An Altered Book
Mixed Media, 2003
Chapter 4: Mother (found poetry)
left page: MOTHER
through the streets
the spirit of
life, damn it!
are you ?
It's very interesting. I made this altered book long before I was an actual mother. And although I wanted to be a mother, some day, it was an abstract concept. Whenever I thought about mothering or pregnancy or birth, it was always in terms of creation... creating art.
Here the chapter given to me was "Mother" and all I could think about was being an artist. I'm sure he, the original author, Sherwood Anderson made his chapter about being the son of a mother, perhaps looking at his mother in her age, after years of being the mother of a man. Now I look at it an what is trying to be born is The Self, from the depths of The Mother.
How often, in history, in literature, in art, is a mother considered for herself, rather than for who she mothers, how she mothers, her iconic position as Mother?
Oh, maybe it's changing, now that more women have a voice, now that mothers are beginning to speak out about what it means to be a woman, a human being, as a mother.
left page: yes
right page: something/needs/to be/born.
Where I am now, as a stay at home mother whose time is dedicated to caring for her children all day long but who is also trying to carve out a place in all this for her art and writing, is confused.
I think it's a balancing act. A continual balancing act. Weighting my tasks this way or that, looking for a place for myself and giving my children the love and attention that they deserve.
Sometimes I think I have a balance and everything seems to be flowing easily... but that always falls apart as my goals change or external circumstances change, or the children change... as is their job, to change and grow.
This balance is not a static thing. It is fluid and sometimes more like a juggler trying to catch something before it falls, rather than some perfectly balanced thing.
Yesterday I worked on my new novel for one and a half hours. No. TWO hours. I took one hour when the girl went to nap, then a half hour while they were eating. then another half hour when we all went out to the back yard, I sat on the swing seat and they ran around with fudgcicles trying to find various ways of getting dirty. They succeeded better than I did, to be honest, coming in for bed filthy. My brain was clogged and cluttered and having a hard time focusing.
I got quite few ideas for my book yesterday, but had some trouble putting them in order. Balancing them.
Well, today is another day and I will look for my bits of time to work in between naps and meals and I recorded an ocean documentary so the boy will probably be engrossed for an hour while I focus on getting all those new ideas down in some sort of order.
Must remember to keep breathing and remember the long view. Be nice to myself. I think it will help me stop snapping at the kids when they spill their cheerios on the floor, yet again.