Celebrating Our Woman-ness

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I wonder if you will see these two poems in opposition to one another, or as two sides of the same coin.

After you read them, will you share your thoughts?

***

The final (and my favorite) song in Macy Robison's cabaret-style recital Children Will Listen is The Story Goes On by Maltby and Shire.  Her rendition gives utterance to the raw joy that I felt as I welcomed children into my world.

So this is the tale my mother told me
That tale that was much to dull to hold me
And this is the surge and the rush she said would show
our story goes on.

Oh, I was young
I forgot that things outlive me.
My goal was the kick that life would give me
And now, like a joke,
something moves to let me know
our story goes on.

And all these things I feel and more,
my mother's mother felt, and hers before
A chain of life begun upon the shore of some dark sea
has reached to me.

Newborn baby

Source:  istockphoto

And now I can see the chain extending
My child is next in a line that has no ending
And here am I full of life
that her child will feel when I'm long gone
And thus it is
our story goes on.

***

Earlier this year, Janna Taylor shared Mary Oliver's poem The Journey with mereminding me that in the midst of caring and connecting — and especially mothering — it's important to care for and connect to ourselves.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

Starrynight

Source:  istockphoto

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

***

The article 5 Scientific Reasons Mom Deserves Mother's Day is both interesting and affirming.  Is it affirming in part because it was written by a male scientist? (Thanks to @guykawasaki for flagging).

What do you think?  And how do you feel?

Are women both/and?  Or either/or?

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