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Friday, May 07, 2010

Happy Mother's Day



mother earth and mother sky
mother heart and mother sigh
mother birth and mother eyes
mother all, mother wise

the power of the female form
the goddess lives
the goddess born
an ancient partner
sweet adorned
the womb of all
beyond all scorn
the power of the female form

mother earth and mother sky
mother heart and mother sigh
mother birth and mother eyes
mother all, mother wise

in the spring she flowers
in the summer laughs
in the fall her bounty
she's with you till the last
and when you have grown cold
she'll hold you in her grasp

the power of the female form
the goddess lives
the goddess born
an ancient partner
sweet adorned
the womb of all
beyond all scorn
the power of the female form

mother earth and mother sky
mother heart and mother sigh
mother birth and mother eyes
mother all, mother wise

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The Opinuary Column will appear again next week (surely an Opinion will have died by then).

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20 comments:

  1. My mother is now five years gone. I owe nearly everything to her that I know intellectually. She returned to College after bearing three children (two more were to come....my dad may have been a lapsed Catholic, but not even a vasectomy could stop that man), and majored in Mathematics and minored in Astronomy. She taught me about the heavens and gave me my introduction to what we now call the Culture Wars. She was the first to tell me how Darrow took down Bryan in the Scopes trial. She was the first person to show me the moons of Jupiter through our small home telescope. She was a giant intellect in an age of conformity; she made me brave; she made me strong; she made me, for better or for worse, who I am now. I miss you, Joyce. And thank you, mjs! A most inspirational lyric, my friend.

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  4. what a style of writing...nice poem....

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  5. Hey, you got some mad poetry skillz, MJS.

    Dan, thanks for sharing that. Your mother reminds me of my own in so many ways. Fortunately for us, Margaret Mary Durkin von Ebers is still alive and kicking at 86, but my Dad is 16 years gone.

    My Mom’s story is much like Dano’s Mom’s. My Mom started college at Mundelein in Chicago (a women’s college that has since been absorbed into Loyola University) but didn’t really have the chance to finish. While she was in college she met my Dad, who was at Loyola, and then this nasty business of World War II came up, and so they didn’t get married until 1947. So, after having eleven – count ’em, ELEVEN – kids, she decided to go back to school (at Loyola, where my Dad was then a psychology professor) in the late 1960s to finish her degree. (Imagine, for a moment, my Mom, then in her 40s and the matriarch of this, like, enormous brood, hanging out with hippies and war protesters on a college campus in 1969 … those were really different times.) Anyways, she graduated Loyola the same year as my oldest sister, and then embarked on a career as a teacher. Because after you’ve had 11 kids of your own, all you really wanna do is deal with other parents’ snot-nosed kids, right?

    But so, the point is, this was what I grew up with. My Mom didn’t let stuff like the Depression, World War II, raising 11 kids, or even hippies stop her from finishing her education and starting a career of her own. And like Dan says, she was the source of much of my and my siblings’ own intellectual curiosity. She read books by Steven Jay Gould, and in her summers off she went on archeological digs in Southern Illinois (yes, we have stuff like that here), and, damn, she could make some good potato salad. Oh, and by the way, while all this was going on, she and my Dad were at the center of the open housing and school desegregation movement in our little town – which, as it turns out, was one of the first communities in America to actually give a good God damn about things like open housing and school desegregation.

    So, anyways, I guess what I’m saying is, they just don’t make ’em like that any more, is all.

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  6. I was hoping the opinion that died would be "Mom loves me more than she loves my sisters." Because one Ma's Day a few years back, when I was a bit tipsy, I asked her that.

    She unexpectedly blasted back: "No, I detest all of you! First I got pregnant with you, then your sisters started coming along until I stopped having sex with your father. But it was too late by then -- I was stuck. I could have BEEN someone; I could have gone places, I could have had a life. The largest span of my existence on this Earth has been ruined because of you."

    Mom was drunk then -- it was before she discovered AA -- so I don't hold it against her. But she sure killed THAT opinion.

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  7. Dan: what a wonderful testament to your mother. As good as it gets.

    Dave: your mother sounds like a dynamo! I am one of seven children--as to what purpose I cannot say.

    Bukko: results may vary.

    ++++

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  8. My Mom was cut from the same cloth. Her father died when she was 16, and she helped raise her brothers and sister. Gert got her Associates degree in 1941, just in time to join the Navy. She was a Pharmacist's Mate, stationed at Coronado. She met and married my Dad in 1946, and had a kid every two years until 1960. (Except 1952. We never did find out what happened in 1951...) She never had the time to get her own Bachelor's degree, but she and Dad put all seven of us through college.

    Her ideal vacation would have been to lie on a beach somewhere, but being the wife of a college professor and the mother of a crowd, she cheerfully settled for the camping/fishing trips that we took in the Sierra Nevada each August. (As adults, we kids took her on beach vacations.) She taught us the names of the constellations, seashells, and butterflies. Whenever there was a meteor shower, she would have us all out lying in the back yard, watching the skies for hours. Thunderstorms were spent on the porch, ooh-ing and aah-ing at each lightning bolt. She sent us to Catholic school, but she let us read Mad magazine and watch the Marx Brothers.

    Despite being a devout Catholic at the time, in the late 1960s she stood up in the middle of the National Council of Catholic Women to tell them that their anti-abortion stance was killing young women. To her surprise, many nuns from the nursing orders stood up with her to agree.

    She left us at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, when the Hale-Bopp comet was on its way. We figure she caught a ride.

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  9. Just got back from dinner over at my Mom’s (although dinner for me comes through a straw these days, on account of a broken jaw!), and I just wanted to say God Bless you all, even though I’m avowedly neutral on the whole question re: His, Her or Its existence – I’m like the Switzerland of the whole theist-vs.-atheist dust-up – but you know what I mean.

    The old lady is still kicking ass and taking names, but she’s easier to get away from now.

    Anyways, God bless you all, and if any of you is a mother, Happy Mother’s Day to boot.

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  10. Wonderful words from mjs, and all the commenters.

    My mom was the eldest child of a very successful doctor and I think that the marriage to my father cost her a lot. Her folks never much cared for my dad (I'm a chip off the block in that regard) and I don't think they ever let her forget her "mistake".

    My mom was a long ways from saintliness, but she was a great mom. She figured out ways to stretch a paltry budget so that we not only ate three squares a day but had dessert after supper. She loved to cook and was quite good at it, except for a few memorable disasters. She read, voraciously, and had catholic tastes in that regard.

    I remember how she would sit on the front porch on an early summer morning, saying a novena--then coming in the house and, finding a mess, had "happened" while she was out on the porch, start shouting "Which one you stupid honyocks* did this?"

    Her wisdom was only equalled by her genuine patience. Little things would make her fly off the handle; the big stuff? she just did what she could and continued on her way.

    I miss her and my dad as well as a pair of siblings, but I hold them all in memory.

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  11. Whoops!

    meant to say that the etymology of "honyocks" is unknown to me. Suffice to say it was a pejorative.

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  12. My mother is a cellist, which has been her saving grace, her purpose, her escape. She isn't an especially warm person, but in her music-playing one can hear that which she cannot seem to express with words or touching. For many summers she played in the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA--as an adolescent I would carry her cello for her through the crowds that ushered out of the Irvine Bowl after the shows--it became an art for me, turning the cello to my left or right, maneuvering through the ever-changing patterns of the crowds. She trusted me, which gave me some measure of confidence. She's also an abstract kind of person, not quite available, and can be gruff or dismissive. Possibly because of her I have to remind myself to listen to people, and make a connection, and above all to be compassionate in all things--especially with some of the more difficult people in my life--by paying attention to my mother I have (grudgingly) paid more attention to the rest of the world. Thanks mom: Happy Mother's Day! Did you get the flowers?

    ++++

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  13. I forgot to mention one critically important thing: My mother could cut a pie into thirteen exactly equal pieces. Never underestimate the importance of this.

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  14. Sorry we had no book report this week....life got away from us. But these stories are too good....thanks all.

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  15. That's OK, Dan-o. Real kkkonservatives don't read books ennyways. Until Ann Cuntler's next one comes out. I hope it has pictures in it. You know the kind of pictures I mean. What I'd give to see some shots her with swarthafroamericans. Or Santorum's dog... Those pix gotta be out there somewheres!

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  16. demo,
    My Mom, the child of German immigrants, would call us "hoonyockers". I still don't know what it meant, but I equated it with "hammerhead". Was your Mom German?

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  17. mutzali:

    No, my mother was "lace curtain Irish". My dad's mom was from Alsace Lorraine so it's hard telling what nationality she might have been. Thanks for the tip, though, I'll pass it along at the next family gathering in June!

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.