I hate to admit this, but when choosing artwork to post on this page I often run through potential objections that could be made to a certain piece. I worry that people will find the artwork uninspiring, confusing, too literal or too abstract, and I can make myself crazy that way. There are many reasons I can think of that someone might not fully appreciate this gorgeous song by Secret Garden, but I can’t help myself. I’ve listened to it a lot of times now (mostly in an unsuccessful search for a youtube version without a nature montage), and every time it has the same effect on me. It feels like entering cathedral, like watching world class ballet, like meditating, like being prayed for. If you’re very offended by religious themes, you might want to skip this one, but if you’re even a little open to it, please give it a try. It really is lovely.
If you love this music like I do, you might want to click here and peruse some of their albums.
It’s been a long time since I posted any of my own work here, and since I’m feeling super lazy today, it’s the perfect time. I’ve written many, many poems about motherhood, but it’s a tough needle to thread. There are so many opposing forces: cynicism and hope, exhaustion and joy, and the ever present precipice of cheesiness. But this is one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it too.
Mama is in the kitchen
slicing two pounds of grapes in half
on a lazy Sunday afternoon
Mama is weeding the side yard
As the moon rises high
with a sleeping baby on her back
Mama is in the nursery
rocking a sighing sick baby
in the small hours of night
Mama is cradling a cold cup of coffee
scouring the internet for ten minutes of adult thoughts
before nap time draws to a close
Mama is tapping her foot
under a cafe sidewalk table
trying to listen to a saddened friend
and calculate the hours she’s been gone
Mama is playing London bridge with her feet
laughing at toddler squeals
wrist deep in dishwater
apologizing to the bank man
she’s got on speaker phone
Mama is staying up late to fold laundry
sneaking under soft baby snores
to deliver clean clothes to squeaky drawers
Mama is speaking prayers
over a silky, wiggling head
dodging yogurt slimed hands
Asking for peace
and also that this wiggling head will know
that with every move and sleepless night
with multitasking tired fingers
with long slow breaths amid shrill screams
with a heart wrung out and ever full
Mama is blessing her
Two posts in one day, what? Yes, I found this unbelievably amazing photographer and I just can’t help myself. Check out the photographic stylings of Ghaith Salih.
Mosque Al-Dawla Al-Kabeer
One of the most beautiful Mosques in the provinces of Iraq
The Mosque consists of two large halls for prayer Designed in a modern way and high-tech decor. The mosque is located in the central province of Ramadi. This image has been processed by 10 pictures in different lighting to create the final image.
I pulled that description right off of Salih’s website, because I like all that information and I couldn’t pick just one fact like I usually do. Go click on his photo stream here, because it will blow your mind in just the best way.
That pesky cancer thing is still kind of going on, so I have to have surgery on Tuesday to remove my thyroid. I’ve never had surgery before, and I’ve been advised by those who have to not think about what it actually is. Because if you think too long about someone, even a surgeon, cutting into your throat, the floor directly beneath you starts to sink. Granted, this is a relatively minor surgery, I’m in great hands, and I’ll have lots of help from my cute husband and my mom.
And yet, there are not completely illogical reasons to worry. I’m a breastfeeding mom, and the arrangements to make sure I can continue nursing after the surgery has required five phone calls in the last four days. I have a friend who was in a coma for two days after having this same surgery. I had another friend who died during a relatively minor surgery. All of that is pretty concerning, but I think I would be okay if it was just me.
I know within myself that if tragedy strikes, I can get through it. I’ve been through a great deal in my life and I know I can trust God to take care of me. It is much, much harder to trust God to take care of my family, especially my helpless two-month-old daughter. At this point, and possibly forever after, a tragedy for me has the potential to be an even greater tragedy for her. If I were to get really sick or die, Pearl’s life would be more effected than mine. While I can be concerned or even worried for myself, that thought sends me into out-and-out panic.
After Pearl was born, I felt that God gave me a new mantra, a phrase I can repeat to quiet and focus my mind while I meditate. Now, while I meditate, I repeat the phrase “I trust you with my daughter’s life.” I find that repeating this phrase releases tension I didn’t realize I was holding. There is a piece of the mother-baby connection that can turn sour and strangling; repeating that phrase unwinds that connection. I am telling God that I am willing to hand over the responsibility I feel for Pearl’s life. I am surrendering the idea that I can control or shape her, that I can protect her from all harm, that I am anything more than a mere mortal in her life. I am telling God that I trust him with the most precious and delicate thing I have ever held in my hands. And truly, if I can trust God with my daughter’s life, what else is left to worry for?