Saturday, May 05, 2007

Woman's Work is Alchemy: daily life is what gives substance to transcendent ideas. Matter. Mater. Mother.

Sarah here. I have another moment and wanted to share what I have been reading lately. Thank you to all who posted replies to my last entry. I was especially moved by everyone's openness and receptive imaginations. I wanna be more likes youse.

Ladies, anything ring here? And fellas, handle with historically sensitive, kingdom-ish, imaginative, macho-less (all respect),"neither slave nor free...", care. love to all.

It’s impossible to give our children as much attention as they need, never mind half as much as they want, for the simple reason that there isn’t enough to go around, and every mother is in competition with her children for the available supply. No matter how much she tries to do each day, she’s aware of scanting something else, something vital and timebound that won’t wait for her to catch up. Her children will be grown up and gone from home before she finds the clarity of soul she wants to devote to them. Her house will crumble, or she’ll have moved out before she ever gets it in order. Or she’ll give herself to her house and children, and her poems will never be written. More likely, both. Each part of her is inadequately served, no matter how strenuously she neglects the other.

Joan Gould _Spinning Straw Into Gold_


mister tumnus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mister tumnus said...

how funny. there i was feeling lonely that only the parents of small children are up this early on sunday mornings and thinking about the rest of today like how to fit everything in
and thinking what i really feel like is going for a long walk.

i have this floating picture in my head of a very short clip from the simpsons where marge makes everyone clean the entire house and when it's done it's perfect. they all stand in the living room and she's so happy because everything is so clean. she tells them they're done for the day. as they all run into the kitchen the door swings open to reveal a spotless kitchen; they enter and it swings back and opens again on a filthy disaster zone. my sanity absolutely depends on moments like this. i feel like i want to encourage women everywhere to have messy homes where we can all talk about this sort of thing. thanks hugelymuch for this post sarah.

nard said...

anyone else sometimes feel like life is this way before you even shoehorn marraige and children into the mix? even if all you had was people and no job, theres still not enough attention to go around, to make no mention of the basic necessities of adult life, for which sixteen years of expensive schooling has left us yung-un's woefully unprepared....

much awe and reverence for the mommies (and daddies). i dunno if i can quite get my head around how all the work gets done

jdaviddark said...

here is a visual of what i woke up to thi morning(peter's on my lap now so i don't know how long i have. i won't bother with capitals):
peter enters the room naked (he has taken a liking to stripping off everything sometime during the course of the night-for all i know he could be out taking a smoke break or learning mandarin too) kicking me in the back saying "get up get up get up." Dorothy enters with these 1980s half gloves and jeans also kicking saying "get up get up get up." finally sam enters and lays across my lap and gives me a VERY slow kiss (freud would have a field day with sam and i) "i luv ya mom" like some character from _The Outsiders_ -all back alley love scene. good morning ya'll. and thanks for the posts. god bless this mess?

Dan Morehead said...

There is a sadness to finitude for we love our lives and see how they can barely contain half the things with which we would like them to be full. This is an awareness of the excess we cannot contain in our already full glasses, our saturated time. But there is the other side, the fullness:

"Dorothy enters with these 1980s half gloves and jeans also kicking saying 'get up get up get up.'"

What a wonder--full statement.

Mentsh said...

Hi David and Sarah! I'm David's cousin, Jill. Joy told me you had a blog, and that you had posted a pic of the kids. It always amazes me how fast kids grow up! The last time I saw Dorothy, she was a tiny newborn. Thanks for sharing.

Liz Str8 said...

Sarah, I love your thoughts... I hardly ever make it here because I hardly ever remember that yes, my friends do blog...

And I haven't told you yet, but I am so moved by your ep, the "alchemy" one. I remember hearing "Burt and Elvis" long ago and loving it although I didn't remember any of the words, only how it felt.

btw... here is another interesting photo of one of your dear ones!

Trevor Henderson said...

I felt like the description of mothers kind of hit on things that I feel as a father also........ hmmmm...

That said I know that Jenna feels this more than I..... roll on a society where full time motherhood is respected and maybe even salaried. Roll on the career of homemaking and hospitality - a profession of well paid people.

mister tumnus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mister tumnus said...

it's such a weird position though, 'homemaker', or whatever you want to call it. because it's not exactly autonomous even though it looks like it is. so if you're the traditional 'stay at home mother' one imagines that you are somewhat in control of the environment that you manage. but really all you can do it strive to catch up with that environment as it spins out of your hands (and all around the kitchen). at least that's how it feels to me sometimes. offices don't make very good living spaces you know, you'll always end up sitting on the stapler or something.

samantha said...

"Each part of her is inadequately served, no matter how strenuously she neglects the other."---

because i am not a mother (hardly adult in the sense of the word) the above quote from the passage is what struck me thick and packed full.
it is the contention of "tortured" artist and healthy, wealthy, and wise human being...the vendetta between the two "parts" of a person, perhaps more specifically one of those parts being the artist/poet/musician (i only assume the specialization because of the line about "her poems will never be written" and the fact that you are such a person)

so i do put in place of children, in this case, my "normalcy" (i.e. daily exercise, healthy eating habits, constant relationships, steady income)
and it rings true. which ever it is that i am trying to achieve, life or art, neither will bloom fully, because there are two. there is bad blood. they are bitter twins. they are a lovers quarrel---that perhaps doesn't resolve?

i hope

nard said...

on an unrelated note:

the new wilco is officially out now. thoughts, anyone?

Anonymous said...

hay mr. dark.....just found you on wikipidia, and though ide see ur gunna miss you next year, i really liked your class!

god bless


Anonymous said...

Funny Thing:

A stay-at-home mom's life (which my wife knows well) is a lot like the life of a solo pastor in a small church.

Steve said...


Wonder Woman said...

Living each moment like it's the only moment.

Doing your best with what you have.

Showing your children through actions, worlds, writting, responsibilities that they're indeed loved; they matter.

It's what is involved in motherly bliss.


Deep breath, white light...

Variations On A Theme said...

Oh, how I miss you! I feel that struggle every day. And many days the only thing keeping me from them is my own emotional depravity. (We have had some excellent summer days, though, swimming and playing and such.)

mjaneb said...

oh man. i miss you guys so much. all of you.