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Posts Tagged ‘writing and mothering’

I’ve been back from New York for a few days now but I’m trying to keep that feeling of being … away.

Sometimes I feel like Tantalus — the ancient Greek who was punished for some transgression by being confined to a specific scenario in hell: he is sitting in a pool of water below a branch of fruit, agonized with hunger and thirst — but every time he puts his mouth down to drink or his hand up to reach, the water and fruit elude him.

And I just looked up what Tantalus did to deserve such a fate: while a guest at Zeus’s table he stole ambrosia and was planning on sharing it with mankind, thus revealing the secrets of the gods.  So he overreached and was punished by never being able to grasp what he desired … what he needed.

Ouch.

So my life isn’t that bad — not by any means!  But (more…)

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For Mother’s Day my beloved spouse got me the book Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills.

In many ways this is a completely normal gift — I’ve always loved Cindy Sherman (well, except maybe her vomit-scapes, but overall: very much).  But in one way it feels odd.  Cindy Sherman — for Mother’s Day.  It’s not that Cindy Sherman was or wasn’t a mother — it’s that she embodies so many different people.

The bulk of Sherman’s work is (more…)

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I found this cartoon for Mother’s Day and thought, oh yes — especially the last two: alone time and audience-free.

(You can find the rest of this series here.)

With 14-month-old twins, I am almost never alone in my own house (except for naps, which could be over at any moment — or not happen at all).  I miss my alone time.

As adults we don’t seem to get a lot of alone time — time to doodle around, think about things, or stare out a window and let our minds quietly put themselves in order without us even realizing it.  Even at the age of 25, Lena Dunham (writer, director and star of the HBO series Girls) misses that time.  A recent New York magazine article, “It’s Different for ‘Girls,’” says of Dunham’s time at Oberlin:

She was a creative-writing major who spent most of her time bingeing on movies; the only one she confesses she hasn’t seen is The Godfather. “I watched the whole Criterion Collection. I’d spent the entire week watching every Fassbinder movie in my bed. I got mono, and I would just rent movies. It was the kind of time you just don’t get to spend with yourself when you’re out in the world.”

I think something vital happens in this time we spend with ourselves (more…)

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Yesterday I discovered a brilliant essay on The Rumpus: “On Pregnancy and Privacy and Fear” by Aubrey Hirsch.  Hirsch values her privacy and is reluctant to let her pregnancy eclipse the other aspects of her identity; she uses silence to try to hang onto her  “pre-pregnancy self” as long as possible.

She writes:

I like that self. I like the way people speak to her, react to her. I don’t want things to change. I have enough friends with babies to know how this works. Once you let people know you’re pregnant, you’re entered into lots of conversations about your belly, your weight, your breasts and how you plan on using them, what medications you’ll take, and why you’re right or wrong about them. I don’t want to have these conversations. I like the kinds of conversations I already have.

I remember when the conversations around me began to change.  (more…)

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Ah, New York Times Sunday Styles — you often surprise me, and that’s part of the pleasure of reading you.  But this Sunday your front page featured “The Baby Bump,” which claims, “For celebrities whose film and TV careers have stalled, motherhood is proving a lucrative Plan B.”  Really?

(more…)

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Ah, New York Times Sunday Styles — you often surprise me, and that’s part of the pleasure of reading you.  But this Sunday your front page featured “The Baby Bump,” which claims, “For celebrities whose film and TV careers have stalled, motherhood is proving a lucrative Plan B.”  Really?

(more…)

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All this past weekend I couldn’t stop thinking about schedules.  The word schedule comes from the Latin schedula or “slip of paper,” a diminutive of scheda, from the Greek skhedē, meaning “papyrus leaf.”  I like that its origins have to do with plants and paper — and writing.

If you read my last post (Take your twins to work — every day) you know that I’ve been struggling with balancing writing and twin-care.  The twins are on a pretty set schedule — wake up, bottle, play, nap, breakfast, play, walk, lunch, nap, play, dinner, walk, play, bottle, bed.  Could I sum up my day in the same simple way? (more…)

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