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Week 5/ November 1/Passions and Obsessions - Page 2

post #21 of 54

Passions and Obsessions

Her life has closed on her, from wide open spaces and boundless passion to this small circle that tethers and binds. Lately she wonders how far removed she has become from the person she used to be and if there is any hope of that person's return. She was swept into a dream, led by soft brown eyes that held her in their engaging playfulness. She never dreamed that those kisses would not last. Yet, slowly they tapered off. Those beautiful eyes lost interest in hers. Nights of reckless lovemaking, teeth tearing into flesh and fistfuls of hair, dissolved into tears the next morning for lack of tenderness. A touch in the night accompanied by the ever-present fumes of whiskey on his breath, until she turned away and feigned sleep.

Yet the wanton woman within reached out and tried to hang on. The attraction to him was undeniable. Alas, it was too late for his desire was gone. His attraction for her had vanished, leaving her to question everything about herself. Was she too fat, too thin? Did he see something undesirable in her, something that repulsed him, perhaps a character flaw? Confusion mounted and the questions went on and on, tearing her apart.

Then out of the blue, he would reach out and welcome her back into his arms. They would make love like it was the end of the world and oh, how very happy she would be! She would awake the next morning believing that they had started afresh. The air smelled so sweet, the coffee tasted so good. When she looked in the mirror, she recognized herself. Hair in disarray, makeup smudged beneath her eyes, and glowing.

It would be months before he would touch her again. She would reach for him, and he would recoil, jump away as though her touch burned him. He would leap out of bed cussing, grab his pillows and disappear. If she'd thought the questions in her head were bad before, imagine how confused she was now! Was he having an affair, then? Perhaps he was gay. It got to the point where she no longer wanted to feel any desire or passion for anything. Even watching a love scene on TV would reduce her to angry tears. She began turning down his rare advances, not wanting to let him that close to her again.

I am that woman. This story is mine. I have turned off that passion within me, the passion that I once considered an essential part of who I am. Without passion, I cannot see the world in color. I cannot write poetry, only those things which can be written with a heavy heart. I cannot paint or draw. Even my way of dressing has become very muted and plain. I wonder if there is any hope of ever becoming passionate about anything again. Yet, I see a ray of hope. For in my children, there is magic. I feel a part of me coming alive, unfurling to greet the sun. It is a new awakening, and I embrace it.
post #22 of 54
Woah! I didn't mean to write a small book there. Sorry. Guess I forgot to time myself. :
post #23 of 54
I was shocked when i read the last post because I usually just jump to the week we are on and do not open up the whole forum. But seek and you shall find....here is the info. that is also listed at the top of the writer's group forum links:
11-04-2004 until 12-05-2004
Cynthia Mosher
MDC Administrator

Cynthia Mosher's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arabia
Posts: 10,052

MDC Closing
We will be closing the boards and entire website sometime this weekend for our move to a new server. This will entail us being down for several days. When we know for sure when we'll close I'll update this announcement.

Looking forward to a bigger and better home for us!
post #24 of 54
what to do? i will feel lost without this group.
post #25 of 54
post #26 of 54
This is one from my passions and obsessions list... "Women in bathing suits who've given birth."

I remember reading once, I’m no longer sure if it was in a novel or in a nonfiction book, a quote from a midwife. She said, “I don’t need to look at a woman’s cervix to tell if she’s given birth… I can tell by the shape of her belly button.”

And I can’t remember now, but the rest of the quote explained that a woman’s bellybutton before birth was of one shape, maybe more compact, and that afterward it was more vertical, stretched.

I remember this quote because I’m sorta obsessed with my bellybutton. Well, not obsessed, but it does hold symbolic power over me. When I was 26 or so, I decided to get my bellybutton pierced. It was great… it marked the start of something for me. I didn’t know what at the time, but it was like an opening up for me and stepping into a new place. In retrospect, I can see that I did have some prescient idea, that in fact, that was indeed a turning point in my life.

I had, and loved, my bellybutton ring for along time, until I got pregnant (seven years later). I actually felt like taking it out before that, when I got married, but I wasn’t quit ready. The bead fell off around then, and I left the ring in for another few months, until I got pregnant, and then I whipped that ring out of me, proud that I had something else marking my body: a new life, literally.

The physicality can’t be overlooked – the tie to my sexuality. There is some circular connection here. My bellybutton, where I was connected to my mother, where my life began… or didn’t my life really begin when my parents had sex? And getting my bellybutton pierced was some reclamation, some statement or claiming of my sexuality way back then. And then, through sex, I made a baby inside, who had its own bellybutton, and was connected to me, and was beginning its life, and starting mine over. Out came the ring.

Lately I’ve been wanting to put it back in… to mark, once again, a new phase. My motherhood phase, the fact that this body housed a baby, and nourished that baby via an umbilical cord, connected to its bellybutton.

I want to mark my new, elongated mama-sized bellybutton… my history and the origin of my life; my son’s history and the origin of his; my power and my sameness will all moms.

This summer, at the lake, I was the actual beach part, where there is sand and a lifeguard, and lots of kids (which is why I never went to that particular spot before). And there I was, and there were moms in bathing suits, women who had given birth. And it struck me, how I was surrounded by all these mom bodies and how unusual that was to see. Because our culture is YOUTH culture. I understand this in a way I never did before (the further I get from being “youth” the more I see it…). The bodies of all the young ones, so firm and small. And tight. And then I think of the women’s bodies I’ve seen in classical paintings and how they are so soft-seeming to me. And now I realize why. They are mothers. They are women who have given birth.

I felt so happy being surrounded by moms in bathing suits… fashionable or not, one-piece or two, skinny or bigger… there was something I saw in all of them. And in myself. I realized: Me too. I am a mother. And that is when I started thinking again about my piercing my belly button.

© 2004 Stacy M. Lewis
post #27 of 54

Closure is postponed!

I just saw this message from Cynthia Moser:

MDC Closure Postponed

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well darn! Though we were expecting to close the boards this weekend to begin the process of moving to our new server we have had to postpone the entire move. As soon as things are ready and we know when we'll be closing I'll make another announcement.
post #28 of 54
I love…

trees. I really do. And all plants, their poetry and color and texture. Their stature and shape, and their interplay. And how they change, and grow, and respond to the world, and overcome (seem to) obstacles, squeezing themselves into cracks in sidewalks or happening upon a clogged gutter or sailing down the river and managing to grasp a log or a rock or something, and setting down roots and blossoming up and turning toward the sun with a smiling good morning. I love how they fill up space and ask for more, and how their roots grow upon themselves until they are given an opportunity, and then they set out searching again. I love them for their quiet persistence and extravagant eloquence. Their stubby shortness and their reed-like skinniness. Their colors, their poofiness, their fuzziness, their shinyness… Oh! I love them for showing me how to grow and for teaching me how to support growth, and how to fathom it and let it go. Basking in it. I love them for showing me steadfastness and sneakiness and showiness and loneliness. I love them for getting all together and creating fields and forests and green. And for teaching me how to breathe; in fact, for making it possible for me to breathe. I love them for giving me breath and for showing me that we’re connected.

And I love my worm bin, too. Because it’s so cool – the cycle of life in there, in my kitchen scraps, watching waste become rich soil that feeds the plants that feed me.

I love to vote. I love to go to the public library, and ride the bus. I don’t know why. All these cheesy civic things.

I love the sounds of the bells of the church near my grandparents house in Manhattan Beach, California.

I love the ocean, the lapping foaminess of the night-colored sea. I love the saltiness and the chaos and the rhythm. The power. I love the creatures who live within it and on its edges.

And I love the ocean in its warmth and simplicity, its dazzle-shine-blue and happy shores. The warm sun, the swimmable sea. Surf.

I love my mother… though I am feeling far away from her right now. I love her at the same time I realize how little I know her.

I love my son… I just love him. It is a satisfying, simple love and it is a shocking, complicated love.

I love Rom. I just love him, too. This love is a core love, something that was so right and so deep almost immediately that is seems like it has always been a part of me. I don’t know how this happened. I feel lucky. It is a lucky love, a profound love, hard work and fun.

Keep moving…

I love … people. I really do. I feel honored to be a person among people. I try to remember this. I try to maintain respect and connection.

I think of love and I think of the four types of loves in Buddhism:

loving-kindness
compassion
sympathetic joy
equanimity

© 2004 Stacy M. Lewis
post #29 of 54
What I carry….

Oh, too much stuff.

The Diaper Bag (my purse), which is actually quite small. It contains:
•2 cloth diapers
•baby underwear
•sippy cup
•my water bottle
•wallet
•checkbook
•cell phone
•digital camera
•chapstick (oh, my complicated beauty regime!)
•snacks, for me and baby, in various states of edibility
•poker chips (for the babysitting coop)
•plastic bag(s) for the wet diapers
•2 disposies for “emergencies”

And then I’ve recently taken to carrying an additional bag, in case the baby naps in the car – this one with the book(s) I am reading, my homework notebook for the Postpartum Doula Course, my journal, and a pen.

My baby. My 15-month-old baby who is less and less like a baby. I carry him, too. I carry him and he clings to me like a monkey.

So, with my two bags and my baby, and sometimes I will also have the sling or a coat or scarf or extra clothes, I stumble out to the car and unlock the doors and dump all the stuff on the front seat and put The Boo in the carseat, and once we’re all in, we get to where we’re going.

Lately when Orlando sees me packing the diaper bag he says, “Bye-bye.” Yep. We’re going bye-bye, just as soon as I can get all this crap together!

I remember writing in my journal after Orlando was born, about the labor. I said, “We carried each other.” Because the pushing felt like a pulling… my baby tugging me into motherhood. I was a vessel, a power, a shelter, a passenger. Like an undertow, I rode with my baby into this new role in life, into a new aspect of humanity, into the oldest aspect of humanity. We brought each other to this place. We carried each other. We carry on, still. We carry each other, still. Oh, the places we’ll go!

© 2004 Stacy M. Lewis
post #30 of 54
I love...

the little acts of care that are my responsibility, and my pleasure, as a mother.

A long time ago, I thought I had no maternal instinct. One afternoon I got to my boyfriend's apartment for a weekend. He wasn't there, he was still at work. But the little cat he'd agreed to care for while a friend was out of town, met me at the door.

What a scruffy thing she was. She was yellow, with silky long hair that was deeply matted. I threw down my bag and felt an outpouring of ...something. I got out a comb, picked up the cat, and fur fiber by fur fiber, separated out the matts. When my boyfriend came back hours later, I was almost finished. The cat washed when I was done, glowing with pride in her new smooth coat.

And I knew that I did have maternal instinct.

The other day I took advantage of an offer from my mother, to nap in her bedroom while she had Dd for the afternoon. Only recently would Dd let such a thing go on. I woke from sleep to recalcitrant shreiks, and my mother saying, you have to let me wash your hands. Over and over.

I got up and found that Dd had been out on her porch, and scratched the screen. There was black dirt deep under her nails, almost half way down the nailbed. Tatooed for life, I thought. But with confidence, and a lot of positive thinking, I picked up a toothbrush that happened to be lying on a cabinet. Need this? I asked my mother.

Dd came to the bathroom with me. I wet the toothbrush and rubbed it into the bar of soap. I held Dd's little hand, smooth and warm. Messy toddler fingers, still tiny, held onto me with trust. I rubbed her nails with the toothbrush, not getting much of anywhere, but still thinking positive.

The pinky nail came clean. I went back to the others. Back and forth, back and forth, scrub and rub, foam seeped under nails like small pink shells, until all her nails were clean.

The satisfaction wasn't in the clean nails, but in the intimacy of the task.

Diapers were excepmt from this affection I have. Anyone else wanted to change a diaper, fine with me. Dh seemed to really enjoy it, so that was when I'd take a moment and go to the bathroom, sit still. And feeding, that too, never gave me the thrill it seems to give so many. Not after the thrill of pregnancy and nursing. Make the slop, put it on the spoon, fight with the high chair, take baby out of high chair, food comes back out of mouth. This is taking over an hour. Clean.

I didn't like cleaning the dishes, the table, the floor. But I liked dwelling on soft pink cheeks when I wiped them with a napkin. As long as I was there, plant a kiss. Or two, or three, and then, as long as I'm close, a noserub.

I so liked to comb Dd's hair that I made an elaborate production out of it. I got just the right all natural herbal hair nectar, the perfect spray bottle, and she benefitted from all I'd learned combing my own fine hair without breaking it. Then I got to figure out what to use to keep it out of her eyes. A pretty hairclip she approved of, strong willed and opinionated at an early age? She'd pull them out, taking clumps of hair with them. Aloe vera gel. Works until her head sweats. Tiny atraumatic rubber bands make a sprout on top of her head that's feathery and fun to play with whenever she's close.

The nails again. I filed them when she was newly born, because I was afraid to use a clipper. She got used to having her nails filed. One of her first sentences was “I have a jagged nail, I need a file-nail.” One day she scratched me when she ran her fingers up and down my chest as she nursed. I grasped her hand warmly to hold her hand still, said that it hurt. Later I found her filing her nails. “I'm making them soft for you, Mama.”

And our nightly bedtime ritual, another one I started almost from birth: massage. A new baby, she'd lie on the bed looking satisfied with her circumstances, when I'd do the massage that was meant to settle her before bed. Then she started flipping over, and crawling, and became a moving target who was more interested in moving than in getting a massage, so I was sad but I stopped bothering her with my efforts. But something made me try again a few months later. Then we traveled, and lost sight of that part of the routine, with coming home, and having some hectic nights where no one seemed to miss that the massage had been dropped. But I wanted it back, so I got some fragrant lotion and reinstituted the evening massage. It was welcomed eagerly, and it's now fully expected.

Now, having been the recipient of these actions, Dd has come to enjoy them as a giver too. She asks to comb my hair and has somehow learned what comb I prefer, and how to do so gently. She files my nails. At night, she will often insist on putting lotion onto my back or feet.

There is a communication through these acts. Such small acts of care, the ones no one ever thinks of, the ones it would be easy to forget later, are*ones that are mine to do because I am Dd's mother. She will play silly games with Grandma, go to the park with Dad, but come to me for these tiny details. These little things are one of the things*I love most about being a mother.
post #31 of 54
How I was mothered...

I was mothered ingeniously. The stuff she was going through, being married to my father. His treatment of her, of all of us, as if we were posessions. To be controlled, displayed, he loved us deep down but dare not act like it.

I've said, my spirt was floating around, knowing what I wanted to do with this life, how I wanted to set things up so I could at last be with Dh, and like the announcer in a railroad station, I heard the call: We have an opening. It'll get you to all the places you need to go. The father is a problem, but the mother is worth it. OK, I said.

In a cold house, she managed to make me feel loved and happy. Amidst siblings all with different needs, she tapped into knowledge of what particular things I would enjoy. When I was a skinny, overachieving outcast in school, she made our home a refuge where the cruel words of the other girls never had much of an impact on me. She understood I was a nonconformist and encouraged me. For a long time, I viewed her a perfect mother.

So I hesitated for a long time to see myself as someone who could have a child. After all, I could never be a mother like she was. Having a perfect mother can be problemmatic, because for me, I figured why even try. So I worked on finding something else to be perfect at, or at least very very good at.

Then my life took the wild turn it had been heading toward all along. I found true love and got married, and my husband eventually suggested we stop trying not to have a family. I was petrified. I guess that's why he caught me. I found out I was pregnant and worried how I would be a mother like my mother.

But my baby talked to me from inside. She told me that she knew all about me, and came not despite all my flaws, but because of them. She told me that my mother was perfect for me, but I wasn't going to be my own mother, I was going to be her mother. She had different needs, and I would be perfect.

So I forgot about striving to be like my mother, and throw myself into being the kind of mother I can be. My mother looks at me in some situation or other with Dd, and says, how did you ever think of that, you're such a great mother. And often I look at her, and say, you did it.
post #32 of 54

Two from LAST week

I had the hardest time writing last week... kept sitting down to do it and reviewing the homework and NADA. I thought maybe it was the topics, maybe my state of mind ?? Over the last couple of days I did manage to do the homework. I am glad I did... learned a thing or two, though I still don't know if it was the topics or just me (or both)!!

Ceremony
A marking, an acknowledgement, a script, finding meaning. Constructing, passing through, change and growth. An event, a gathering, coming together. Ceremonious… though isn’t that slightly negative?

Commitment ceremony… more than a party. Rite of passage, ritual, symbolism. Wedding ceremony. Wedding Reception. Oh! Family Reception. Public or private.

Ceremonies in my life: graduation, awards ceremonies (in high school), weddings, funerals, 100-days

Ceremonies in others’ lives: baptism, circumcision

Ceremonies missing in my life: puberty, new family

So painful… these topics from week 3!!

Well, now I know what it’s like to write when uninspired… better than not writing at all, huh?

Hm. This morning I heard an author on Mind Over Matters, who was a Zen Buddhist and Peace Activist and he spent much of his time on pilgrimage, in the truest sense of the word, traveling by foot and without money and only bringing what he could carry on his back. When he arrived in a small town, he would go to the places of worship in that town and explain who he was and what he was doing, and ask if they could offer him simple accommodations (just some floor space, really) and some simple food. If he was declined, he would put his two palms together and bow toward them, thanking them, silently, for the opportunity to experience being declined. (He didn’t tell them this.) If everyone declined him, he slept outside and ate no food.

Anyway, so now I think of this, and I am thankful for this opportunity to experience what it is like to write when not “inspired” by the topics, to feel the drag of the pen, the yawning expanse of the page, my sludgy mind, the ticking of time. I am thankful for this experience, to feel the wheels turning oh-so-slowly, to feel them turn at all, to sense them creaking and moaning, gaining momentum.

Or not.

------------------------
Moving On
I can’t help it. I think immediately of Moveon.org. How appropriate, considering I’m doing last week’s homework now, and here we are, after the election. Time to move on once again.

I wasn’t that active in politics in the last four years and I find myself now wondering what (if) I’ll do in the next four years. Torn between wanting to capitalize on the momentum now and cynical about how much of significance there really is to do, especially now. For instance, how can I influence the next democratic candidate? And aren’t they chosen a long time from now anyway?

And then: Back to Basics. Back to Buddhism 101: Start with yourself. What I can do for world peace? Find peace within yourself.

Okay. And after that?

In the last four years, what have been my political actions? My actions for peace?
  • I voted.
  • I donate money to political and local groups (who aren’t necessarily political…)
  • I educate myself… by reading newspapers, listening to the radio, reading books
  • I love my son… I mean, really loving him and learning true compassion, with him, and others.

After I gave birth, my heart was opened. I mean Open. I was in awe of this feeling, and of my desire to learn more and to connect.

Before I gave birth, before I was pregnant, I had started to read about Buddhism. I practiced yoga, had for years, but I could sense how things were changing.

And then I gave birth. I felt, I knew, there had to be others out there, information and stories out there, about this connection between motherhood, peace activism, meditation. I hardly knew the words for it… but something to do with peace and community, and parenthood, and Buddhism.

I remember talking with my friend Jennie, telling her: “It’s interesting, because you’d think that having a kid, becoming a family, would bring my focus inward, that I’d become more insular (cuz that’s our societal bias), but in fact, I feel, I don’t know, expansive, and outward-facing. I feel open and welcoming. It’s like my heart has blossomed and my eyes have opened.”

And slowly and surely, I started finding books and communities. Connections.
  • Attachment parenting
  • Mothering magazine had an article about breastfeeding as spiritual practice, and then one about kids as our spiritual teachers
  • Books like Buddha Mom, Buddhism for Mothers, Everyday Blessings… and even other books that didn’t say Buddhism but resonated with it

I started attended meditation classes when my son was 6 months old. I was miffed when the teacher said you couldn’t practice unless you were well-rested… at least eight hours of sleep a night (Ha! I had a six-month-old baby!). Anything less, he said, don’t bother coming.

Hm. Well… I kept coming. But with sitting time at 7:30 PM, it is nearly impossible to attend regularly. Bedtime for baby.

So, I nurse my baby and follow my breath. I try to follow my breath when I can. I read about Buddhism, which I know can’t replace practice, but it helps me remember to practice. No, I don’t get that uninterrupted, purely dedicated time, which would definitely further my practice, but I try, in my way, to find peace.

I didn’t even realize until now – moving on. That is, in essence, the practice of Buddhism… or no, not even. There is no need to “move on” from each moment if you were never stuck in it. I move on by simply being present, each and every chance I get.

© 2004 Stacy M. Lewis
post #33 of 54

What I carry

My mother’s heels on a Bronx-bound train
hover beneath my arches. The tar of my grandmother’s
cigarette pools in the well above my clavicle.
The stench of my great-grandmother’s steamer trunk
fills the cavity between my shoulders.

My body is an archipelago of memory,
slowly drifting away from home
Collecting in layers of briny sediment
the artifacts of
a dying race.
post #34 of 54

Writing Goals

Personal:
To re-envision the writing life as an inclusive project that supports and enriches motherhood.
To make peace with family and make meaning of my mother’s death through writing.
To record and process this wild experience for my sanity and my son’s future amusement.

Practical:
To prioritize remodeling projects around my passions (to build my own ‘clean, well-lit place’)
To be gentle, but disciplined with myself.
To write regularly, regardless of mood or inspiration.
To develop tools for getting in and out of writing mode quickly.

Professional:
To take risks in writing and promoting my work.
To seek collaborations and alliances with other creative women.
To submit one essay/poem for publication by the end of the year.
post #35 of 54
I’m writing this week from the guest room in my mother’s house, where she lived with my father for eight years and where she died 11 months ago. I’m here to unveil her tombstone and to lay my grief to rest.

This room is undeniably hers. It’s where she found peace from the unexpected responsibility of my father’s paralyzing stroke, where she escaped into soap operas and chat rooms, where she dulled her pain and disappointment with oxycontin and marijuana. The walls read like a catalogue of her passions and obsessions. Everything is pink. From the carpet to the bedspread, the spray-painted lamp base to the fabric-covered TV stand and the monogrammed stationery on the wicker writing desk. Silk flowers and old Florida chintz mix uneasily with wrought iron Judaica and Asian-inspired needlepoint.

The most salient feature is an extensive collection of clowns. Dainty porcelain figurines, layered oil paintings, faded watercolors, and hand-painted ceramics fill the walls and shelves. At the center of this strange collage, hangs a poster I bought for her at a school fair when I was in the third grade. Despite its obvious low quality, my mother framed it in an elegant gold frame and hung it among her favorite artisan pieces. In muted pastel tones, the print depicts a tall, thin clown standing before a mirror, shoulders hunched with a mandolin dangling carelessly from an open hand. Like many of her much beloved figures, the clown’s expression belies a sad, inner longing that contradicts the wide smile on his heavily painted face. Did I understand then about the masks that women wear to protect their children? Was I trying to tell her that I saw the truth beneath her well-painted exterior?
post #36 of 54

Another one from last week

Okay, last post... I wrote another one, from last week. Sorry to take up so much space but I wanted to get it all "out there."

What Brings Me to My Knees

Despair. Overwhelmed, when I am feeling overwhelmed and at my wit’s end.

When I find myself begging my 15-month-old to please please please just let me put on this sock, not only am I literally on my knees, trying to grab his foot, I am on my knees inside, at a broken place and a resource-less place. It’s a kind of funny place, too. Sad-funny. I can even see the ridiculousness of it while it’s happening but instead of trying a different tack, I stay the course, so stubborn, and end up begging my toddler to let me dress him.

I’ve had prouder moments. I’ve had smarter ones.

I begged my husband, once, to please please please help me. It was the week before I was due to give birth, and we were in bed, talking, and I said, “ I’m scared.” And he didn’t really respond for a while and then said, “Oh, don’t worry about it.”

“But I’m scared.”

And somehow it got really tense and I felt and spoke strongly, and he retreated, which made me need him more so I spoke more strongly, until I was begging him: “Can’t you please show me some compassion? I can’t believe you can’t show me any compassion! I am about to give birth and do this really scary thing and all I wanted to say is that I am scared and that I need some compassion.” !!

I ran away, naked, into the other room, sobbing uncontrollably, with my hands over my face. I would say I was on my knees then.

The ocean makes me kneel down inside, and when I visit, I do bend down at the shore, and I place my hand in the sea and then I touch my fingers to my lips.

Yoga folds me over softly until I am supine, my spirit soft, my heart bowed down and open.

Hm… gotta keep the pen moving, eh? For 20 more minutes! Ack! I guess maybe it is these topics… Does that mean I am afraid of going “deeper”? I don’t think so…

Being soft and open, and reverential to the world, and respectful of others. Finding a quiet space inside myself, and the ability to speak slowly and constructively. For my words to flow softly. To be respectful. This is a bow.

To beseech, to worship, to beg and plead. To be in pain (the knees aren’t meant for kneeling, not for long), and tight in my body. To need, to be at the mercy of someone else. This is kneeling.

And no, I wasn’t raised Catholic! You would think I had been with all these connotations I have. No, though I was baptized… just in case, and to please my mother’s father.

I try not to go on my knees. Being on my knees usually means I’ve set up some sort of conflict or power struggle and I want it to end but I’m not quite ready to admit my own participation in it, so I capitulate by begging. Or the other person has gotten so angry or lost, that I want it to end so badly, whether or not it is actually resolved, so I resort to begging.

But I know, there is this other connotation of “brings to me knees,” as in “it melts me.” Or it brings me to the breaking point and causes me to bend. To give. Softly.

What makes me bend down in awe and respect?

•the ocean
•the moon
•the sun, especially the rise and set of it
•my husband
•my child, his personhood
•selflessness
•a leaf
•this, that, and the other person: people, humanity
•I don’t know… the connectedness of it all….

Ack ack.. can I keep going? Keep the pen moving, oh yes, my response to the topics of this week:

•construction not destruction
•people who truly look at the positive side, of everything, every time
•the Internet
•the cuckoos on the Internet
•movies
•monumental pieces of art
•land-art
•the guy who makes art out of nature

When I feel soft inside, it is like I am bowing. When I feel soft inside, my heart is open and I see the world, in a flash. I feel a pain straight to my heart, I am shot down, to my knees, with love, pierced with perception and flooded with sensation: I am alive. Right here and now. I am alive.

© 2004 Stacy M. Lewis
post #37 of 54

My daughter

My daughter has brought me a joy I never could even dream of. I can’t imagine how I lived before she was here. The joy, the love in her eyes is beyond my wildest dreams. I often worry about how we’ll raise her. Will we do the right things? How will she turn out? Then I remind myself to enjoy every second I have with her right now and not look too far into the future
post #38 of 54

How I was mothered

How I was mothered makes me realize how I’ve been able to rescue myself. My mother and I are friends now. I love her, I really do, but she never should have been a mother. She was cold and distant even though she would hug me (ouch!) and tell me she loved me. Somehow, I ended up with no self-esteem, no confidence and not much logic. It’s taken me years to believe in myself and to know who I am. I want to start dreaming again. Not when asleep, but wildest dream type dreams. I want to raise my baby to believe in herself, to know who she is, to dream big. I want her above all, to be happy and make good choices in life.
post #39 of 54

Hard labor

Hard labor yielded me a gorgeous baby girl. I had a relatively easy labor. I was only in hard labor for about 3 ½ to 4 hours. It was the most earthy experience I have every had in my life. My body knowing what it had to do. I just had to succumb to the pain and the force, the power of what was happening. All modesty to the wind. Opening up to life. Hard labor spewed a child from the depth of my belly and found her slippery and wet on my still bloated tummy. My heart soared.
post #40 of 54
I love the grass when it is soft and new
like velvet beneath my feet
early spring
when the earth is moist and smells rich and fertile

I love the moon when it is a mere wisp of a smile
and when it is round and full and bright
when it peeks through the trees
when it glows, softly hidden in the clouds
when it is huge and yellow, ripe for the harvest

I love the desert at night
when the heat has lost its intensity
and quiet descends on the world
I love driving through the desert at night
with the wind in my hair
sweat prickling the back of my neck
and drying tight upon my brow

I love the laughter of children
the laughter of joy and innocence
of girls who have stayed up too late
deliriously laughing over silly jokes
friendship, adventures, and boys

I love the chill in the autumn air
the leaves changing colors and falling
dreamlike to the ground
the smell of woodsmoke in the air
the pause the earth takes
before it sleeps beneath a blanket of snow

I love being near my children
absorbing them, inhaling them
I love tending to them
showing them everything
recognizing myself in them
seeing them in myself

I love what I am becoming
I love what I have become
what mothering has shown me
the doors that have been opened in my heart
the lessons I am learning
the love that I feel inside
love that grows without end
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