Author Name: AnnMarie Creedon
Contribution to Image and Likeness: “This Is My Body”
Bio: AnnMarie Creedon has been married to her husband for almost 30 years and has five children. She is the author of Angela’s Song, a Catholic romance novel, and is currently working on her second book. AnnMarie homeschools the three youngest of her children, sings on a praise and worship team and also in her parish choir. A native New Yorker, AnnMarie has been transplanted to the Midwest, and has fallen in love with this region of the U.S. She and her family enjoy cooking together, watching superhero movies, and chatting about fandoms. Find AnnMarie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Amazon.
About “This Is My Body”
How did you find yourself inspired to write this/these piece(s)?
It concerns me, especially being the mother of girls, that society pushes the notion that women can and should “have it all.” Not only that, but if we don’t want it all, then we are deficient or backward in some way. Now, I believe that women can raise children, marry, and have careers, but in the pursuit of worldly success, we sometimes lose ourselves, our identities, as feminine creations made for so much more than competing with other women, or even with men. I wanted to illustrate that the notion of sacrifice is not repugnant, that it can shape and form us into generous human beings; and in that generosity, we glorify and serve the Lord.
What drew you to writing about Theology of the Body in this way? There is a lot of nonfiction out there on TOB, but the amount of fiction and poetry on the subject is certainly on the rise. What is it, do you think, about fiction and poetry that lend themselves to illustrating the tenets of the Theology of the Body?
To see this theology poured out onto a page, to immerse oneself in the fictional lives of those living it (or not living it, and suffering the consequences), speaks to the heart more profoundly than any treatise or essay ever could. So then our understanding of Theology of the Body transcends an intellectual knowledge of the subject, and speaks to us on an emotional and practical level.
Some TOB stories and poems can be evangelization tools, and some can be messages of encouragement to those of us doing the evangelizing. Which do you think yours is, and why do you think that’s valuable to its audience?
Definitely the former. During the writing of “This is My Body,” I was thinking about young women, and the tremendous pressure society puts upon them to achieve. I’m hoping this story will encourage readers to examine their lives and appreciate the small sufferings. We are told so often to run away from pain or discomfort. I think it is valuable for people to be told that it’s okay to let go of the past, to forgive ourselves, to love ourselves, to make sacrifices. It’s in doing these things that we imitate and embrace God.
Your story “This is My Body” has a powerful title that works on many levels. Can you talk to us about all the levels that the title comes into play in this story?
It has always stood out to me that the very words used by our Lord to heal us, to save us, to impart a life of grace upon us, are the same words used by those who defend abortion. We can make idols of our bodies, and forget about the soul. But is it the merging of the two that make us the image and likeness of our Lord. In this story, the protagonist, Sylvie, has an unhealthy love for her body, while harboring feelings of self hatred. She loves her body, but hates her soul.
What’s another story or poem in this anthology that spoke to you? What in particular in that piece reached out to you?
Two pieces really stood out to me; Erin McCole Cupp’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Sunday Brunch,” and Dena Hunt’s “Pear Trees.” Both illustrate the potential horrors that can occur when we do not recognize the sanctity of sex. Sex is so life giving and life affirming, and these two stories, both extremely well written, have an undercurrent of desolation that touched me emotionally. They stayed with me long after I finished them.