Wednesday, July 8, 2009

breaking open

At the closing conversation of the Antioch residency (which, as always, was so rich--inspiring and energizing even as it was physically exhausting) I mentioned how moved I am by how people at Antioch are so willing to break themselves and their work open again and again. It takes bravery to step outside our creative boxes, to move toward the things that scare us, to be ready to let go of ideas (and often whole drafts) that we've become attached to. I watch my students do all these things, and learn so much from them in the process.

The last couple of years have broken me open in so many ways, and it's been terrifying and destabilizing and exciting and grounding all at once. I find myself doing things I never ever imagined I would do in my lifetime--getting remarried so soon after a divorce (not to mention getting divorced in the first place), having a baby 19 years after my first, etc. It hit me a few days ago that I had seen myself as a mother of two ever since I was a little girl--I had always said I wanted two kids, even when I was very young. It's a bit weird to shift my identity to encompass being a mother of three now. Strangely, over the years, many people have told me they thought I was a mother of three and expressed surprise when I said I just had two kids--I have no idea why; maybe they saw this future baby hovering somewhere around my head. Now that this baby is a reality, I am having to expand my idea of who I am, what the shape of the rest of my life will be. And I hope, like my students at Antioch, I will approach these changes with openness and bravery and curiosity, not to mention a good dose of humor.

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