after childbirth moved her to tears. Dispassionately, she began to consider some of the fiercest sibling rivalries in biblical and science fiction, Cain and Abel, Data vs Lore, Peter Wiggin vs. Ender Wiggin. Memories of once-loved literature and the real-life experiences of the healing power of loving family bonds especially the bonds between sisters, were soon winging their way heavenwards as heartfelt prayers. Mid-life challenges encouraged the four sisters, Daya, Arette, Gechina, and Kaleki, to explore the inner life, in kindness and honesty. Will true sisterly love be kindled and will the four sisters be reunited in perfect love? 

More, in the next installment of Four Sisters.

References:

Downton Abbey. PBS Masterpiece. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/ - I feel so sorry for Edith stuck in the middle between Mary and Sybil, and always made to feel a failure by her father.
 
Genesis 4: 9-10. [Cain] I do not know; am I my brother's keeper? [God] What have you done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground! - God's favor for Abel over Cain is neither fully clear nor understandable. Other famous sibling rivalries in the Bible include Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers, and the two brothers in the Prodigal Son parable.


Roddenberry, Gene. Creator of the Star Trek series. Data, Lt. Cmdr.. Star Trek. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_(Star_Trek). I love Star Trek and I love Data too!

Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. 1985. Throughout Ender's Game, Ender emulates his older brother Peter but in the end he learns that he cannot return to earth because Peter, now leader of the free earth, will use him as a pawn. 

Steinbeck's East of Eden and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night are other powerful stories of the bonds and rivalries between siblings.

Fox News recently covered celebrity sibling rivalries with the tagline: A little healthy competition is good for the soul. As long as you win. What do you think? I'd love to hear your sibling stories.  

2 comments:

  1. You forgot the part where the remaining sisters vow to love each other "as sisters should" when the one dies in childbirth. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I did! Thank you for this valuable reminder.

    ReplyDelete

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