Why you keep giving me awesome things and then taking them away!
And the worse yet–motherhood! Sacrifice everything. End up with nothing.
31years with only one possible ending.
WTF God! I hate you! I wish I never met you! You suck!
Knowing you. Loving you. Has been the biggest heartbreak of all.
Why such separation? Why do you mock me from the sky? Why aren’t I your only. Where is YOUR constancy? Why do you hide?
I am terrified to find myself tip toeing toward you again.
I have only just recovered from our breakup.
39.5 years ago.
On, and Fuck YOU!
(sorry about that.)
hope you’re well & all.
let’s have tea sometime.
(Written February 2017 in Writing Down the Light program with Joan Borysenko at Kripalu)
Though I was 19 before I knew that I wasn’t, in fact, her firstborn–something she confided in the small kitchen of her new home (after she left our father’s), a confession which was meant to be a cautionary tale of fertility (her own at the same age, but alas 3 years too late for me)–it was too late. I had already assumed her burdens, spoken and mostly unspoken, embodied, and here was yet another—a heartache she carried alone for so long—her firstborn daughter, delivered at a Home for Unwed Mothers, less than a year before she married my father, pregnant with me.
“He wouldn’t let me talk about her,” she said. “I just wanted to know that she was as okay.”
Do all firstborn daughters & onlies and even sons carry the weight of their mother’s grief?
Which is not to say, there weren’t other inheritances.
The light of my mother’s consciousness.
Her dedication to study.
Her devotion to home.
Her innate gentleness and good nature.
Her capacity to see a whole person even in those who had harmed her/us–at times to a fault.
Her loneliness. Her isolation. Her martyrdom.
All over the interwebs, I’m struck by the honesty, the rawness, the sobriety of this Mothers Day. Is it the weather? (It can’t be snowing everywhere.) Is it the nation’s weather?
Women are waking up to REAL. Speaking truth. Feeling pain. Sharing it. Tending it. Using voice. Claiming space. Including space for joy and rest and reclamation. May it be so.
My compassion tonight extends to all those who have mothers who hurt them. (And all those who have children who hurt them.) And all those who feel less than (or have been told they’re so) because they aren’t mothers. (And all those who wanted to be mothers, and had to find another way to mother.) And all those who have lost a child. (Or a mother.)
The profound depth of what it is to be a woman–what we embody, experience, feel, surrender, claim–is shared among us no matter our race, our faith, our nationality, our politics, our procreative status.
Mothers Day 2019
An old friend from college sent me this song today, set to a poem by Maya Angelou.