Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out of Gas

Today, in one of those extraordinary feats of the universe speaking in metaphor, I found myself in a car with no gas. We weren't going anywhere. Then I found myself dialing a cell-phone with no battery. "Low battery-turnning off..." And later, starting up a computer with no charge.

Truly, the only kind of gas we had here today came with this follow up: "Who tooted, Mama? Was that the baby?" Indeed, the vegetarian diet has some benefits, as does an infant sibling, always ready to be blamed for gross behavior (innocently unaware and generally speaking pretty much perpetually full of gas).

The behavior was terrible. I was out of gas, the two exhausted older children wretched and unmoved by my pitiful state as She-Who-Needs-Her-Battery-Charged.

After long naps (and let's be honest, a healthy dose of chocolate), things looked much better. What do people do when children stop napping? What do people do who don't believe in the Great Gifts of the universe delivered so pun-ily through the day?

I am recharging. God is my power source--a truly renewable resource.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mother prejudice?

The life of mothers seems only to be of interest to other mothers. I'm not sure why this should be so, after all, the average person can be extremely interested in the life and work of people very different from oneself. It is my guess, though I could be wrong, that a deep prejudice exists where mothers are concerned, stemming from a thickly erronous understanding of the work of motherhood, leaving mothers to talk (and write and read) among themselves for no one else cares about their sippy cup and cloth diaper debates.

If I can use my own novel as an example (and who could object to that?), THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME (title says it all, doesn't it?) was assumed to sell only to other moms and other women--chick lit, mama lit, that sort of thing. What's funny about this categorization is that it doesn't work in the other direction. I'm a woman and a mother and I read books about men and Pakistan and travel and volcanoes and...you get the idea. Why then is the writing about motherhood of no interest to, for example, your average Wall Street banker? For I can say with some certainty that I know many a book group that has read about those guys.

Is it because we (mis)perceive the significance and richness of the motherhood experience? Honestly, I've read books with protagonists I have absolutely nothing in common with--save in the area of emotion. Why isn't this the case for literature about motherhood? Or even talk about moterhood? Either it is true that motherhood is so dull no one can relate unless they are also a mother, OR, motherhood is so unique that no one can relate who isn't a mother.

I am wondering. Why wouldn't a man, a journalist who's traveled the globe, pick up the memoir of a mother when that same mother would read that man's memoir? Has our sexism abated save in the motherland? Or have we as a culture sold the identity/profession/path too short, dumbed it down to its tedious details (the laundry, the snot)?

I would like to know.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blogging Again as the Anti-Blogger

A good true confession: I don't like blogs. As I'm blogging this, that should say it all.

I don't have anything personal against blogging, I just have a hard time reading things on a screen. If someone wants my attention, I'd prefer a letter. So while I have tried to read other blogs, even a sentence or two may seem too much to keep my focus--though I will sit and read a novel in a day.

Why blog when I am not of that blogging world? When I was the last hold out for an email account among my friends, the last to get a cell phone, when I have still maintained my decision not to facebook/tweeter/get linked in to anyone anywhere in the cyber world?

In part because I have not found, in my feeble fumbling around the web, any place representing the liberal, feminist and devout way of being in the world, and because I began this blog at the publication of my first novel to have a place in the cyber world to "meet" people and so want to continue what I've begun, though change it somewhat to reflect all the various parts of my life: as mother, writer, minister, teacher, yogini, student, believer.

That said, I don't think the web is the place where all the true stuff happens, but a place where it *may* begin. Deep friendship, love, fortefied faith, hope on hopeless days, wisdom, strength for going forward, kindness and joy--they are not here in totality, but like a door opening, may draw us to connect with real people (including ourselves) in real ways. Anonymity, and the crude criticism it allows, have too great a home on the web. I don't think blogs and websites provide a venue for the best of who we are as humans (sometimes missing it by a long shot), but occasionally we do find that we are not alone in this world. And that is a beginning.

And also, so often, we write for no readers, we blog and post and no one notices. But then we write what we need to write for ourselves--and therefore we must be the ones who needed to hear our own message. If a voice crying in the wilderness hears itself, has it been truly heard?

I'm going to have to go with a YES on this one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the new year

This blog is having a metamorphosis. It is currently a work in progress.

Visit my new website: samanthawilde.com in the meantime. Whoohoo.