Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gratitude and the Cosmic scrambled egg.

This Mother's Day week, and those that have led up to it, have been packed full of activity tempered with family downtime and fun.

For me, the flurry of activity has meant organizing our local Mother's Day reclamation event, coordinating the twenty some-odd Mothers Acting Up events happening across the country for this weekend, a string of congressional and senatorial visits with local mamas and babes in tow to speak out for peace, many hours daily on the phone and online, meeting upon meeting, and somehow, strengthening not only my professional, but my personal life. I feel more connected to My Beloved Mister than I have in quite some time, and ever more tuned in with my mothering, with my friends, and even my extended family, though I see them less often.

The thing about doing a job that doesn't feel like work most of the time, but far more like simply doing as an extension of the living in my own livingroom, is that it feels comparatively ego-less. Now, I think I have to say that I broke my own heart week before last when on deadline with multiple tasks my toddler had a whiny meltdown and I yelled at him. Those moments of losing patience with him are few, though the trying times AND the amazing times, grow more intense through this period of differentiation. And it is quite something to work as an advocate for the world's children and also take the time and the care to tend my own boy with the attention to detail I think is important. I have, in fact, had to adopt what I've heard called benign neglect (by acquaintance and writer friend Katie Allison Granju and others) in order to complete my tasks, and yet when I learned that a most revered peace activist disclosed to a dear friend of mine that she, the big famous activist who up to that point I'd admired so heartily, had children who hated her for her absence in their lives, it was a lesson in exactly what NOT to do. I honestly feel that my work for other children, and my work toward peace, would be undone if my mothering were not at the core of the way I approach what I do. And for this reason, as well as those of basic email misunderstanding, I was terribly hurt and even offended (guess the ego wasn't so absent there, eh?) when a friend I admire as a mother and a human suggested some time ago that my illnesses (I never *did* write about the breast lump, did I?) might be telling me that I should not be doing the work I'm doing, rather might consider farming Ziggy out among friends so I could do something that asked for less self directed responsibility for me. At any rate, each day, I am simply hopeful to rid myself of the most toxic gunk, and to get clean enough to be the vessel for the good stuff to flow through. Call it God, Life Force, the Universe, whatever. It is my daily challenge and beloved task, to step aside that the work be done, through me. To do this with joy is the goal, and stumbling and tumbling into womanhood at forty is just what happens. As my friend Karen beautifully forgave her tulips for their late bloom so many years ago-- a gesture I hold to far more often than I suspect she ever intended-- I absolve myself (and others), make amends, move forward, trundling on as I go....

Yesterday, I did an interview with the Maria Sanchez Morning Show out of Ventura County, California. My decidedly less esoteric though no less sincere Mister made my morning when after hearing me do the interview, said that it solidified for him that I was doing the work (mothering, homemaking, activism & organizing) that I had been called to do on a Cosmic level.

Without taking myself too seriously, yet expecting more of myself than I ever previously have dared, I find myself most content, connected and conscious. And calm. Bursting with enthusiasm and energy, yes, but channeling a great deal of what has at times been anxiety, discomfort and unfocused ambition into some kind of place that feels quite natural, and for now, a good fit.

I hear it in my voice and see it in the way husband and son respond to me when I'm near, and seek me out when I've strayed too far. It's a dance, this life of ours together. And a whole lot of the time, it's really amazing.

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