Saturday, November 05, 2005

MamaSaysOm - Shadows


Dear B,
I've been thinking a lot about shadows lately,
motherhood will do that.
It has a way of resurrecting all those dark childhood memories,
the ones I thought I'd remembered to forget,
and magnifying every trait and quality
I seemed to have adopted from my own mother,
leaving me wondering at times if I am genuinely myself
or just some replica of her.
I've been thinking about the shadows
our mothers cast across our lives,
the shadows that remain draped across our hearts,
even after they've been gone for years.
I know that just like my grandmother's mother,
whose shadow is still a part of my life,
following me through the dirt roads of time,
spread before the feet of all the women in my family,
a reminder of who we came from,
of our heritage and legacy -
both blessed and broken -
yes, just like her shadow,
my shadow will forever be a part of your life.
Like me, you will more than likely wage war
against the shadow of your mother,
fighting to untangle two lives
and create one life that stands independently
even in the shadow of dependence.
I understand that.
I expect that.
In fact, I give you permission.
Fight against my shadow,
push against it,
step out of its darkness to find light.
It's in the fighting against that which isn't you
that you will find that which is.
And, when you're tired of the fight,
a fight that requires a great deal of your life giving energy,
rest,
rest in the warm darkness of my shadow and know
it was love,
all that I knew of love,
love mingled with
the grief,
the limitations,
the inadequacies,
the powerlessness,
the doubts,
the fears,
the selfishness,
the brokenness,
the woundedness,
the past.

Loving you, shadows and all,
Mommy

17 Comments:

Blogger Bethany said...

Your post is beautiful. I feel your words. That push and pull..wanting to be free...to stand tall. All the while wanting to be free to run and curl up in our mother's lap...right back where we started.

And isn't it amazing that shadow we so long to outgrow...is the one that fashions us, that grows us, the one we begin to mimick (much to our own dismay.)

Thank you for your words!

8:13 PM  
Blogger kiki said...

truly wonderful, especially because of the surprise picture at the end.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing at MSO!

11:16 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Amazing. I adore this post and both photos.Reflections and glimpses into the past are ways to see into our hearts and souls.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

What beautiful and unusual photos and a lovely piece of writing. Things to cherish always!

8:43 AM  
Blogger ESB said...

beautiful imagery, as always.

the pic is of your mother, i presume? she looks lovely and serene.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

And sometimes after I, the mother, worked to cast my shadow for good, I wanted desperately to take a giant eraser and eradicate it, because I was so filled will knowledge of my own flaws that were inevitably also being inflicted. You have so well described the constant yearning and repelling between children and mothers. Twas ever thus.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Wow. This really spoke to me, and the images are gorgeous. Thanks.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Kim Carney said...

So beautiful, so true
You even have my mom hooked on reading your wonderful, thoughtful words!

I love my mother so much, and I fight so desperately not to make the same mistakes. I want my son to have HIS voice, and not have it spanked out of him because it is something I don't want to hear, or something I can not understand. But my mother was a single mom so many years ago, doing the best she could. So I understand her faults, just don't want to repeat them.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Marit Cooper said...

That photo is such a perfect illustration! You are so talented :-D

12:44 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

that was very
deep
and
thoughtful

3:16 AM  
Anonymous yolie said...

Ahhhh, all those luscious hydrangea and these powerful shadows! Beauty and mystery. Great stuff!

8:12 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

I find my way into moments of healing when reading your words like this. I know that my mother was once young, loving me with all her heart, doing the best she could do. And now, when we disagree and she says hurtful things, I know that woman is still there inside her. Thank you for reminding me of this.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Server Girl said...

so sweet..i like all of these letters each week,,they are really great!

12:29 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

oh wow, I love this... love the old photo, the shadows, your words. so lovely...

8:29 PM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

i love this post. my daughter has been obsessed with shadows lately. she's made up a game where she tries to "crush" my shadow...chases after it constantly and stamps on it. i could go on and on about the symbolism. thanks for writing this...

4:29 AM  
Anonymous cimba said...

wow, the first pic is really amazing. I love it.

7:35 AM  

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