interior ruckus…a poem about motherhood

interior ruckus—part one

i had no idea at twenty-nine
an unfamiliar inner voice
so bossy, persuasive
now, right now

hormonal messengers
working overtime
baby, baby, baby

OR so i assumed...

in my 20s, i knew so little about my biology 
youth doesn't ask many questions
baby, baby, baby

oh, to possess that blissful ignorance again

i understand now…
my ancient biology didn’t take over,
my private sociology did

interior ruckus of
age & expectations
my societal & familial programming
working overtime
interior ruckus—part two

period late
hopeful & cautious
baby, baby, baby 

a September birthday?
NOPE, not this month
my body sighed

moons passed
late again
my body whispered, YES
a winter birthday?
baby, baby, baby

my son arrived
late in February 
all giant and squirmy
and mine
 
three years later
that familiar drumbeat
my personal sociology 
our son needs a sibling

my body whispered again
maybe baby?
Saturday—NO 
Monday—YES, and...
babies, in my wife? 

baby A & baby B
gritty little homesteaders
inhabitants of my territory
overlapping claims
our complex symbiosis 

my daughters arrived
in the middle of May 
all tiny and squirmy
and mine
interior ruckus—part three

mothering through menopause
hormones tectonic
& not just mine

age and expectations
divergent boundaries
epicenters evershifting
interior ruckus

a lifetime spent studying the waves
vibrations recorded
push and pull
energy released
expected

motherhood's seismic shift
less vigilance now required
when monitoring underground movement
tremors are expected

install now OR remind me later?

Recently I read; Is Self-Awareness a Mirage? by David Brooks in the New York Times. It got me thinking…are there better questions to be asking myself at nearly fifty-five?

“Maybe we can’t know ourselves through the process we call introspection. But we can gain pretty good self-awareness by extrospection, by closely observing behavior. (Nicholas) Epley stressed that we can attain true wisdom and pretty good self-awareness by looking at behavior and reality in the face to create more accurate narratives.”

Is Self Awareness a Mirage? By David Brooks, New York Times

Here’s my go to story (personal myth) about myself: I was a very independent young person and this affects almost all of my behaviors. I didn’t even want my mom to walk me to kindergarten, I was only four.

Do decades old explanations about the WHYs of my behavior matter as much as current observations of WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW I behave?

Hummmmmmmmmmm…

My independence was a strategy I adopted based on my nature and circumstances. The story of it has served me well and is a character trait I’m often proud of often.

However, like most concepts of self, there’s a shadow side too.

Perhaps it’s time to update my operating system and not overly rely on old myths about my younger self.

My independent nature is no excuse for outsized and often confusing responses to basic questions from my family.

When will you be home? What’s for dinner? Who are you texting? Are you busy now?

Good grief, these questions are not immediate threats to my sense of youthful independence. Responding as if they are though, can be hurtful and confusing to the people I love the most.

So, thank you Younger Self, I’m truly grateful for all of the stories/myths of my life. I promise to summon you when spontaneity, risk, and fun are in question. You’re a great resource for those areas of my life.

I have to be honest though, your operating system doesn’t make quite as much sense to me in midlife…it’s time to look forward and hit install now, instead of remind me later.

noticing your energy suckers…

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” –Eleanor Roosevelt 

half-written, whole heartedly…

I have so many half-written posts from the last few weeks. I’ve written about democracy, racism. aging, my fears about the state of the world, cults & narcissism, sexism, motherhood, the artist Milton Glaser, the con of 1980s televangelists, kayaking with seals, our intricate vascular systems, humanism, menopause, radical acceptance, letting go, and realists vs. optimists. I haven’t felt like posting anything. Why?

I got curious, then it hit me…I think I have PAYING ATTENTION FATIGUE and I suspect many of you do too. The world is asking us to pay attention to so many things. I don’t need to add to anyone’s electronic burden now.

So, for the summer anyway, I’ll be posting mostly art, photographs, and short quotes…unless I change my mind, of course. The summer is still young.

“What if pain—like love—is just a place brave people visit?”

―Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

the space betwixt & between…

As I age, it seems much of life is experienced within the gray areas of uncertainty. Thankfully, now at fifty-three, I’m finding not knowing is sort of interesting, perhaps even a bit wonderfully mysterious.

study in grays, June 18th, 2020