Farewell Mamacitta: A Final Post

I have decided to draw this exploration of Mamacitta to a close and discontinue these periodic musings on my experience of motherhood. As I look back, it has been a remarkable experiment - beginning with a flash when I first felt my heart explode into new dimensions of loving in those early days with a tiny babe in my arms. I set out to explore an ideal, a theory around how much was possible through the act of mothering, how much heart growth and spiritual awakening could occur in this time of selfless giving. I was shooting for the stars, magical notions through and through, like I could transcend all of the perils of parenting with this goal in my heart. Alas, that was not true, and I fell and I tumbled, I made mistakes and lost control sometimes too. A reality check set in, the enormity of what it meant to parent day in and day out pummeled me to the ground.  I rechecked my notions, wiped off my knees and shot off in a new direction - one that was more rooted, honest, authentic and just plain real. 

This whole journey has been that of peeling back the moats, castle walls, and armies that have guarded my heart for as long as I can remember. Why I decided to enlist such protective measures in the first place is difficult to say, but nonetheless out of a fear of feeling pain I chose to protect this sacred space, and to feel little at all seemed the better option. And so the defenses went up, the heart grew sterile, and I knew not what I was missing. Until Rowen lit the dynamite, and slowly but surely each tier of defense crumbled and gave in over the last two and a half years. What I eventually found at the core was an unimaginable rage; untamable and unsafe. But through the support of Matthew and the guidance of a skilled therapist I unearthed below that rage a seemingly bottomless sadness and a personal tenderness I had not previously known.  In that moment of embracing this foreign grief, my heart cracked in two. But it was not broken, it had doubled instead, like a cell dividing, and the sensation of feeling - feeling anything at all - sprawled across my chest and began to push out at the confines of my sternum. The core was cracked, and there was no going back.

Situations and experiences pain me in an incredible way now these days, and I am learning how to be with that, present and attentive as if it were a small child. But more importantly, my ability to feel all of the feel goods - joy, bliss, love, laughter, excitement, truth - has set me in a place now where the task of taking my life as object - analyzing and dissecting where spirituality and mothering meet - no longer feels relevant to me. Even more so, it feels nearly sacrilegious. Like soiling the temple. I have come to this place where I am no longer trying to merge the dichotomy, to marry the practitioner I once was with the mother I was becoming. Instead, something new was born from the exploration. I was born from the exploration. Now, the level of intimacy and sacredness in my moments with my family are massive but delicate. To extract them from my heart and bind them with words that only hint at their vastness seems wholly inappropriate. So, this is why I am ending at this time.

It feels a bit like that old parable about the ferry boat. Exploring the concept of Mamacitta brought me from one side of the river to the other, it brought me from my head to my heart, and now to drag that boat across the landscape of my heart would be unnecessary. All I need now are my own two feet and my family beside me.

The other day I was driving home on Marine Drive, which travels along the mighty Columbia river. A full rainbow appeared right outside my window, spanning the river but ending right on the road next to me, the refracted colors following me as I went down the road. I literally saw the end of the rainbow. There definitely was no pot of gold sitting there, but what I did find was myself at it’s edge. It felt clear, there is much to be said about searching for the pot of gold, but when it comes to simply being at the end of the rainbow silence suits it best.

I am so grateful for all of you who supported me along the way, for the irreplaceable and precious women who became my weekly grounding here in Portland, and those who silently witnessed from a distance. Thank you.