Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On being a Mom: the continuum

“Making the decision to have a child—it’s momentous.  It’s to decide forever to have your heart  go walking around outside your body.”  - unknown

Mother and chilld
watercolor on watercolor paper

When becoming a mother, what changes happen for women? Why? Why change? Why reflect? Why learn more about life and one’s self?
Recently I was reflecting on some situations from the past.  I thought about how before having my children I was reckless and carefree ( I didn’t think before I spoke).  About how I didn’t always pay attention to what I said or how it might be received.  I was a stream of thought style kinda person.  Now I am very careful with my words. 
Words can be tools of healing or weapons of destruction. 
Having a child is a milestone in many women’s lives.
It was in mine.  Beginning with knowing that there was a life growing inside me began to change the way I thought about life, I began to value everyday a little bit more.
How does that connect to growing up? Using my words?  When I was a child my father thought nothing of calling me a “dummy or aunt jemima”.
Of which I am neither.  But when you are a child, your parents words are golden, all powerful, all knowing. 
With my children I made a choice to never say anything remotely demoralizing.  I learned to use the word choice, decision, think about that, not okay.  Always talking about the action, not the child.  I continue to refine my communication abilities in my work with other people, my friends, family, co-workers.  I have learned to I think before I speak. 
As parents we can be a source of healing or a source of pain for our children.  It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated or angry I do.  We all do.  But I try to take a deep breath and be mindful of what comes out of my mouth.  And sometimes I say I am sorry.  And of course they say they are sorry too.  We can apologize.  Apologize and repair the relationship.
Becoming a mother is one of the richest, most rewarding experiences on this planet.  I found I had a love that was deeper and unconditional and protective of the growing people in my care.
Mothers are fierce in their protection of their children.  Witness the mother in the tornado that protected her children with her body so that they would be safe. 
When my sons were in elementary school, I used to have an emergency strategy in my head.  How would I get to them?  In my fanciful head I would leap over the buildings, push the cars out of my way.  I would get to my boys.  I would protect them.
That’s what moms do.  We feed them.  We worry about them.  We do our best to instill values that they can apply their whole life.
It’s a tiresome job.  Some of us don’t get enough sleep, worry about money, external things, how we are going to survive, are they reading, writing, being nice.  And who is being nice to us? The men in our lives, families, friends, coworkers, bosses?  Do we take a few minutes out for ourselves to remember and realize how wonderful each and every one of us is? 
Becoming a mother is one of the richest opportunities for learning.  We learn becoming a mother is not for sissies, you have to be strong. Because we will be challenged. 

P.S. – in my definition a mother is not necessarily someone who has birthed a child, any woman who has opened their heart to a child is a mother. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Poetic Inspiration

watercolor on watercolor paper

When she walks into the room,
everybody turns:
some kind of light is coming from her head.
Even the geraniums look curious…
We’re all attracted to the perfune
of fermenting joy.

we’ve all tried to start a fire,
and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.
In the meantime, she is the one today among us
most able to bear the idea of her own beauty.
and when we see it, what we do is natural:
we take our burned hands
out of our pockets,
and clap.
                   - Tony Hoaglund, from “Grammar”

I found this poem back in 2004, in a magazine.  I loved it. To me it speaks of just being in tune with one's self and letting one's light shine through.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Gift of Life


When you look back on a lifetime
and think of what has been given to
the world by your presence, your
fugitive presence, inevitably you think
of your art, whatever it may be, as the
gift you have made to the world in
acknowledgement of the gift you have
been given, which is the life itself…
that work is not an expression of the
desire for praise or recognition, or
prizes, but the deepest manifestation
of your gratitude for the gift of life.
                                              - Stanley Kunitz

Wild Woman of the heart and