“Dreaming with my body” follows on from a previous article by Rata Gordon, “Expressive Arts Therapy: Arts-based research and new motherhood”, which you can read here.
Motherhood is undervalued. And I feel like my culture’s view of what a mother should be is limited. I have a sense of somehow trying to claw back a self that is individuated from my child and active in the public sphere, because the question looms: is being just a mother enough? And what constitutes a good enough mother in the face of climate change, mass extinctions and a global mental health crisis? My child must live in this world.
I am trying to be intimate with the world around me, feeling the sharp edges with my toe and tasting the salt water with my tongue.
I wonder whether Attachment Theory’s usual version of a good enough mother, in terms of wiping your child’s nose, having ordinary devotion, cuts it. How can I nurture not only my own child, but the world that I am bringing her into, and all that I love?
I have found that there is no greater opportunity for being told how to think, act, breathe and scratch my nose than becoming a mother. A whole flurry of social and cultural institutions, norms and practices would like to dictate how I mother, and who I am now that I’m a mother. They land like fine silt, becoming denser and heavier with time if I don’t move beneath them.
I want to feel that the stories I tell are true, but I also want to show that there are other possible untold stories lingering underneath and in between.