I think you know which one I chose.
I chose myself.
A woman ought to bring a child into this world out of her own wholeness, her Yes. Instead of being split in half by what should never have to be a choice. There are many ways to be a woman. And many ways to mother.
So here I am again: the solo witch. Mothering a vision. In many ways alone. In many ways held. I have often wondered in these last months— whether I had made the right decision. These last few years, it seems that almost every woman around me is having a baby. I’ve been pregnant too, but with a vision— the twin of my first child. This kind of mothering is not really recognized, appreciated or understood by the world. It takes as much mineral out of my bones, and nights of not sleeping. I am birthing a whole house— a commitment I had made to the Ancestors.
A close sister & collaborator reminded me last fall that Rites of Passage had already been my baby— to which my partner could have been a step-father. Instead he wanted me to give up my first born, for him. But I couldn’t do that; couldn’t give up the child I had birthed, had labored so hard for. Meanwhile, he chose to have an affair with a much younger (white) woman, and get her pregnant. A familiar story taken out of the 4,000 year-old book of patriarchy, but one that still stings deep.
Throughout these months, I’ve been confronted over and over again with the places of my deepest wounding around mothering and partnership. So much of why I had not wanted to bring a child into the world had to do with my fear of abandoning my own child, in the sense of not being fully present for her. As well as the fear of re-creating the traumatic childhood I grew up in with a man who was much like my own father. My mother chose that relationship - an arranged marriage - out of her desperation to have a child and avert spinsterhood. I had unwittingly been playing out a similar karma in my own (self-arranged) marriage. But this time, unlike my mother, I chose differently.
I have wanted to be a mother to another for so long now. But for me it’s not simply a matter of making a new life, but of offering up the conditions for a life of belonging, safety, beauty and joy that I never experienced. My dedication is to pass on a whole transmission, which requires that I do as much clearing of the inherited wounds of un-love as possible— before passing on my DNA to the future generations. Part of how I do this is by creating things that live like Rites of Passage. It isn’t merely a project, it's my spiritual path, my journey as a creator in this life.
I’ve been realizing lately what a tremendous sacrifice my mother had made by bringing me into this world knowing full well that she would have to leave me. There is a way she loves me, that no one else in the world ever will; that’s why they call it a mother’s love. There is a way I love my future daughter - my mother’s granddaughter - who has been carried as a seed within my ovaries since I was an infant in my mother’s womb 38 years ago. My sacrifice has been to wait. To wait for my own ripening.
This child who I call my spirit daughter— I have known for a long time now. 20 years of holding an energetic possibility, a dream seed, a prayer. Of longing for her. Of speaking with her. Of saying no, it is not yet time. She is in no rush. This child is also a gift of the Ancestors. And I do not take that gift for granted. She is everything I am here for. But she is not all.
In this House of the Collective Feminine Soul, there is one room – the final room – that is dedicated to my future daughter. Up until now this has been a secret. Somehow, this room, as well as this whole house— is my own rite of passage before I have her in the flesh. Temporarily sacrificing the dream of being a mother to her has been an unrelenting heartbreak this past year. How fitting then that the “Rooms of Cure” I am cure-ating (or co-cure-ating) for Rites of Passage are: The Grief Room, Divorce, Re-Membering My Father, The Apothecary, Sustenance, and the final room - V is for Victory. A total of 5 rooms; 5 being the number of Change. Changing the story, changing the inheritance. Each of the rooms, created in relationship with multiple other artists, is a testament to the journey I have been on for 3 years now, and particularly within these last 9 months.
This house is an offering for the world I long for— where women who love as big as I do are not forced to choose within patriarchal structures which attempt to own and misuse our fertile power. Are not trapped in relationships with wounded men who demand our mothering to quell their own insecurities. A world where we don’t have to choose anymore between being a mother and being a leader. Between having a child and nurturing our work in the world. Between being all of who we are, versus a portion.
I want the whole thing. For all of us.
I want a partner who will be in reverence of me as I unravel centuries of patriarchal conditioning, and as I grieve what needs to be grieved— for long enough without ever needing to be the center of my attention. Who will earn my trust, not demand it. Who will wait patiently for as long as needed for this child to come forth into the world – the way I have – because she really is ALL THAT. Who will never diminish me. Never make me choose between my sacred service in the world, and being a mother to another. After all, I want to be a mother who can show her daughter strength, integrity and wholeness embodied. A daughter with dozens of beloved aunties, brought up in a new matrilineal lineage, a partnership culture.
If I had to choose again, I would still choose my soul over what tried to hold it ransom. My mother did not birth me, and leave me, in order for me to leave my own creations. I hold claim to all that I am and all I desire as a creative womb-man, a mother on this Earth, through each breathtaking and sometimes devastating cycle of creation & loss in the garden that is being here.
Gratitude in this Mother’s Day portal to all those who mother others & their creations. May we recognize the fertile power we hold in its many womanifestations.
And, if you would like to support the birthing of this current child - Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision - please do: https://chuffed.org/project/ritesofpassage-2020vision