Tuesday, 23 August 2011

mama said

i've been feeling flickers of guilt for bad mouthing feminism, western feminism, so, i promise to revisit the topic many times, and eventually all will be clarified. it is a part of the complex where i live, and the short answer is, i am a second gen feminist, and so i have a lot of those anti-thesis perspectives that follow the bold theses, and in a tidy world, result in synthesis that is more true than the preceding bits, brighter and fuller.

i had a bit of a meltdown this summer, as a result of many pressures, and on the one day when i felt fully fed up with being a mother, and started casting about for other things to do with my life instead, i checked my horoscope, and the title of the free reading for me for the day was, "Maternal Instincts." the reading was all about what a good, loving, nourishing person i am, and how effective in groups, and how everyone loves me... such a marked contrast, hey, to what was going down, i got mad, and burst into tears.

once the crisis was done, i'd figured out all the little adjustments that needed to be made, so that i could be a happy person at the centre of my life, and in my own body, and not give up on a job half-done.  Part of the stress was letting go of son number three, as he follows his brothers out "into the world," without stepping back so far that three others get to grow up with no mum at all (over-compensation). the picture of me stomping off, arms folded in a huff, to suddenly "do something else with my life," struck me as a bit silly, re-engaged my sense of humour. the problem here is, i am already substantially doing what i want to do with my life, so stomping off means leaving most of me behind: not a solid plan.

it is true, astrologically speaking, that i have mars in cancer/a maternal approach, and that is just a true thing about me.

i remember when my eldest sister first cast my horoscope for me, way back before, when we were both young feminists and neither had kids. i was really offended! there i was, trying to see what my great contribution to the world revolution might be, and there she was, across the table, telling me, "your family is very important to you," telling me, "you might enjoy having kids!"

so, low points for self-knowledge: in this realm i did not already know what i would turn out to most enjoy. in fact, every time i have had a job of any kind, that i loved and grew through, my initial response was the same: grumpiness, a snort of disdain.

that was a midpoint experience, having my horoscope cast, between telling my classmates at high school that i would never have kids, to deciding that i might like just one. well before the floodgates opened and i bore all five, much cherished, sons, and all one, much cherished, daughter. well before lots of things.

"aww, siit!!!"

Mamas say aww, siit! all the time, all over the english-speaking world: sometimes over and over, in an increasingly loud voice!

Mama: The job is to make order out of chaos, and to guide, teach and protect, in a good and gentle way. To the best of our abilities, hey, while participating in a wider world that is sometimes quite neglectful, and punishing, and shocking.

Thanks to RezXtra for updates on FSIN, and other interesting stuff, thanks for bringing this bit of beauty my way: Wab Kinew, who knew?

This line jumped out at me:
If you think i am the bad guy, i don't know what you been smokin'!        Wab Kinew
I thought about that time that my son was instructed by his teacher to do a current events project-- i re-read the instructions many times, and the parent's role was strictly hands off, guide your child, but do not interfere with their choices. So, i followed instructions.

I received a note back next day: apparently, like me, she was not comfortable with his choice, a story about a big weed smoke-in downtown. However, she forgot her own instructions to the class, and instead, told me that i should not "impose my values" on my son and other school children.

Watch Mama go ballistic!

Hey bitch (i didn't say), being poor and having a brown face (bitch) does not equate (bitch) with being a drug-addicted person, suborning the young! (Bitch!)

No, no, i am a writer, right? So i started with that, did a few drafts, and eventually, i was calmly able to bring her attention back to her own instructions, discuss the dilemma imposed by my son's choice and use of her own instructions as a guide, and to take her to task for her classist-racist assumptions, about me as a mother and about me as a person in the world.

It takes a lot of energy to receive people's bad fantasies about you, i do get worn out sometimes. Sometimes, i do lose my sense of humour. Call it battle fatigue, if you have a Sun Tzu sort of approach to things.

Here's the whole picture, of the above video, so you don't have to guess about the bits you couldn't, for whatever reasons, quite see:

The easiest definition of privilege is, the person who can go from a to b, without being molested by others.

There is a whole lot of fantasy in the world, and actions taken on the basis of it: romanticizing, demonizing, overwhelming, and creating fraught distances. Too much of that. What can a person do, but be creative, keep a sense of humour, and speak truth from the centre?

Good job, Wab Kinew, the Mamas are proud!

"Rez Xtra" is a column in The Regina Leader Post
"SIIT" is the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

I am not an astrologer. Follow the link above ("horoscope") to play on my favourite astrology site.

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