I still remember the day 18 years ago when I brought my newly born daughter back home from the hospital. She was lying in her wicker basket placed on the floor beside my bed. It was a Friday. I would have been coming home from work and planning an exciting weekend. The sense of loss and fear over a life that was gone and the prospect of a future caring for this defenceless tiny human was overwhelming.
It seemed like a pivotal moment in my mother landscape, a break between my past as a non-mother and my future as a mother. But over the years I have come to the realization that that moment may have represented a severing of ties to me but, in reality, it was one that went into the pool of experience that I drew from in my mothering.
Mothering maybe a learnt experience but as mothers we do not reinvent the wheel. We draw upon our own vast memories and bring these to bear when mothering our children. There is no ‘first mother moment’. Becoming a mother is the physical act of giving birth (including having a Caesarean birth like I did) plus it entails a cultural and personal identity. Mothering is a discursive formation played out through memories, experiences, passion and self-identification.
‘Borderlands and Crossroads’ is a highly evocative compilation of prose and poetry by over 30 feminists on how mothers’ (fathers are featured too) navigate mothering.
The book is edited by Jane Satterfield and Laurie Kruk who are renowned prize winning world class feminist poets and academics. In the introduction to the book Jane Satterfield uses metaphors associated with cartography and travel to describe the works featured…“reverse course, re-route, ditch old maps and chart new ones as they travel through maternal landscapes past and present, recovering lost connections and forging new ones.”
The stories will make you laugh, cry, ponder and find lots in common with. ‘Borderlands and Crossroads’ will appeal to all mothers which is why I am launching a season of the featured poetry and prose starting today and lasting over the coming Winter months. Kick back and enjoy.