A Tribute and a Note about Future Editions of She Is Everywhere!
Comari Laboratorio (Godmothers' Laboratory) shop sign that hangs in Lucia’s home. Photo © 2011 Mary Beth Moser
The anthology series She Is Everywhere! would not be possible without the generous financial support and nurturance of its founding mother, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, and Jodi MacMillan of Belladonna Sanctuary, which funded and produced the first volume of She Is Everywhere! Lucia’s contributions to womanist/feminist scholarship on women’s spiritualities are unparalleled. Her ground-breaking work has literally birthed a new way of remembering/reclaiming our most ancient memory of the Divine Female.
Simply put, Lucia has helped usher in a new generation of scholars who keenly and astutely reclaim Her through the lens of embodied scholarship. Equally important is Lucia’s inclusion of creative writers and artists in this ongoing conversation, inviting into the circle resonant voices that might not otherwise have been given a broader platform.
In Lucia’s dining room hangs a sign from a Sicilian ceramics shop, gifted to Lucia by the women owners, of four apron-clad women with the caption: Le Comari Laboratorio, the godmother’s laboratory.
Lucia (right) in Sicily with the women who run "Comari Laboratorio", a ceramics shop, 2000. Photo © 2000 Mary Beth Moser
This fitting image perfectly encapsulates the essence of who Lucia is and the many gifts she brings to the world. While the Italian title, comare, is conferred upon a woman who is a godmother, its connotation is more vast and deep, reaching back to the time when circles of wise women convened to provide village counsel, working to ensure the greater good for their families and their communities.
The comari were sages, healers, counselors, social activists, and archivists of the wisdom traditions. As keepers of the ancient ways, they were/are invaluable points on the wheel of memory refusing to let humankind forget its ancient, sacred roots.
Ever the 21st century comare, Lucia’s comari laboratorio has given birth to the She Is Everywhere! anthology series—and this compilation of womanist/feminist scholarship, creative writing, and artwork is, perhaps, one of Lucia’s most significant achievements.
While Lucia’s tenure at the California Institute of Integral Studies has come to a close, her influence continues and her legacy will continue to grow and thrive. As a professor emerita, she will write books and articles, speak, travel, and present at national and international conferences. The vision she launched with the She Is Everywhere! series will continue to provide a forum for scholars, creative writers, and artists.
Future editions of the She Is Everywhere! anthology series are forthcoming. Check this website for details as they become available.
It is Lucia’s hope, and ours, that past and future editions of the anthology will continue to mark and accelerate personal and global transformation.