Tag Archives: Fear

Life Without Conditions: Motherless Mothering

There are stories we yell out to the world with a megaphone, stories we tell only in the dark, and other stories we keep buried under the rubble in our thick skin, the skin thickening with time, loss, disappointment, and hurt.

Recently my mini me, a proud and soulful preteen, had the chance to scratch the surface and get a pinhole view of her mom as a child. She had 3 full days with my adoptive brother, whose stories of our time together in foster care, she never heard. I watched her face light up and dim all weekend. Some were stories of hope, others of fear and mayhem. This weekend was my daughter’s first real lessons about her mother’s personal past. With so much unknown history from my side of her family at all, this was her chance to scribble the first few pages of her own history book as well.

Me and my girl.

I’ve been very skillful in my disclosures to her. The stories in between the basic timelines, I usually gloss over. My daughter knows a lot about children in foster care, but I am often impersonal about my experiences because they are part of her also and I want her to be nothing but proud of her background. There are a lot of things to not be proud of in my history, but I never wanted her to see the blemishes. As she’s gotten older I feel uncomfortable with some of her questions. They are no longer shallow and easily answered. I write academically about transitioning foster children at universities and about strong mothers in literature. But, often talking about my own vulnerabilities is not easy for me. 

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“Clutter” Daily Prompt


Soul mates excite you! Love makes things perfect! Social media sells these mottoes to the recluses time and again. Usually it is a blonde with implants selling the epithets to hundreds of adoring “likes.” Move beyond the size D prophets and examine your own soul’s clutter. Artists, writers, song makers, introspective creators for thousands of years, have never pinpointed what love really is, Facebook wont either.

Our souls are all fragile and cluttered. They’ve been weathered by life, hurts , happiness, moments of excitement, jarred with fear, sometimes burned by deep violence. The nurturing of this bundle of energy that gives us any meaning, is probably the most important work you can do in your lifetime. Without doing that work, we cannot love anyone else, we cannot repair ourselves, we cannot trust ourselves.

Whitman exclaims that love awakens the soul.¬†Bukowski likens it to urine in a river. Plath describes it as a death and rebirth. Rilke explains that love is not even possible until two “complete” people run parallel to each other. They are apart but together and never veer off that path. The ability to enjoy solitude is essential, he claims, to loving anything else.

Not only does love¬† “awaken” or “excite” the soul, but it levels out the extreme emotion we all feel. It stabilizes us, comforts us, therefore enabling us to progress further than we can alone. It helps us heal voids. It is another agent to protect our soul when we don’t do a good job ourselves.

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