facts in fiction: novel wisdom from “the passage” by justin cronin

“A baby wasn’t an idea, as love was an idea. A baby was a fact.

It was a being with a mind and a nature, and you could feel about it any way you liked, but a baby wouldn’t care.

Just by existing, it demanded that you believe in a future: the future it would crawl in, walk in, live in.

A baby was a piece of time; it was a promise you made that the world made back to you.

A baby was the oldest deal there was, to go on living.”

tits + titillation II: the magic of mammaries + the madness of media hype over breastfeeding

I’m recycling my commentary to the Q&A with Jamie Lynne Grumet that I reblogged a few days ago along with related articles addressing the issue, including Dr. Sears’ respond to the hype.

As a mother who has instinctively practiced “natural”, “attachment,” or “connected” parenting, I applaud Jamie Lynne Grumet’s courage to appear on the cover of Time.

The image is undeniably and deliberately provocative.  And, in some ways, problematic.

Though not for the reasons that most folks will immediately think.

Along with the caption “Are You Mom Enough?” this cover adds fuel to thetyranny of comparison (to borrow the phrase that continues to resonate with me long after hearing it in Buddhist teacher Martin Aylward’s dharma talk Work, Sex, Money, Dharma.) between working and at-home mothers.

As well, it excludes from the picture the vital presence of fathers who are equally committed to this way of parenting.

Understandably, Time’s editorial choice was guided by sales as much as shining the light on the legacy of Dr. William Sears and attachment parenting.

I appreciate Jamie’s awareness of the unfortunate negativity (guilt, resentment, judgement, etc.) this will spark and can only hope that the full article will present a more complete and balanced view than its cover.

May all parents be released from suffering
the tyranny of comparison.
May all parents be inspired to be
the best nurturers, educators, and providers 
they can be
and make skillful choices that serve the well-being of their families.

Related articles:

all is full of love: the magic of circles

Osani Circle Game

I was moved by this beautiful image circulating around Facebook last fall.  These children, connected to the earth, connected to one another, through laughter and play, are radiant with the fullness of life and love.  A love that is boundless— permeating and nourishing all it touches, and being fed in return by the breath and hope of all living things.

Seeing this instantly brought to mind these lines from the Metta Sutta (or Discourse on Love):

“Just as a mother loves and protects her only child at the risk of her own life,

cultivate boundless love to offer to all living beings in the entire cosmos.

Let our boundless love pervade the whole universe, above, below, and across.

Our love will know no obstacles. Our heart will be absolutely free from hatred and enmity.

Whether standing or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake,

we should maintain this mindfulness of love in our own heart.

This is the noblest way of living.”

[20 october 2011, dya]

magic of moon wisdom

There’s something magical about waking up with my lovey-boy before dawn on the days that surround the full and change of the moon.

Sometimes for K, it’s a tossing-and-turning to find the right nook to snuggle into, a fluttering of eyes, a murmuring of dreamy words, a giggle- and-yawny stretch. Hands reaching out, knees nudging, toes burrowing—the reassuring warmth of skin. And, once in a while, he’s wired for sound! Popping up to play with cars or to read books as if the sun were streaming brightly through his window.

When I alone am awake, I rest in contemplation or sit in meditation. These witching hours are made for listening deeply and seeing clearly by the twinkle of stars that light the path.

Insight is a gift not the goal. Some things are illuminated, others released. Often, nothing at all appears to be happening. Yet it’s more than enough to abide in the hush, to simply feel and hear my breath subtle and distinct. Quietly, steadily just being me.

Attuned to this spirit time, I feel energized rather than depleted. I am awake—moving easily through the day on merely a few hours of sleep, sustained by the magnetic wisdom of the moon.

mindfulness + motherhood: counting breaths

Learning to spend one LESS breath doing something that doesn’t serve me and learning to spend one breath MORE being fully present to experiences that support me.

 

[originally posted 3 Oct 2011;  dharma yoga arts on FB]