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It’s not the Pacific

This is what I learned about the Great Lakes when I was in primary school. H.O.M.E.S. They meant as much to me as Mary’s Violet Eyes Make Johnny Sit Up Nights (Period). They were just as far away, distant, and unfamiliar. The lakes I knew were usually small and too warm and slimy on the…

Motherhood, whether of children, an idea, a piece of land, a piece of writing, an organization, animals, plants, a river or lake, students, the vulnerable, or the elderly, asks us to watch and hold life with great care, attention, and compassion. To expand our body, mind, and heart to make room for change.

It can be uncomfortable.

The trick is to expand with breaking. To somehow become more pliant, flexible, and curious.

Motherlife uses language, poetry and short essays, to explore uncomfortable questions about the body, the earth, change, and love. How do I love my own changing, aging body? How can I love and help heal the earth’s changing body? How can I nurture old and new life on this earth? And with life comes questions about death. I think these questions are about what it means to Love ourselves, others, and the earth that holds us and heals us.

So why are there blog posts about composting (com’posts) on the menu alongside poetry and essays? Composting grounds me in what is mysterious—that we live and breathe as a result of the death of stars and the life of the soil. Compost is earthy and spiritual, mindful and messy, hard work and no work. 

I’ve mothered many compost piles over the years, and they have given me the beginnings of a language for healing myself and the soil. I want to share that with as many people as possible, and that’s why compost and language dance around each other on these web pages, physical process and emotional expression paying close attention to each other, taking turns to lead and to follow, to rest and to venture, and I hope that the intimacy between these two generates sparks of joy, freedom, and ecstasy.

This blog is filled with years of leftovers piled high on the kitchen counter. I spent a lot of time trying to throw them away, but they only festered. Now, I try to pay attention to them, compost them. After a while, the separate, messy parts become something different. They transform into carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, water, forgiveness, love, humor, and humus. Ingredients to grow into. 

If I gather up these words and let them compost long enough, perhaps they will be like that, too.


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