Mama C Calls It Forth

Recently I went away to one of my favorite places in the world (so far) for a weekend with a single-mama friend to meditate, write, swim, laugh, and listen to God.

I connect to my visionary spirit, and my soul in this healing spot that I’ve been coming to since I was seven. When I get quiet, and a respite from my parenting modality I return in a palpable way to what I know to be true.

This time that truth cleary took shape in three distinct areas:

  • First is a deepening commitment to my sons feeling celebrated and accepted for exactly WHO THEY ARE today. (Middle school requires ferverent monitoring. Who are you-vs. who do you begin to believe your peers/teachers/ society or family says you SHOULD be.) This demands my being fully present, compassionate and flexible.
  • Second I heard that I will return to my dream of creating a one woman performative event (monologue/story telling+poetry) celebrating and exposing my first fifty years on the planet, and the events and people who shaped it.
  • Third, a new direction calls for my fifteen years as a transracial adoptive, biological, single and partnered parent. I will be unveilling this in more detail soon, but for the time-being it is already thrilling to announce it simply as a “Coming soon: Mama C Coaching and Consulting”. How can you help? If a particular post, conversation, article, or anything “Mama C” has been of help to you on your transracial/adoptive single or partnered/parenting/blending/ donor or other journey will you consider leaving me a comment I could use on my promotional materials?

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope everyone can create a little quiet space for themselves in the near future.

Reunion (poem)

Yesterday a copy of my most recent publication in a poetry anthology arrived in the mail. This poem feels like an arrival on so many levels as the readers of this blog can well imagine.

Keep writing. Keep telling your story. Hold the pencil and let God do the rest! We need to hear what you have to say.

Invitation: accepted

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A few days ago I was I was stunned and overjoyed to learn that my “application and writing sample were so compelling,” I was being offered a generous scholarship to make it possible for me to attend an upcoming four day writer’s workshop and retreat.

I will be staying in a cabin, on a lake, working with an established poet, surrounded by many other like minded folks. (The event allows writers in many genres to work in community, and individually with one of the four distinguished writers they have asked to work with.) The water poems are insisting they make their way into the world apparently.

Thanks to Shrek’s deep belief in my work and passion to create, I was encouraged to say yes. He and the boys will embark on their own sweet adventures. It is as it should be.

If you would like to help me raise the remaining necessary funds to attend the retreat details are included at the bottom of this post. (Raising  $250 here would complete the registration fee, the travel expenses [gas and tolls] and cover the additional childcare costs for the boys on the days that I will not be able to collect them after school. Meals and lodging are provided!)  My father and step mother have offered to match the first $75.00 I raise. As a thank you I will publicly acknowledge you here, unless you mention in the email that you would prefer that I did not, and I will send you, in the mail, a set of three new poems that emerge from the retreat.

Update: thank you so much to Mia of Pragmatic Mom for her $25.00 donation! If you don’t know her amazing site  covering children’s literature, parenting, and education then head over there as soon as you finish here!

Finally, I will leave you with this recent image that I captured on a windy, exhilarating walk with Shrek recently. Can anyone guess where we are?

Green means go, red means...
Green means go, red means…

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Go to Square and email me a donation of your choosing. There are no fees, and according to my brother it takes about three minutes to set up. All you need is my email address: mamacandtheboys@gmail.com. Creating abundance and support for my work in the world one bold ask at a time. Thank you so very much. Any amount is appreciated.

 

 

The poet makes her way home

Poet Cat Maryse Anderson Day 7
Poet Cat Maryse Anderson
Day 7, Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency
Mother Writer and her plant, Vineyard Ferry Day 8. Heading home
Mother Writer and her plant, Vineyard Ferry Day 8. Heading home

Today, simply a moment to hold space for the tremendous gift of my final day of writing on day seven, the residency reading that night, and the mystery and grace in the leaving.

On the forty five minute ferry back from Martha’s Vineyard,  I pictured a whale, hundreds of cool dark feet below me, getting ready to birth her first calf. I can sense the two of them in the emerging light of this Monday morning calm before it all begins again. The bold, exhausted exhilaration of the mother, knowing what she has accomplished. The semi altered state of the young calf, in her completely new environs, water rushing over her, milk flowing in her.  Her mother’s heartbeat familiar but slightly and always just out of reach.

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And I’m off…

take off... C 2013 MamaCandtheBoys
take off…  C 2013 MamaCandtheBoys

These are the last key strokes before I pack up this typer and head out to the great writing yonder on my one week residency.  Everyone here is poised for the journey in their own way, and calling on all their coping mechanisms. Shrek is nothing but supportive, light, and “we so got this” as he makes me a loaf of bread and his five star egg salad while prepping the pancakes.  Marcel is painting everywhere, and doing acrobatics at the same time. Sam is sleeping.

I am drinking too much coffee, and repeating a few necessary mantras like; “it will be exactly what it is meant to be.” And, “it’s OK if they don’t completely fall apart in my absence…” The dominant series being; “You did it. You designed it. You earned it. Now GET it. Enjoy it all Catherine…”

I have packed lightly; clothing, a few necessary altar items, and some don’t need to live without food items.  The main heft being a selection of books to inspire, distract, and push. Among the titles;  Annie Lamont’s Bird by Bird, Robert Pinsky’s The Sound of Poetry, Maxine Hong Kingston’s To Be the Poet. Richard Blanco, Philip Booth, Marge Piercy are in between the favorite sweatshirt, and the letters from the boys. Janna Malamud Smith’s An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery is in the bag next to my lunch.

Last night I read Smith’s chapter on solitude and the creative. She provides a compelling argument for why we crave and believe in the importance of time away to do the art. She debunks the myth in part as well. In between I found myself embracing this line on the eve of my first such journey;

We hold a distorted notion that our feelings and creative impulses need to be only ours and harvested by us in isolation. But the reality is richer…Simply put, to sustain the effort of art making, it helps to have a sense, felt more than thought, sometimes eroticized, sometimes not- of someone, or several who stay(s) near you in your mind, and who is interested in you and what you have to say. Such fantasies are ubiquitous parts of mental life, hardly only the domain of art-makers. But the difference is that they particularly need to arrange a balance that stimulates their creativity yet supports their solitude. (p. 133)

So dear readers, friends, and family know that I can not enjoy a moment of this without the knowledge that you are coming with me in my mind, asking me to do more of what I do best. Because, I believe that you care about the results.

Bowing with gratitude here.