I am the mother of three daughters, each born in different decades, also three sons grouped in a somewhat closer clump. One hub helps hold us all together. This is not what passes for wise family planning in our American culture, but as the poet Alice Notley wrote, I didn’t plan my pregnancies. I’m an experimentalist.
In the academic anthology Mothers Creating/Writing Lives: Motherhood Memoir, I traced a path through the creative process to understand how having children and becoming bogged down with chores and childcare changes, but doesn’t need to blot out creativity. Desperation sometimes helped me find ways to mix the creative with the mundane; musing while folding laundry lead to art and writing, but with six children spanning a quarter century I’ve learned to find and follow a flow. At one point, while writing I realized I was experiencing all phases of motherhood simultaneously– with one child married, one in college, one in high school, one in junior high, one in elementary school, a toddler, and then a grand baby. An experimentalist would certainly want to explore that, right?
When I was finally able to return to graduate school I drew on my background as an artist to employ ekphrasis (art that speaks out) as a writing technique paired with experimental methods to illuminate the liveliness contained in the mundane, specifically exploring how mothers can lead active, adventurous lives- writing fosters the creativity needed for the journey.
Ekphrastic Mama is a place to find encouragement for writing, using the art that is all around us to help find our way into the story, essay, or memoir.
Once a year, during May, I focus on motherhood memoir: May is Motherhood Memoir Month, just because I say so… you don’t have to be a mother to have a motherhood story– it’s where you begin. We’ve all been shaped by the story. Thinking through writing helps us understand our own story better. You are invited to join the sojourn. Join me at MaMoMeMo.com to get some personal encouragement and enjoy the journey.