OK, I can almost hear you wondering.
What? She’s gone and wrote a book and didn’t tell us about it?
Rest easy, dear reader. When and if I write a book you’ll surely know six months in advance!
However, I am participating in an upcoming book tour in our fair peninsula in a few weeks, believe it or not. Let me share the exciting details.
Any of you know or remember my blogging buddy, Suzi Banks Baum? She wrote a guest post here back in 2011 called Meet Suzi: The compass of her soul points north.
Later, she asked me to contribute to an anthology called: An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice. Suzi edited the book and it hit the shelves in 2013.
What’s the heart and soul of this book, you ask? Three dozen women share their journeys of motherhood and creativity through the words and paragraphs and illustrations of this small collection of stories. I am slowly re-reading the stories in this book and marveling about our journey through Life and how we ofttimes struggle to retain our creative connection while changing diapers, carpooling, driving kids to basketball practice, negotiating teenage boundary disputes.
How DO we do it? I am not sure I did it well. My writing fell off the cliff at the end of the earth for many years. I scribbled in journals while the kids napped and penned middle-aged angst and delight while peering through the windows as the adventurers built forts and squealed in mud puddles and dashed inside with swarms of mosquitoes.
How does a woman negotiate the wilderness of nurturing other hearts while scoring up her own? How does she navigate through the streams of loneliness which flow even while she’s wild with joy over pigtails and frogs and painted hand prints that say “I love you” in preschool?
I remember hikes up and down the road to neighbor’s houses, sipping steaming coffee while the kids munched Oreos, desperate for adult companionship. I remember feeling bereft of poetry, disappearing from myself into the eyes of my delightful troopers, wondering what became of the girl who typed stories on her red manual typewriter, a dreamer with wings in the clouds, toes barely touching the ground?
In those mothering years, those giving years, I did find ways to nurture the spirit. I traveled hither and yon gleaning spiritual tidbits like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, attempting to remember the way home to myself. Periodically, with Barry’s blessing, I left the fold to nurture the heart with what it needed. I sweat in Native American lodges, whispering prayers. I dug in archeological digs. Vision quested. Attended Wilderness Survival camps.
Refused to let the inner spirit shrivel. Fed it love, adventure, inquiry, strawberries and eventually blogging.
This book which Suzi so lovingly crafted can encourage mothers (and fathers) everywhere to find that balance between nurturing self and others. To follow threads of creativity in the spirit as well as knitting scarves at home for the babes.
Thirty six of us shared our voices, our hopes, our dreams, our challenges. Thirty six of us valued creativity enough to keep it alive as a legacy for ourselves and future generations. We’ve found our voice, somehow, miraculously, and it shines forth in this anthology.
So what about the book tour?
United by our love of the Upper Peninsula, three of us will be reading excerpts from the anthology: myself, Suzi Banks Baum of Laundry Line Divine and Monica Devine from Between Two Rivers. Plus–an added pleasure–composer/singer Terri Bocklund who will perform some of her Lake Superior songs. (She sent me her delightful CD recently Of Lake and Isle with songs inspired during her Artist-in-Residence stint at Isle Royale in 2011.)
Here’s the schedule, for those of you near enough to attend:
Thursday, August 14, 6:30 p.m., Escanaba Public Library
Friday, August 15, 2:00 p.m., Peter White Public Library, Marquette
Saturday, August 16, 6:30 p.m., Joy Yoga Center, Ishpeming
All talks are free and open to the public. The Giving Motherhood a Voice Facebook page will contain ongoing updates.
Here’s something else exciting: Northern Michigan University Public Radio plans to interview us about the event. How cool is that?
I am so anticipating this tour. To do something completely new. To talk about the gifts and challenges of motherhood and creativity. To meet and connect with women who want to share their stories. To listen to the waves of Lake Superior lap against the shore in the background. To support one another. To sing a song of daisies and white clover and infinite possibilities. To sing very loudly, finding our precious voices.
P.S. If you’re tantalized and want to buy the book, here’s a handy link: http://www.thebookloft.com/book/9780988904101