It has been a bit of a difficult time for me recently. It's not smooth sailing once you get grownup - the old questions still haunt you and as your children grow, you see that they are haunted as well, and life goes on. Was I ever going to make peace with myself? See the truth? Figure out what it is all about?
When I am troubled, I turn to housework - at least the house can be
sparkling and all the material things in their places, and a brightness
to the air, a fresh smell, even if your soul is in turmoil. The other
day I was hanging out the laundry.
they had gone back to their respective tasks, and I was alone on the
hill, stretching the clothes and cloths tight so as to maximize the sun
and wind's potential to dry and brighten the material. And the smell of
the laundry soap, the smell of the wind, the feeling of the sun on my
face; the feel of my son's anima in his work jeans that he left - the
memory of the day on the beach in that Sponge Bob towel (who on earth
left that here?); and then I remembered that, of course, we have been
hanging out our mens' clothes for decades, centuries, dare I say
millennia? And the love, peace, and longing that is there in our hearts
as we birth them, raise them, and love them, is there for me in the
simple act of hanging out the stuff they wear, the material they lie and
dream in, the T-shirt my son wears when he wants to look good, when he
wants to attract and maybe take part in the next generation of love and
Laundry hung, I went in to prepare lunch. And I
chose to cook some of the potatoes that "Mountain Lady" brought us from
her garden. When I say garden, I mean that in the loosest term. A patch
of forest, dug and planted, stolen from the wild boar, badger, and
deer. And of course, as I peeled those mountain tubers, I felt again
that sense of stretching back. It wasn't just me, who finished lunch and
went to check my emails. It was also the beauty who was hiding in a
cellar, the sailor, the old lady preparing a potato for her husband, the
new bride who could only boil.
Giving birth is that
way. I met a couple yesterday who were looking at my book, and they
started telling me their birth stories - aggressive and rude midwives,
cervix closing up, the man feeling impotent....
birth, doing laundry, peeling potatoes, these are our tasks, and they
are begging to be done with attention, with presence. Do not give these
tasks away to others! Peel a potato! Fold the laundry! Take back your
own birth and do not allow rudeness, aggression, or ego in your birthing
room! All of the women through history will accompany you as you labor.
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