In a few days, we celebrate Mother’s Day and for most of us it is a very complex celebration.
Is it a day for mothers regardless of their strength in mothering?
Is it a day when every year, year after year, we acknowledge the woman who gave birth to us, including the nine months her body was our home?
Is it a day of painful pretending or cold, justified avoidance?
Do we celebrate the mother or the mothering? The noun or the verb?
So for the next few days before Mother’s Day think about mother and mothering. Not easy thinking, awakening thinking. Work at it. Write thoughts down and strip away your sentimentality, your grief, your psychology. It is good work, healing (in the sense of becoming whole), liberating and empowering work – I-awakening thought. Write. Draw. List. Doodle. Collage. Imagine mother. Imagine mothering. Penetrate the mother archetypes.
I was inspired to write these questions and suggestions by these two paragraphs from an article on analogy.
Analogy is the motor driving the build-up of concepts throughout our lives. Concepts, rather than being neat boxes into which all entities can be precisely, objectively and mechanically sorted, are fluid mental structures that, through many successive analogies, evolve continually. For example, 1-year-old Timmy’s first word is “mommy”, and he uses it to designate his own mother. However, his mother is not a static thing, but a constantly varying pattern of things, at whose core Timmy has identified something stable and invariant. Already we are dealing with abstraction and analogy-making, but Timmy’s initial concept “mommy” is merely the foundation of a future skyscraper.
Soon he will realise that other children, too, have mommies. Then he will enrich his category “mommy” by adding the mothers of cats and monkeys. However, he has not yet realised that his own parents also have mommies. A year later, he will laugh when told he once resisted this idea. At this point, “mommy” has given birth to the more abstract category “mother”, which is reaching out tentacles of abstraction to embrace mythological mothers, motherlands, motherboards and even the maternity celebrated in “Idleness is the mother of philosophy”.
from “Analogy: the Vital Talent that Fuels Our Mind”
By Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander, New Scientist Magazine issue 2915 of 8 May 2013, p. 30-3
Mother as concept becomes more fluid and maternal every time I think about mother/Mother. Oh, how I love fluid concepts. It is in the fluidity that I find glimmers of truth nourishing me like mother’s milk.
Mother’s milk… if you are fluid what do you think?
Yes, here’s a Mother’s Day contemplation: What provides your soul with mother’s milk? What are the breasts that always flow with warm sweet nourishment for your inner life: your thoughts, your feelings, your goals? What gives you warm sweet comfort for your anxieties, your doubts, your anger?
Do think about all the evolving analogies rising out of mother and mothering. You will be mothering your soul with these thoughts.