Last month the beautiful soul-weaver Tania Kavathas invited me to speak at the exquisite and intimate event Speaking The Sacred - Mother. There was a very deep sense of collective engagement and a rich opportunity for all present to speak and share what was stirred in them in the presence of this theme. Cameron Semmens offered us all a delightful sample of his poems and offered a very tender and enlightening exploration of the poetic form of the blessing. Here are some photo's of the event by the talented John Englezos. @johnephotography
Partaking in this event stirred a deeper exploration of this theme of Mother in my life, and I felt gifted by the insights that came through as I journeyed it's currents in preparation for this event. These are some new poems that came through.
Atoning the Mother
We pour the oil slicked deluge
of our detritus down her throat,
it seeps across her ancient, life-giving terrain,
the rivers of her holy water polluted with our debris,
as we dredge her depths
for more than we could ever have really needed.
We turn from the life-giving fountain of her love
and suckle at the dry teat of consumerism.
We have been taught to blame her,
to validate our wayward betrayal,
or to numb us from the daily details
of her rape and pillage,
all the orphaned pain of our fear and demise
coming to land in her precious body.
We are taught to fear her,
to distract us from the true predator
that feeds the feeble surrogacy
of our acculturated dismemberment.
She is scapegoated,
just as the culture has taught me
to blame my own mother
for the mismatch of care,
inflicted by a mis-attuned people,
who disrupt the true nature of her blooming,
with interventions of misogyny,
an indoctrination of maladapted attachment,
so that woman is not to be trusted
just as Earth is not to be trusted,
as though she were the one to construct
the devastating infrastructure of dominance,
with its imperative of mother-blame,
when her abandonment and neglect
means that she becomes the hand of not-enoughness,
she the one who cannot give,
with her instincts severed, her hands tied
and the flow of her wild milk brutally dammed.
We blame her, the one who has been brutalised,
not the culture behind,
who has brutally maimed her capacity to love,
through millenia of colonising the feminine imperative.
Deforesting her wild terrain, mining her resources,
making a slave of her care-giving,
so that she becomes the handmaid of patriarchy itself.
The withheld love,
the harrowing ancestral trauma of our own withholding,
the polluted landscape,
the depleted resource,
the incapacitated flow of nurturance,
legacies of our mortally maimed
and broken inheritance.
Because we will never stop needing
the love that She was born to give,
and its absence is like an aching maw within,
each and every one of us.
Can we remember how it is that we can trust her,
the wild earth inside us, the great mother within?
Can we delve deeply down to the bedrock
of our own depths to find the unpolluted seam
of pure presence and exquisite attunement
that is our birthright?
Can we find again within us,
and in the earth at our feet,
the burgeoning wellspring of her ancient sustenance,
ever flowing, fertile and powerful,
birth/death mother, so intricately balanced,
so achingly poised, so bountifully generous,
so tenderly attuned,
despite the desecration of our uninitiated mayhem
upon the back and belly and breast of her sacred terrain?
Can we gather up the millennia of trauma,
that is the belonging to a culture that seeks
to dominate the ancient unseen She,
that has raged war with fire and brimstone
against a woman free to birth and to heal
and to keen and to tend as she sees fit
to the creative interface of existence?
Can we bundle up, with the gentlest of care
our ancient wounds, our harrowing shame,
with at last a tenderness befitting the tragedy
of our very own severance?
Can we reach across and place the preciousness
of our own pain to the pendulous breast of our true Mother,
trace with our innocent fingers
the scars of her stretched and ancient flesh,
may we place our very own brokenness
into the life-giving curve of her round and comforting arms,
can we let her rip aside all that does not serve us,
and may we let her lick the wounds of our becoming clean,
allowing the weight of our despair
to rest into the soft warmth of her belly?
Do you hear the constant measure of her heart beat
and how it reweaves the broken strands,
as she floods our mouths with the cosmic star-milk
of our own immutable belonging?
Can you feel the medicines sprouting from her earthen pores,
balm for the breaks and bruises of our enculturation casualty?
Can you feel her great womb taking us all in again,
making us her own again,
newborn and ancient,
sons and daughters once more,
of the mother?
Her Greatest Gift
I see now, in its excruciating magnificence,
the full extent of her dual face,
the light and the dark of her,
what it truly is that she carries for us,
and that perhaps her greatest gift is not her love after all,
but her wounding to the love,
so that we may come to know it from within our own selves.
and she carries this task as her greatest sacrifice,
that even though she gives us everything in her power,
to nurture and to nourish and to sustain,
even when she does this with little or no support from her culture,
even though every fibre of her being is honed to care,
it is written into the stars that she will also wound us,
it will be her greatest gift and it is her cross to bare,
that there will be the time
when she cannot meet our tender needs
in the particular way that is needed
in that particular moment
and the wound will slice,
and she may not even know that she has done it,
but there will be blood on the sword
that she weighs in her hand.
Because without this wound,
we would stay child to this mother forever,
without her not enoughness
we would never leave
the temple of her grace.
It is her capacity to hurt us,
that will become the path of our own individuation,
it is the first seed of our impetus
to come to know the archetypal mother within our own beings,
rather than always seeking her from without,
So that we may come to inhabit and embody
our own great capacity to mother,
self and other,
and world and earth,
and child and creation and cosmos.
And because we have lost our mythic intelligence,
we take the wound so literally
and we might live our whole life
stuck in the blame we feel
towards our personal mother,
the betrayal of her love
becoming the excuse for our own not-enoughness.
But if we can dig in deeply
to unearth this gift
of her inadvertent severing of us
from the primal unified field
in which we are immersed in, if we are lucky,
in the womb and then at her breast,
and inside her gaze and her unconditional regard,
When we can mature enough to pick up this wound as our greatest gift,
it opens a path for us
to come to know this primal unified field within our own beings.
This is the two faces of mother,
she is wired to nourish
and she is wired to wound,
And it is because she is actually woman,
she is not god.
and she will do both of these things without thanks,
the nurturing and the wounding,
and she will carry the weight of it to her grave
unless we come to pick up the gift
that is buried inside the wound.
The Earth needs us all to remember ourselves now as Mother,
this vast capacity to hold
apposing energies in a unified field,
to nourish and to nurture,
to exquisitely attune and selflessly care,
to fiercely protect,
to fiercely protect,
to fiercely protect.
Mother blame is a weapon of a dominator society,
that wants us all to remain insatiable children,
we cannot love the Earth until we make peace
with the personal mother who gave us everything she had
in a world that would not hold her giving in any sort of regard,
though her hands were bound by trauma,
her breasts withheld from her own withheld love for self,
her empty cup,
her power suppressed by her fear,
her fierce love gagged
by a disempowerment hammered in
for generations of desecration
to the feminine principle of life.
She still gave everything she had
to nourish and to nurture
and the thing is,
it was never going to be enough,
and you were always meant to wake up
to the fact that the wounds she gave you were her greatest gifts,
because through them you will come to follow
the path to knowing the divine face
of the holy mother inside your own cells,
it is only through the excruciating pain of her absence
that we will come to know her as the God within us,
who reminds us what it is to birth and to hold,
the alchemical matter of our blood and our semen
and our sweat and our tears,
the sacred waters of our wombs manifesting life into being,
our bodily intelligence gestating in collaboration with the masculine,
primally birthing and tenderly attending
the world into being
in every living moment,
each and every one of us.
We are all born with the primal imprint
of the maternal matrix
of the feminine face of god within us,
waiting to wake up to ourselves,
as the custodians and caretakers
of ourselves and each other,
and of the earth
and Her cosmic interface.
And I know this because I have been the child loved
and I have been the child wounded.
And I know this because I have been the mother who loves,
and I have been the mother who wounds,
and I am so bone wearily tired
of living my life through the lens of the wound,
instead of seeing it through the lens of the gift.
The gift of the love and the gift of the wound
which is the homecoming to the heart of love
and the belonging to the Mother
who lives beyond and beneath and behind and within,
The gift which is the coming to know this mother inside of me,
to feel the magnitude of that love, and the pain of that sacrifice,
the mother who wounds and gives life,
the mother who loves and gives life,
and that even as she lives inside of me
she is also one of the faces of the multitudinous god,
into whom I was born.
Photos © John Englezos 2018
Text © Lucy Pierce 2018