Sunday, December 12, 2010

Confidential to a Mama...

We were speaking recently about keeping a blog- writing to record our experiences as mothers, as women. We spoke about others whose writing we enjoy and, with more than a little self-deprecation we laughed, diminishing our own work and words. Comparisons creeped in, followed shortly by that all-too-familiar voice of doubt. One woman is a brilliant and funny storyteller, another an assured and well-researched source for advice on healthful living and this led somehow to you feeling less than in some way. As though your voice matters less, can not compete perhaps, is not worth sharing.

Your words echoed the ones that sometimes fill my own head. Especially recently, when thinking about returning to this personal project after (more than) a month's absence and facing that surging feeling of what is the point?

I don't really have an answer. But I do hope you keep writing. And I hope to continue as well. Because each time we put our experiences into words- however, awkward, inelegant, or fumbling we may feel them to be--  we create the possibility of connection with one another, with anyone who happens by to read. More importantly, in taking action and writing for ourselves we win a small victory over that inner voice that doubts, that compares, that diminishes. And as women, as mothers,  I think we need as many of those small victories as possible.

The memory of a fragment of a quote came into my head as I started to write this and it took me a minute to recall the source. It turns out it could not possibly have been more relevant:

"So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. " (Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own)

I think that is a fitting closing for the moment and one I hope you will take to heart (as I will try to also).


  1. My heart is melted!!!

    I desperately wanna share this now:

    "Why one writes is a question I can never answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me – the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.
    "We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely … When I don’t write, feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing."

    ...Anais Nin quotes...

  2. ANGIE! You're back... please, continue! I love reading your words and hearing your voice. It keeps you closer to me and I miss you, so stay close! You're a beautiful mama, and you have a lot to share. Whatever comes to your mind, I want to hear. I've always enjoyed your posts, but that's not the point. You're such a beautiful woman, inside and out and you're a wonderful mother. Saskia is blessed to have you, and you her. For that alone, your blog is beautiful, but in addition to that, you have so many good ideas, thoughts, experiences and so on, to share! Keep it up!

  3. Yes! all too familiar feeling. I have been wanting to reply to this since the day you wrote it but haven't taken the time...I guess it has been two months now lol.

    This entry causes me reflect on times when I fear that the storms of parenthood threaten to swallow up dreams or opportunity—despite the wonderful opportunity and experiences that come with raising a child…or two, or three…. The application of pushing on past ones discouraged will is broad-reaching and powerful enough to overcome nearly all obstacles in life.

    Self-doubt and feelings of 'what's the point' after backsliding from a goal or project are an inherent to humanity as backsliding itself. It is important to accept the past is the past, forgive yourself and take on the future in action towards our great endeavors. Great achievers of our ancestry and recent day know the aforementioned wisdom by heart. Woolf knows what Theodor Roosevelt states in one of my recent favorite quotes:

    "Far Better it is to dare mighty things...even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." ~ TR

    Writing IS a mighty thing, for to inspire virtue, awaken passions, enable yourself or others to feel more alive and even a possibility of connecting with someone—as Angie stated—is one of the greatest experiences in life that we might often take for granted. So take arms with courage and passions of spirit; with words and deed cutting through self-doubt and apathy. Your action and discipline will open doors to opportunity and fields of beckoning life experiences from the thicket of ‘grey twilight.’