I haven't written much lately, but I have been busy making plans. I feel an energy to step out of my comfort zone again, an energy that is buzzing and rising inside of me, an energy that can sometimes manifest as fear, but mostly as a necessary hunger. A hunger to connect with other adults, a hunger to engage my mind and to feed my spirit, a hunger to see what else I can add into the fold of motherhood, to see how much I can take on, little by little, without becoming overwhelmed.
First off, I am planning to teach a couple workshops-- a one-day intensive on February 11th and an eight-week, Saturday morning series starting on March 3rd. Writing Motherhood. Each week, 5-10 women, incidentally mothers, will gather to write from a series of prompts. I will provide readings culled from memoirs and essays on motherhood, passages and chapters that make me excited, that make me go "Yes!", or make me go hmm...what do I think about this? What do I have to add to this collection of smart voices? What parts of this crazy journey have I been most affected by? What aspects do I most need to spend time with and digest?
I can't wait to share these readings with others and to see how they spark each of us differently. I can't wait to gather a group of women together with the shared intention to explore this vast and complicated, humbling and overwhelming, awesome and mundane terrain called motherhood. I can't wait to learn from other mothers and their writing, however new or far along they are on their mothering and writing paths.
It's been almost two years since I've led a workshop, not counting a short, free one I gave about a year ago. This is not surprising given the fact that my son is 19 months old, and it's been a slow, evolving process of learning how to carve out more time for myself to write, to read, to sleep(!), and to pursue my publishing- and teaching-related goals.
In the early months, it was enough-- or all I could hope for-- just to scribble out a mad journal entry during Cedar's naps. Then slowly, I began to give more to this blog. Then less again, as other things in life easily took over to crowd out my narrow windows of time to write, be it chores, illnesses, or my parents (i.e. my childcare) going on vacation.
Now, I finally feel like I have enough energy and time (though it's never really enough, of course; we're talking about altered expectations here), to even consider giving a little bit of my writing time away to teach. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, and the communication and community that can come from facilitating a group feeds me in exhilarating ways that writing alone cannot. But if I have to choose between the two, writing will always win. After all, how can I teach writing if I am not actively writing? How would I have the confidence and embodied love to teach, if I were feeling deprived or depressed or unmotivated ? I would feel like a hypocrite. It's not that I need to be in a prolific period to teach; chances are I'm not. But I do need to feel connected to that essential pulse of excitement and love for the process and craft.
I sense a new phase of motherhood coming on. One in which I am still exhausted and pining for more time to myself, but also one in which I am actively claiming back my commitment to my passions. One in which I am surfacing from an almost dreamlike immersion, and remembering that I am so many things, that I've lived so many lives, and that I have so much more still to learn and create.
How about you? Are you ready for something new?
Workshops will be held at the Good Shepard Center in Wallingford.
One-day Intensive: Saturday, February 11, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Eight-week series: Saturdays, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., March 3 - April 21, 2012
Registration details to come!