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We knew it was not going to be easy, right? The volume of our collective awareness is turned up about birth and mothering right now. The Internet is awash in photos of happy births. BlogHer is meeting in NYC and there is a legion of ‘MommyBloggers’ there this weekend. The Huffington Post is increasing it’s coverage of family-related articles and I found one by Stacie Krajchir compelling.
When you became a mother, did you really think you’d resume normal activities with the bambini and just carry it around like a handbag? Pondering Stacie’s essay on Huffington Post and her sense of the injustice of becoming a mother…no TV watching, hours spent pacing her child to sleep, her living space cluttered with baby stuff: Yeah, it kicks your ass, this parenting thing.
I completely agree with her on one hand. Having a child seriously cramps your style. One of my cousins used to take her little kid to the movies at night, when he was really young. I was so impressed with this in my pre-motherhood state, how sophisticated it seemed, to let little Ezra tag along with the grown-ups. It was she that gave me the ‘hand-bag’ image, which skates perilously close to the Chanel handbags containing those little yap dogs who get toted to and fro. I think my cousin had more of a nice big thrift-store-find satchel in mind, but still, in her mind, if she wanted to see a movie, her kid would come with her.
I guess I am feeling passionately about this. Stacie’s post reminded me that most women don’t get comfortable with the heat of mothering right away. I certainly didn’t. Maybe it is not possible, it takes time to adjust your inner thermostat. But I did write every single day and I learned that “whatever you resist, will persist”. If you don’t set about getting yourself right about where you find yourself, particularly if you find yourself with a child and a job and a sink full of dishes, you will spend the next 18 years or so miserable.
It is for this reason, this flammability and what happens when you surrender and burn, that I write, that I knit, draw, jam, and collage. I am years away now from that pressing, urgent dampness of the early childhood years and my kids are learning to do their own wash now. I said learning, right? But I remember how it feels and thanks to Stacie’s writing, I feel the urgency to invite you to take steps to do something creative today.
In September I will begin a 4 session writing workshop here in Great Barrington for mothers and others called Out of the Mouths of Babes: The Powder Keg Series. More information will be posted here on the Laundry Line as the details are finalized with The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. You can read the words of over 30 original women’s voices here on the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series.
Then, yesterday, on the generously inspiring Huff Post, my friend Rochelle Schieck published this essay on The Feminine Rennaisance.
I invite you to savor Rochelle’s passionate voice and let her words join mine in the urgency and necessity for us to tell our stories.
At what point did we, as humanity, betray the honoring of the feminine voice and its values in our politics, business, art, media, and religion? And, I wonder, if women are able to reclaim our place, our value and our voice at the source of our mythology and in the religions that inform our culture, will we be able to do it more powerfully in our own lives?
During August, I will be traveling with my family and posting from the road.
I will be making art, writing and navigating wild roads with JNB wearing my shiny new sunglasses. I had to exchange them for a pair that let me read the road signs better. You know how it is with men and road signs. They have a funny inability to ignore them.
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Some days the doorways in my life swing inward and I am filled with inspiration from here and here and here.
Some day’s inspiration comes in the way of what I eat, like here.
And other days, it comes by way of what others are doing with my work, like this and this.
I am thrilled and honored to be part of Miranda Helin Hersey’s e-book.
If you are in the Berkshires, please join me at Mad Mac’s tomorrow evening for an exhibit of mobile photographs filtered through Instagram.
And, if you are really local, you can show up in the alley near Rubiner’s Cheesemonger’s shop for some live theatre at the Living Room Theatre at 8pm.
I will be reading some of my writing there.
Off to oil my hinges and make sure the doors to my heart are ready to swing outward for tomorrow night.
I am in New York City today at the BlogHer conference.
I will be carrying this light with me as I prowl the pavement, meeting up with a few friends to share about writing.
I get to see Daniel, which is a huge and rare treat.
You might have to scroll down to turn off the sound on Rochelle’s video. It is a nice underplay to mine, but easier to focus with only one soundtrack running. Right?
Sending you this, my first time video thingy,