In praise of mothering

How it changes us forever! This photo caught the moments in which I became a mother in my gut, in my heart. A physical and psychic sensation flooded my whole being. Feeling like Mother Earth herself, I was fiercely energized, ready to growl, pace, and protect as needed. This beautiful baby is now a man, with two grown Young brothers and his own fascinating daughter. And of course my mothering continues, with this season’s joys and challenges. Just as my own dear mom is still mothering me.

Mothers care for each other, too, sharing large and small happinesses and heartbreaks, with permission to “preach to the choir” as needed. The profound shift I experienced above included an amazed aha!–new solidarity with every woman in the world who has ever given birth with the intent to become what she suddenly must.

I’ve also known women and men who have mothered without being “mother”, women and men equally committed and engaged in selfless giving to another or others for some life-giving purpose. You know who you are. I’m in awe of the depth of your yes as a nurturing force on the planet.

So, today, here’s to mothering! Not to us, but to everything that mothering requires, teaches, and gifts us all with so extravagantly. Truly beautiful.

____________________

Teresa Young teaches private music students in Los Angeles and coaches savvy folks in accomplishing passion-based goals in healthy new ways. Clients include Boomers seeking fulfillment in the second half of life and GenXers and Millennials looking for meaning from the start. Teresa coaches by phone, in person, and via Skype outside the U.S.

On Music and These Men

1.

I was raised on guitar, songs, piano,
and books, rather than rockers
my father didn’t approve of. In our house
it was traditional and folk
and only got as wild as Baez sings Dylan,
no small treasures. Plus all those piano lessons.
Before that, the facts are that my dad-maestro
had me playing baritone ukulele
and my sidekick brother singing
This Land is Your Land with me in harmony
as four and three year-olds.
And that I have become him.

2.

Husband one turned me on to jazz, to fusion,
to Corea, Hancock, Zappa, Santana, to epic anthems
like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
To birthing our own music-driven household.
My folks had forbidden me to marry
this longhaired drummer who still inspires me.
The rest is history. For a brief moment Continue reading

Laughing at Death and After

Over dinner with friends, somehow
how we’ll dispose of you after your death
becomes the conversation.

You painted into a wall
or onto individual canvases by all our friends
at a backyard gathering

is most memorable,
and awful. You throw down the gauntlet,
animated, upping the ante

with add-ons that I instantly block
from memory. Yet I get how this pleases you,
laughing at death with good people,

a hedge against times
when things may not be funny.
So I’ll tell you this in the spirit of the evening:

paint party man,
I’ll never leave you, unless
I laugh after death before you do.

 

#29 of 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Writing Month, April 2017

Image by John Livzey

Something About a Flower

Out walking again
despite self-driven deadlines,
I discover another
and another
and another small sample
of simple
meets sensual,
of beautiful meets primal. Look.
So much of the natural world calls us
to what’s most
luscious
in us.

I’m working at simply seeing,
at just living
rather than curating night and day
like some interior designer
intent on what’s in the view finder
conforming to… what?
I’m learning to neglect
all my questions
and answers,
sensing
some new
flowering
there.

 

#28 of 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Writing Month, April 2017

Image by John Livzey

Beautiful People

Old man watches us all over coffee
on the patio. Cragged face,
dapper hat, long gray hair
escaping its past,
dress shirt and pants,
phone on the table.
Scanning left and right,
he’s relishing everything.
I want what he knows.

Savvy young one stands
at that fraught juncture
between childhood and her exodus
outa there. So much life,
big dreams, ready anger as old rituals
and rules of family life chafe.
Change is coming.
Sky’s the limit.

Retail woman is impeccably
put together. Spring fashion model
whether she’s paid to be or not,
public artist, beautifier,
inspiritrix to some of us.
She shows no emotion at all
and that’s her call.
More power to her.

Immigrant master shoe and leather
designer’s shop is still named
for his brother who walked away
twenty years ago.
He speaks of old ills,
asks my heritage, tells stories
I don’t have time for.
I stay. What stories
will I tell someday?

 

#27 of 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Writing Month, April 2017