Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Closing

As part of my unearthing process, an awareness came that begged to be recorded. As I sat down to write it out, I realized I may have written the closing of my book. Very exciting discovery. On further examination however, I believe it is more suited to be the preface, the call to action.

Either way, I share it with you.

The Closing

Like the slow closing of a clamshell, the turbulence of new motherhood with all its unsettling shock and upheaval, quietly, almost imperceptibly fades, as we adjust and get on with our lives, now one soul larger. The monotonous tone envelops us like an internal wave, smoothing away the rough edges with repeated lashings, erasing, forgetting, hypnotizing, surrendering; "it was nothing…I felt nothing…I remember was fine…everything's fine…"

Before the journey, you have no idea. After a few years, you can't remember. In the crest of the ride is the heart of the truth, achingly, maddeningly, lovingly present.

I write to remember. I write not to forget. I write for other women who ask and get glazed, hypnotic, glossy non-answers to the questions they seek: "it's the world's most incredible gift." "You are just glowing." "Aren't you so happy?" "Mothering is natural, instinctive." "You'll know what to do." "I survived it, so can you."

I can see why I got nowhere asking what it's like.

No, WAIT! I think out loud, as I recognize the lid closing in on my experience. Wake me from this trance. Keep my mind sharp. Keep my memories in tact. Fight to stay alert, alive, conscious. Write it all down. Document the journey. Shout it from the rooftops. Don't succumb to the lie. Break the code of silence. Our lives are at stake here women.

My introspection starts with my daughter. As I watch her grow, I reflect on my own inner child, and the influence of my mother, then of her inner child, and the influence of her mother, and how she learned, and how she mothered me, and how I learned, and how I mother my daughter, and what she'll learn, and take out into the world as she interacts with others, perhaps one day becoming a mother herself. The golden spiral curling forward and backward, ties us all, intricately, together.

This is the work of life, of building bridges, of healing the past, of awakening the present, and of growing the future. It is the telling of our true experience. It is the silent women's work of ages past, and ages to come.


Karuna said...

Hey Go Mama - good stuff. It does feel more like the beginning, but I can see where it might help arc you into your closing as well. Been thinking about some of the issues you raise here, as I have been reading a book about motherhood vs. workerhood that I'll send you some excerpts of...but in short, I think your instinct about reading the Feminine Mystique is good, mostly to respond in a post-modern way to the definition of "women's work" (there are so many out there, and Betty Friedan was the one who embraced the idea that work in the home is not real work at all, which created that wedge between women who want to be feminists but who "work" in the home, with the children, vs. women who call themselves feminists and prefer the "man's world" of career, etc.). "The Feminine Mystique" is held to task for forcing (well-to-do) women to choose between feminism and their children, and that debate still rages today in so many different guises. Not exactly the same as the forgetting you talk about here, but it's helpful to know that there is a larger debate at play, and that your writing is (intentionally or no) walking a tightrope through some themes that have been clearly defined in the writing of authors who came before you. Funnily enough, with all that writing, no one has identified the complexities of motherhood quite in the same way as you're doing, so even before you've written the book, you are contributing helpfully to a larger debate. Kudos, beatch. And it's bigger than memoir, by the way.

Suzy said...

YES!!! "Like the slow closing of a clamshell..." Maybe the "opening of the clamshell"? Your life just doesn't embrace motherhood. You embrace life... keep going......

Carrie Wilson Link said...