I attended a really wonderful “active art” event last night in Austin in honor of Mother’s Day, called Mothering: The Act Of. The evening was the brainchild of my creative friends Lynn and Aimee. We were asked to reflect on Mothering as an act (who mothers us, who we mother, how we mother ourselves). Here some of the posts from the event (there was a live blog set up all evening as well as many other interactive art projects): http://theactofmothering.blogspot.com/.
I ended up writing (or rather scribbling) a short piece that came to me early Sunday morning at the coast. Like many, I didn’t have a Hallmark card mother and have a wide range of feelings around the most important woman in my life.
What came to me though (rather strongly through a dream about my grandmother), was GRATITUDE. For the many gifts my mom did give me (both directly and indirectly) and how these “presents” initiated gifts I have bestowed upon myself.
You gave me compassion for others. I gave me compassion for self.
You stressed the importance of achieving. I feel the importance of being.
You nurtured my strong mind. I learned to nurture my tender heart.
You taught me the importance of service to others. I learned to serve without sacrificing myself.
You introduced me to the shadow. I have learned to embrace ALL of me.
You fed me with music, art and philosophy. I have learned how important it is to share these gifts with others.
You gave me a love for good food and cooking. I’ve learned to love myself by eating foods that truly nourish me.
You instilled in me ways to cope and survive. I learned how to build community and thrive.
You gave me independence. I gave myself permission to ask for and receive help.
You showed me the absolutely necessity for self-care. I embraced self-care and made it part of my day-to-day life.
You taught me to be a seeker. I learned I don’t need to know all the answers.
You instilled in me the desire to find God. I’ve come to know God dwells within.
You taught me how to open my mind and be accepting of others. I’ve learned how essential it is that above all else—I love and accept myself.
Notes from Mother’s Day 2008 …scribbles from an early Sunday morning on the Gulf Coast.
I am 42, my mother Juliana died suddenly from congestive heart failure in 2000, 30 days before my wedding day. She was mother to seven children, an artist, musician, nurse and teacher. And, she battled clinical depression for more than 30 years.