Saturday, 30 April 2011

Feet in the gutter, looking at the Stars

When the children are safely tucked up in bed, something comes over me. Having spent a very large part of my day attempting to be a wholesome, sweet, Mary Poppins kind of mama, night-time mama is a different beast. Night time mama comes over all Tourettes and breaks out in expletives. Not in a shouty, stressed out way, but rather, to make up for a day of "oh my's" or "my goodnesses". You know, famous five speak.

You worky mamas can swear in the car on the way to work, or get it out on your lunch break, say, or in the loos, or just generally when having some behind-the-scenes banter with colleagues. Its a release.

Now I don't swear at my children, except for very, very, rarely if I am super, super wound up, and generally I try not to shout at them if I can avoid it. But having little ones surround you every minute of the day, including when you go to the toilet, or take a shower, or take a walk down the garden to dump veggie peelings, or whilst you are getting dressed, or cooking, or even, whilst trying to sleep, requires a superhuman amount of patience and restraint at times.

So night time Paula gets a bit gobby! Yes it all comes out! A string of vocabulary to make a sailor blush.

It's not so much that I have one big expletive outpouring, more so much a sprinkling of *&%$ and a smattering of @)(*&^% whilst going about my evening.

Oscar Wilde once said

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars".

I am perfectly happy to be a high brow, low brow hybrid. I'm the kind of lady that is happy and feels nourished, on a soul level with reading the great works of say, Kahlil Gibran, or Herman Hesse. Deep, existential, spiritual works. But give me a teeny tiny sneaky peak of something as naff as say, Grazia every now and then, and I feel (secretly) equally grounded. I can't help it.

My hubby and I are eclectic to the core and this is perhaps why homeschooling suits our family so well. Our kids read beautiful, innocent books such as The Story of the Root Children but on those same bookshelves you will also find, say a CloneWars annual. Kind of high brow and low brow for kids. A slice of the achingly beautiful, delicate, naturalistic alongside slightly uggish, animalish, boyish, alpha male junk. Now some may see this as a schitzophrenic approach to child-rearing, but one thing that folks might sometimes (rightly or wrongly) accuse home educators of is being too narrow... of denying their children the eclecticism that school life can bring. Of not exposing children to enough ideas and different viewpoints. But I'm all about yin and yang.

It does good to remind ourselves to be open to the animal and the erudite in us, to embrace both the muck and the stardust of which we are made. It's wholesome in the truest sense of the word.

Now, where did I put my mutha-ucking cuppa tea? I'm parched.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life....

Well Easter has been and gone but I am still thinking about the whole concept of resurrection. Of resurgence. Reconnection. Replenishment. Regeneration. Rekindling. Revisiting. Rediscovery. Revitalisation. Rebirth. Return.

Springtime is a waking up, a return to life after the deep sleep of winter, the sleep which fools us and deceives us. In winter, everything seems dead, whilst in fact so much magic is going on in the secret heart of every seed, bulb and root.

The pregnant Earth has some Braxton Hixes and ta-da! - little snowdrops appear! And slowly, her contractions get steadier, closer together. She brings forth daffodils, cherry blossom, and then with another contraction, another wave, come bluebells and tulips and so it goes on. The sing-song chorus of fledglings and their parents is beautiful. It's the same old regeneration and yet everything is absolutely new and now. It is birth and rebirth all at once.

Humans are the same. We have our own seasons. Childhood is seen as the springtime of our lives. And yet there are always opportunities for us to re-invent, renew and replenish ourselves. Motherhood makes newborn babes of us - we are reborn into new people whilst nourishing and caring for our little sweethearts. Motherhood requires us to absolutely rethink and become new. Beyond birth, we can still surrender ourselves to change, we can stay fresh and new and now. It is only when we cling to the old, that we become old. 

We are a work in progress. We evolve with each new rising and setting of the sun. Our personalities, our choices, our nature is not set in stone. Each day we wake up a slightly different person from the day before. There is a shift. Our bodies, our ideas, our relationships, our musical tastes, our choice of friends, our belief systems, and our talents evolve with us. Some moments are key turning points, most change happens slowly slowly. Just as in nature, some changes are seismic, brutal, catastrophic, others are a gentle, slow awakening.  

I am opening myself up to more possibilities than ever before. I am taking leaps of faith. I am daring to believe that I can.

Part of my wanting to blog was to have more of a two way dialogue with my readers. It's been kinda weird writing and sending things into the void. You never know how your words are being received, interpreted, understood. Whether they change someones outlook or just amuse for a while. Whether they provoke thought, or are simply skimmed over, and quickly forgotten. I am entering a new realm of writing, where there is a chance for call and response. I am aware of the possibility for re-invention but do not want to abuse it. I aim to write to lift up and celebrate all mothers - not to make myself seem like a supermama by comparison. As Calamity Jane writes in her blog Apronstringz:

"   In the cyberworld you can choose your character. You can construct just the person you always wanted to be, and carefully photograph your proof. Anyone would want to show their best self to the world. To focus on the positive, turn toward their sweetness.
But the outcome of our selective presentation is that we all look to one another and see nothing like the tangled ball of dark threads inside our own secret heart. And the rift grows.
I call our bluffs! All of them! I speak brazenly for all bloggers, who carry closets full of everything. We are you. We try and fail daily, hourly. We are doing what we can with what we have.   "

So here I stand on the threshold of a new era of writing, mindful of re-invention and rebirth and new possibilities. What thresholds are you standing on? What new directions are you prepared to take? Spring is here. Wake up to your hidden potential. Dare to think big. To try something new. To be born again.

Monday, 25 April 2011

I am who I am because of everyone

Hi, gather round, pull up a seat, how are you doing?

Hope you don't mind my getting carried away and inviting you to my blog before I had anything to say. Got a wee bit excited!

Well it's nice you are here, and before I begin, I want to thank you for being part of my life, past, present or future. I am who I am partly because of you. Yup, every single one of you. Without you, I mean nothing, am nobody. You've all helped shape me in some way. There's a fantastic quote I came across recently which reminded me of this fact:

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born" ~ Anais Nin.

I guess this swings in both directions, huh?

Each of you will know me in different ways. I embrace the different threads of the tapestry of my life and the many incarnations I have lived through. They make me who I am today. I have been through dark times. I have experienced absolute, pure unadulterated joy. Been mad, bad and dangerous to know. Been a low down scumbag and a born again christian. A petty thief. Generous benefactor. Lover. Carer. Seeker of truth. Mother. Wife. Funker. Wiper of poo. Hopeless. Shame-faced. Ecstatic. Ridiculous. Healer. Writer. Stony broke. Flush. Mover. Shaker. Screaming bore. A Joker, a smoker and midnight toker. Soother. Inspirer. Raver. True friend. Crap friend. Rock. Whinger. Sufferer. Teacher. Pupil. Bum!

I guess I share a lot of these things with you all, being, well, human.

But by far the greatest incantation of my life is the one I am living through right now. What could be more exciting? Here and now. Feeling pretty happy about the here and now I can tell you. I have my husband and children mostly to thank for that. Without them, well I really am nothing.

We've come a long, long way together. So here we go! Stay tuned for some more musings. No more boring you all going on about me, me, me. Just thought I should start out by showing you the real deal. I'll try not to stray into weaving a fantasy of my life, nor bore y'all to death with the banalities.

Take care and see you all soon. Bye-bye now.